Iranian Bus Workers Join the Resistance

By Al Giordano

The Autobus Workers Union of Iran (Sendikaye Sherkat Vahed, in Farsi) has just made the following declaration (translated for The Field by Iraj Omidvar):

In recent days we have witnessed the passionate presence of millions of women and men, the old and the young, and ethnic and religious minorities in Iran, people who want their government to recognize their most basic right, the right to freely, independently, and transparently elect, a right that in most societies around the world is not only recognized officially but for whose protection no effort is neglected.

In the current situation, we witness threats, arrests, killings, and naked persecution, which threaten to grow in dimension and lead to the shedding of innocent people's blood thus bringing a rise in popular protests and not in their decline.


;

Iranian society is facing a deep political and economic crisis. Million-strong protests, which have manifested themselves with a silence that is replete with meaning, have become a pattern that is growing in area and dimension, a growth that demands a response from any responsible person and organization.


The Autobus Workers Union in an announcement issued before the elections declared, "in the absence of the freedom for political parties, our organization is naturally deprived of a social institution that can protect it."

"Workers of the Autobus Workers Union consider their social involvement and political activity to be the certain right of each member of society and furthermore believe that workers across Iran as long as they submit the platforms of presidential candidates and a practical guarantee about campaign slogans can choose to participate or not participate in elections."

The fact that the demands of the vast majority of Iranian society go far beyond those of unions is obvious to all, and in the previous years we have emphasized that until the principle of the freedom to organize and to elect is not materialized, any talk of social freedom and labor union rights will be a farce.

Given these facts, the Autobus Workers Union places itself alongside all those who are offering themselves in the struggle to build a free and independent civic society. The union condemns any kind of suppression and threats.

To recognize labor-union and social rights in Iran, the international labor organizations have declared the Fifth of Tir (June 26) the international day of support for imprisoned Iranian workers as well as for the institution of unions in Iran. We want that this day be viewed as more than a day for the demands of labor unions to make it a day for human rights in Iran and to ask all our fellow workers to struggle for the trampled rights of the majority of the people of Iran.

With hope for the spread of justice and freedom,

Autobus Workers Union

Add the bus workers to the auto workers and the industrial union sector that creates the means of transportation has emerged as the vanguard in what - thus speaks The Field - will soon become a coalition of industrial workers with the power to spark a general strike in Iran.

And there is not a regime on earth that can survive a general strike aimed at its heart.

It's significant that the bus workers set a date, a week from now, for its International Day of Support for Imprisoned Iranian Workers. The call carries with it a prima facie acknowledgement that no matter what happens in the streets on Saturday, the party is just getting started.

The regime can take out Mousavi. It can take out every operative in his orbit. But it cannot force an educated and organized workforce - with long memories of 56 years of struggle against Western and Eastern regimes alike - to show up on the job.

As I like to say: Watch, listen... and learn.

Saturday 7:35 a.m. ET Update: State run television has been broadcasting that today's demonstration has been "called off." Mousavi's Facebook page recently updated to say it's still on. Meanwhile, according to CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Iran's Guardian Council say sit will "randomly recount" ten percent of the ballots.

Some common Twitter messages at this hour:

WE'LL SEE WHO THE REAL NEWS REPORTERS ARE TODAY

JON LEYNE,BBC,TEHRAN,1000 GMT: Mr Mousavi will turn up, as will defeated candidate Mehdi Karroubi and former President Khatami

Iranian Army protect your brothers and sisters from godless basijis and sepaah. They're fighting for your freedom too

Brothers & Sisters Go On the streets NOW. Do not fear Death. Fear only oppression for nother 30 years.

People going to Enghelab in larg numbers and growing rapidly. police there but not doing anything STAY STRONG

Main Rally NOT CANCELED -STATE TV lies. BIG CROWDS ON STREET. POLICE PRESENT BUT NOT ATTACKING...

CNN just broadcast that Moussavi says to ignore notices of cancellation! #iranelection #gr88 4PM rally is still on! Bring Quran!

Don't forget: foreign media are subject to Iranian restrictions on their ability to report, film or take pics in Iran

"Today is maybe the most important day in iran's history, will we see Tiananmen Sq? It seems ppl still will go"

the cell phones in Enghelab district are disconnected

IRANIAN SOLDIERS YOU CAN'T BEAT US, SO JOIN US!!! http://bit.ly/SRmAR , Pass it on

Anti-Riot Police Forces are between Enqelab and Azadi Sqs.

Mousavi's facebook updated 15 min ago, asking people to show up in Enghlab sq. many people are already there

The editor-in-chief of Etemad Melli, a reformist newspaper owned by Karroubi, is arrested,

China proibe noticias de protestos no Irao http://bit.ly/qnVQ9 (Translated from Portuguese: China prohibits new of protests in Iran.)

Stay in a crowd, stay in body groups, and keep an eye on each other! May Ahura Mazda look over you all!

The hour of Destiny is upon us. Peace be unto each and every brave marcher in Iran.

Posts today from the (considered very reliable) Twitter feed of OxfordGirl:

They are trying to keep you home by stories of beatings. Do not listen to new tweeters saying go home they are gov thugs.

Rafsanjani or his family members will attend rally today.

Basij will wait at parked cars and attack once ppl get back in to go home, they will follow ppl home. Walk in lgr groups.

Khameni must realise that if he starts killing people the rallies will get bigger and more violent.

Remember this is a non violent movement, everyone keep calm and don't be provoked. They will want to show rally as violent

Update 9:31 a.m. ET: State-run media is reporting that a bomb blast has hit the mausoleum of the late Ayatollah Kholmeini in South Tehran, and that there are two dead. This shrine is heavily guarded 24 hours a day. It would be very difficult for anyone to set off an explosion there without it being an inside job. Think: If true, which side does it benefit? The state is trying to portray the resistance as violent and rioters and anti-Islam. The opposition is trying to portray itself as peaceful and Islamic. There would be no benefit to the opposition to plant bombs in such a sacred shrine. Sounds more like the Reichstag Fire to me; a pretext for more repression, and an attempt to frighten the population against the protests.

Update 9:37 a.m. ET: The New York Times fudges it:

TEHRAN — One day after Iran’s supreme leader, Ayatollah Ali Khamenei warned of bloodshed if street protests continued over the nation’s disputed elections, witnesses, quoted by news services, said that thousands of demonstrators had attempted to gather for a scheduled opposition protest on Saturday, but that riot police, using tear gas and water cannons, had dispersed them.

Witnesses reported that the black-clad security forces lined the streets of two squares in central Tehran as the city braced itself for a violent crackdown.

The Field translates: "We Timesmen have no direct information ourselves. We're holed up in a five star hotel, ordering room service. We got these reports off Twitter like everybody else, but we don't want to admit it, so we type 'quoted by news services' without disclosing the source. Yes, we suck that badly."

Gawd, are there still readers so gullible as to fall for that?

Also: Christiane Amanpour on CNN: "We have only seen pictures of riot police standing around. We have not seen any images of clashes between protesters and police."

Update 9:51 a.m. ET: BBC Persian has the first images of state violence on video, filmed from a rooftop, probably by citizen journalists. The Field can confirm that it was posted today and that it takes place in Tehran. Heavy gunfire can be heard and protesters seeking refuge behind walls can be seen. Fires - perhaps automobiles set ablaze - can be seen from where the shots are apparently coming from.

 

 

Comments

Mothers and Fathers of Iran

To the folks who contribute mightily to The Field:  Thank you!

Wide awake today...My thoughts, oh hell, prayers are with the people of Iran today.  All of them.  My heart is in my throat as I think of the Mothers and Fathers of Iran. When can the violence against women, children and men via religion and government, end?  Hope, to me, is action waiting to be born.

Leymah Gbowee is one of the most amazing and inspiring organizers I have ever seen. 

http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/06192009/profile.html

My dear, departed Mother, Helen, said it best. 

"Wake up and pee! The 'Worl'ds' on Fire!"

 

Just read your update, Al.  Many thanks.  

Government Campaign

It appears as if the government is trying its best to force people to stay home by both a heavy police presence as well as spreading false info on Twitter and TV about people getting beaten etc. Thanks for the past week Al - I've learnt a lot here. 

Re: The explosion

That was exactly my thought when I heard about the explosion, Al, and probably is the reaction of most people who hear about it.

 

Are Iranian Unions Twittering re support of resistance?

Does anyone recommend any Twitter feeds to follow Iranian union support of the resistance? Thx in advance, Jo

Strikes- best tool of revolutions

Strikes, especially general strikes are the best tool of revolutions. I hope this move by the bus workers catches on among unions.

@Lorie Cavin

Lorie- I wish I could have met your mother Helen.  I think her call to action is one of the best I've heard.  Let's add it to the Fieldhands site.  Suzy

Real U.S. Apology

As a U.S. citizen who supports the Iranian Freedom fighters, I apologize for the actions of the former President Jimmy Carter whose ineptness led to current conditions.  G-d will bring you victory.  The savages may take your blood but they cannot take your brain.  CONTINUE THE STRUGGLE!!! G-D IS WITH YOU.

S.T.

ALABAMA, U.S.A.

RT from Iran: Check this

RT from Iran: Check this video out -- Students Shot In Front Of A Camera http://bit.ly/GxHC6

protest outside the Embassy of Iran canberra

Dear Human Rights Defenders, Human beings are members of a whole, In creation of one essence and soul. If one member is afflicted with pain, Other members uneasy will remain. If you have no sympathy for human pain, The name of human you cannot retain. (Sa'di) Today 27 more people were killed in Iran as the regime cracks down on those demanding their democratic rights. Journalists have systematically been removed from Iran and news coming through from the BBC is fragmented and unreliable. However, the disturbing image of a young girl dying on the streets of Iran now posted on YouTube tells the ugly story of what is happening to defenceless people. Lawlessness rules the streets of Iran. The secret police, the Basij (a brutal militia force controlled directly by the elements close to Khamenei) and the Guards of Islamic Revolution are out in force to quell any remaining signs of protest. Last night over 20 members of the Basij and Revolutionary Guard were telephoned by concerned citizens from around the world, urging them not to take part in this vicious crackdown. The governemnt of Mahmud Ahmadinejad is a government of coup d'etat. His appointment through electoral fraud opens a new chapter in the history of a brutal regime that has spilt the blood of its citizens again and again. But this time people said: Enough is enough! 'Where is our vote?' is the cry of people in the streets. The regime wanted to show the world that the regime had popular support, and in order to do that it had to bring people to the ballot boxes. For this, it allowed some freedom of expression just before the elections. Many people, specially the young, welcomed the opportunity to voice their demands. The regime had thought it could then pull out their rabbit of Ahmadinejad out of the hat of election, and the people would meekly go along with the charade. But they were wrong! People stood up for their choice, for their vote. Mousavi or whoever else supported by the people against the religious dictatorship is only the vehicle of the people's demands and not the measure. Along with the people of Iran we ask that fresh elections be held under the supervision of trustworthy observers. We ask that the violence unleashed by the regime against the people be stopped immediately. We ask that the perpetrators of the atrocities of the past week be brought to justice no matter what their position and rank. We ask that the proponents of the coup d'etat be tried for their treason. We ask that Khomenei be removed from office and from the political arena in Iran as he already has blood on his hands. The Australian Government should refuse to recognise Ahmadinejad as the legitimate president of Iran, and his representatives here in Australia as true representatives of the people of Iran. Please support the truly heroic struggle of the people of Iran for their dignity and rights by attending a protest outside the Embassy of Iran, 25 Culgoa Cct, O'Malley on Friday 26th June at 12.00. Anyone who wishes to speak out against the crackdown in Iran is more than welcome to do so. Let me invite anyone with concern for human rights to join us in protest against these appalling abuses taking place in Iran. Regards, Ardeshir Gholipour 21 June 2009

Iranelection

They claim that the people of Iran are all terrorists, it is amazing they themselves are the terrorists, it is a well known fact.
They think it is Mr. Mosavi who is the organizer of this movement, where as it is a spontaneous movement of the ordinary Iranian people who are so feed up with this system,and nothing is gonna stop them.

it is outrageous, and like always they are not capable of taking responsibility for their own action, they blame it on the others,
American and the British.

You must not Give up!

Dulce et decorum pro patria mori. Translated it means "It a true and noble thing to die for ones country. Long live the patriots. I a christain from Barbados here in the Caribbean and I share in your quest for freedom.

The Action of Workers In the Middle of Revolution

Let no one be misled. What is going on in Iran is a revolution. Like all revolutions, it started with ordinary men and women who had suffered enough at the hands of a corrupt, uncaring, and unjust system.

It is the duty of all who work not just for a paycheck, but for a better future for themselves, their children, and their country to join hands with those who are battling for that future.

The industries involved in transportation can play a fundamental role in bringing about a quicker end to this vile regime.

By strangling the free movement within the country they not only strangle the quick access of the forces of oppression, but provide enough cover, respite and support to those that will defeat it.

And make no mistake. The Iranian people will defeat this vicious regime that masquarades in the name of all that is good.

The Bus workers can effectively surround the areas where the Basij operate. They can impede access by placing buses and cars in their path. If they try to circumvent, set them on fire. Let there be only one way through and hunt them as they try to cross. Just as they hunted Neda from a rooftop.

 

In the name of Neda!

Power to the people of Iran!

 

 

 

 

 

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About Al Giordano

Biography

Publisher, Narco News.

Reporting on the United States at The Field.

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