From the September-October 2019 issue of News & Letters
Since mid-2016, workers in Iran have taken to the streets to demand unpaid wages and oppose layoffs. In December 2017 workers joined together and rallied in around 100 cities and towns. They opposed capitalism and the brutal, theocratic regime in Iran.
Esmaeil Bakhshi, leading figure of the Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane factory strike, was arrested in November 2018 along with Ali Nejati and worker-journalist Sepideh Gholyan and the editors of Gaam, a pro-worker paper. They were brutally tortured and forced into a sham “confession” aired on state TV that they were members of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran! Why? The rulers in Iran were reminding rulers in the West that it was still an instrument against the Left in general, socialists in particular.
Esmaeil and Sepideh were released on heavy bail to keep their mouths shut. Well, they didn’t. Esmaeil and Sepideh exposed their torture, and were arrested again on Jan. 20 and still jailed.
Workers in Iran and around the world are objecting to the brutal treatment of workers because they demanded their unpaid pay. All jailed workers must be released unconditionally and immediately!