The people of Iran need our solidarity

Protester at the University of Tehran. Photo: Getty Images.

Susan Price, Socialist Alliance National Co-Convenor addressed a rally in solidarity with the people of Iran held in Sydney on January 6.

The following is an abridged version of her speech.

On behalf of Socialist Alliance I want to convey our solidarity with the people of Iran, who are rising up once again against a corrupt and brutal dictatorship.

This is the latest uprising in four decades of resistance to theocratic rule and  repression of democratic rights, since the crushing of the revolution in 1979.

It was only a few months ago that we were marking the anniversary of the massacres of 1988, where thousands were arrested, imprisoned and summarily executed, for the sorts of activities we take for granted - handing out a leaflet, attending a protest.

And that is why in a country like Australia, where we have the democratic space to protest, we should raise our voices loudly in solidarity with the people of Iran.

The world should stand in solidarity with this struggle - regardless of the US or Israel's attitude towards it. We know that Donald Trump does not support human rights. We know that Benjamin Netanyahu does not stand for human rights. They are no friends of the Iranian people. This is the same US President who just a few months ago was banning Iranian people from entering the US. This is the same Israeli Prime Minister who has trampled on the rights of the Palestinian people.

Our government, meanwhile, is either locking up Iranian refugees fleeing this brutality or refusing to accept UNHCR refugees from Iran who are waiting in countries like Indonesia for help.And worse, our Foreign Minister, Julie Bishop has attempted to negotiate with the regime to have refugees returned to Iran.

While Rouhani claims to be a reformer, his regime has cut the minimum wage and introduced policies that have led to skyrocketing prices for basic foods. Meanwhile, trade unionists are still imprisoned for organising to demand unpaid wages, and the death penalty is still in place.

This 'reformer' has ordered a crackdown on the protests that has resulted in hundreds being arrested and more than 50 (more?) killed by security forces.

The protests are being led by workers, and by women and young people.

When you realise that 70% of the people of Iran live in poverty, you can understand why the people just cannot take it anymore.

They are demanding food, democracy, an end to corrupt, theocratic rule and their basic human rights. And they need our urgent support.

Power to the people of Iran! Azadi!