WOMEN, LIFE, FREEDOM

International

1st March 2023
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Manifesto of Basic Demands by Independent Trade and Civil Organizations of Iran
(February 15, 2023)

Honorable and free people of Iran!

On the 44th anniversary of the revolution of 1979 in Iran, the economic, political, and social foundations of the country have plunged into a vortex of crisis and disintegration. Yet no clear and attainable vision to end this crisis within the framework of the existing political system seems at reach. It is for this reason that the oppressed people of Iran, including women and youth who seek freedom and equality, have turned the streets all over the country into the center of a historic and decisive struggle to end the inhumane conditions of the status-quo. Despite the regime's bloody suppression, they have not rested for a moment since five months ago.

Today women, students, teachers, workers, those seeking justice, artists, queers, writers, and all oppressed people of Iran - in every part of the country from Kurdistan to Sistan and Baluchistan and with unprecedented international support - have raised the flag of these fundamental protests. It represents a protest against misogyny, gender discrimination, endless economic insecurity, labor slavery, poverty, misery, class oppression, as well as oppression based on nationality and religion. It is a revolution against all forms of religious or non-religious tyranny that has been imposed on the Iranian people throughout the last century.

These rummaging protests arise in the context of large and modern social movements and the emergence of an invincible generation. They are determined to put an end to a century-long history of backwardness and being at the margins and to fight for a modern, prosperous, and free society in Iran.

After the two great revolutions in Iran’s contemporary history, the leading social movements – including the labor, teachers’, pensioners’, women’s, students’, and the movement of the youth for equality and freedom, the movement against the death penalty, etc. – have now gained a historical and decisive influence in shaping the political, economic, and social structures of the country from the bottom-up and in mass dimensions.

Thus, this movement aims to permanently end the formation of any power from above and be the beginning of a modern, humane social revolution that frees people from all forms of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, tyranny and dictatorship.

While focusing on the unity and interconnectedness of social movements as well as on struggling against the current inhumane and destructive situation, we - the unions, civil organizations and institutions that have signed this charter -  see the following basic demands as the first orders and as a result of the Iranian people's massive protests and also as the foundation for building a new, modern, and humane society in the country. We call upon all those who value freedom, equality, and emancipation to raise the call for these basic demands in factories, universities, schools, neighborhoods, and the streets as well as on the global scene. Together, we can achieve the lofty goal of freedom.

1. The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, an end to the prosecution of political, union, and civil activities, and the public trial of those responsible for suppressing mass protests.

2. Unconditional freedom of opinion, expression, and thought, press, political parties, local and national unions and mass organizations, gatherings, strikes, rallies, social networks, and audio and video media.

3. The immediate abolition of all types of the death penalty, execution, and other death retributions, as well as prohibition of any type of mental and physical torture.

4. Immediate declaration of equal rights for men and women on all political, economic, social, cultural, and family levels; unconditional abolition of laws and forms leading to discrimination against sexual and gender identities and tendencies, recognition of the rainbow society of "LGBTQIA+", decriminalization of all gender-based subscriptions and tendencies and unconditional adherence to women's right over their bodies and destiny and preventing patriarchal control.

5. Religion be recognized as a private matter of individuals and should not be involved in the political, economic, social, and cultural decrees and laws of the country.

6. The guarantee of safety at work, job security, and an immediate increase in the salaries of workers, teachers, employees, and all working and retired individuals, which should be determined through involvement and agreement of the elected representatives of their independent and national organizations.

7. The laws and attitudes based on national and religious discrimination and oppression must be abolished. The government should create proper support infrastructures and ensure fair and equal distribution of its facilities and resources to promote culture and art in all regions of the country. Furthermore, it should provide necessary and equal facilities for learning and teaching all common languages spoken in society.

8. Dismantling the organs of repression, limiting the powers of the government, and direct and permanent involvement of the people in the administration of the country's affairs through local and national councils. The dismissal of any government and non-government official by the voters at any time should be among the fundamental rights of the voters.

9. Confiscation of the property of all individuals, legal entities, government, semi-government and private institutions that have obtained the property and social wealth belonging to the Iranian people through direct looting or government contracts. The wealth obtained from these confiscations should be immediately used for modernizing and reconstructing education, pension funds, the environment, and meeting the needs of those regions and segments of the Iranian people who were deprived of equal opportunities and facilities during the two regimes of the Islamic Republic and the monarchy.

10. Ending environmental destruction, implementing fundamental policies to restore the environmental infrastructure that has been destroyed over the past hundred years, and preventing the privatization of public resources (such as pastures, beaches, forests, and foothills), which denies the people their rights to access and use them.

11. Prohibit child labor and ensure that all children have access to education and a life free from economic or social hardship, regardless of their family’s status. Establish public welfare programs that provide unemployment insurance and strong social security for all working-age people, as well as free education and healthcare for everyone.

12. Normalization of foreign relations at the highest levels with all countries of the world based on fair relations and mutual respect, banning the acquisition of nuclear weapons and striving for world peace.

From our point of view, the basic demands mentioned above could be realized immediately, considering the existence of potential and actual underground wealth in the country and the existence of an informed and capable people and a generation of young people who have a lot of motivation to enjoy a happy, free and prosperous life.

The demands outlined in this charter include the general axes of the needs of the signatories, and obviously, we will work them out in more detail through our struggle and solidarity.

Signatories:

- Coordinating Council of Trade Union Organizations of Iranian Teachers

- Free Union of Iranian Workers

- United Students Union of Student Organizations

- Center for Human Rights Defenders

- Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar Company

- Council for Organizing Protests

- The Council for Organization of Contractual Oil Workers Protests

- Iran Cultural House (Khafa)

- The Voice of Iranian Women

- The Independent Voice of The Workers of Ahvaz National Steel Group

- Labor Rights Defenders Center

- Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Trade Institution

- Coordinating Committee to Help Found Labor Organizations

- Pensioners United

- Council of Pensioners of Iran

- Progressive Students Organization

- Council of Freethinking Students of Iran

- Painters Syndicate of Alborz Province

- Committee to Follow Up on the Establishment of Labor Organizations in Iran

- Council of Pensioners of Social Security Organization (BASTA)


(Localisation for English by Organise)

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