Saturday, May 1, 2010

May Day Reports from Iran | Protests in Tehran,Tabriz,Kurdistan,Qazvin,Mashhad,Shiraz,Isfahan Heavy Security


Will be continued...


High Volume of Security in Tehran for International Worker’s Day

Received reports indicate that in accordance with International Worker’s Day (that is recognized on May 1st) a high volume of security is apparent in Tehran, especially in the central region.

Military and disciplinary officers are concentrated in Enghelab Square until near Azadi Square. [Government-operated] vans are stationed around Enghelab Square.

The Kaleme website reports that the security agents are concentrated outside the Ministry of Labour and Laborer’s House (on Azadi Street). The area has been reported to look like a military zone.

There are also reports from Fatemeh Square

of security agents based across the Ministry of Interior Affairs.

A number of Iranian employers have threatened their staff with termination from their position if they decide to act in protest for International Worker’s Day.

Workers Gather in Protest after Labour Minister Speech in Mashad

Yesterday in Mashad, on the first national conference for the day of labour mobilization and celebration of worker martyrs, Abdolreza Sheikholeslami, Minister of Labour and Social Affairs, analyzed the third verse of Surat Al-Baqarah from the Qur’an and then interpreted the concept of absence of the Imam and faith. Since the conference was supposed to be held on May Day and he did not mention the situation of workers in Iran,

a group of workers gathered after his speech in the Ayeha building to protest the minister’s talk.

One of the workers said, “We expected the minister to say better words on the improvement of workers situation, but he did not even mention workers.”

Another worker said, “When the Health or Education Minister talks, part of the speech focuses on congratulating nurses and teachers, but the Labour Minister spoke and didn’t say a word about workers.”

A worker Mohammad Karimi said, “The minimum we expected from the Labour Minister was that after he analyzed the Qur’an, he would talk about problems pertaining to workers and also provide solutions.”

He added, “Unfortunately, in our country, there is no value for workers. The proof of this is all the letters and correspondence I had with the Ministry of Labour since March 2009 that have gone nowhere.”

Buses Filled with Workers Stopped By Regime Forces, Man Badly Beaten

Despite the strong security atmosphere, a gathering began in front of the Ministry of Labour. Currently a crowd has gathered in Azadi and Enghelab Squares. Some people are holding flowers to commemorate May Day.

Between Enghelab and Azadi Squares, undeclared martial law continues. INA correspondent reports three buses full of workers coming from Varamin was stopped by police.

The forces acknowledged that the workers were on their way to the demonstration, but did not allow them to proceed. One worker was badly beaten and left there in his blood.

May Day Protest Gathering in Shiraz

Workers in Shiraz organized a protest gathering on the occasion of International Worker’s Day (I.e. May Day).

The gathering took place in front of Shiraz’s Azadi Avenue in the province of Fars. Demonstrators held banners that read: “Expelling workers will bring them a black destiny.” Another banner read: “Workers, congratulations on your day of employment, we won’t sit down until we get what is ours.”

One of the workers at the gathering said that in the last few months he has been expelled from the Gooshe Fars industrial complex and has not been paid his wages for seven months. The annonymous worker explained that Gooshte Fars Industrial Complex has been shut down for over two months and close to 1,200 workers are now unemployed.

Workers from the Gooshte Fars factory also protested their situation in March and April 2010.

Several Hundred Protesters Gather in Tabriz for May Day

Several hundred workers in Tabriz gathered in front of the Labour Department to celebrate International Worker’s Day

Based on reports recieved by Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI), several hundred workers and citizens gathered in front of the Labour Department on Khomeini Street in Tabriz and protested against massive expulsions, unemployment, and poverty.

The protests began at 11:00am (Tehran time) and hundreds of people continue to protest [as evening approaches]. The gatherings have taken place despite the vast presence of oppressive forces.

Eyewitnesses have reported over 40 cars belonging to regime agents stationed at the scene of protest. Also, a large number of baton-wielding motorcyclists are patrolling the streets. Plainclothes forces from the Ministry of Intelligence and the Revolutionary Guards are present in strong numbers as well.


Heavy security presence in Tehran and other major cities

According to eye witness reports, there were heavy security presence in Tehran and some other major cities of the country on International Worker’s Day.

Kaleme website reports on the large security and plain cities militia presence in the central areas of the Tehran and near Ministry of Labour and Social Welfare Organization.

Based on this report there have been gatherings and heavy security presence in other major cities of Iran including, Tabriz, Shiraz and Qazvin; in these gatherings workers by holding signs in their hands stressed that layoffs will bring the workers “Black fate” and some other signs read: “Worker, congratulation on your Unemployment Day” and “We will not give up until we gain our rights”.

There have also been some unconfirmed reports of clashes between protesters and security forces.

International Worker’s Day celebration in Saqez, Kurdistan

On may 1, 2010, at approximately 5:30am, a large number of workers moved toward Jaghal Mountain, a leisure hanging place for the citizens of Saqez (a city in the province of Kurdistan).

Around 8:00am, a large number of people also gathered at the mountain to celebrate International Worker’s Day.

First a moment of silence was held for those killed for the freedom of the working class. After, everyone stood up and a poem was read to break the silence.

Activist Mahmood Salehi addressed the crowd for Worker’s Day. An article was read by another activist, followed by a poem titled, “I am a worker.”

A student present at the gathering also gave a speech.

At the end, a nationwide resolution was read and then the people, in an organized manner, returned back to the city.

Coordinating Committee for the Formation of Worker’s Organizations


Sources: HRANA , Kalameh , Human Rights and Democracy Activists in Iran (HRDAI) , Street Journalist

Translations by persian2english.com












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