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The Role of Resistance Units in Iranian General Strikes

iranians protest in the street
Iranians protest in the street.

Iranian General Strikes Expand

The Iranian general strikes are a series of protests across Iran against the dire economic situation created by the mullahs.

Every week over the past 12 months, some kind of protest or demonstration has taken place in Iran. Most of these have been anti-government protests.

First there were truckers strikes, then steel and sugar refinery workers who had not been paid for their work. Next there were protests by farmers, teachers and students. Almost every Iranian group and community has expressed its discontent with the current political structure.

iranians protest in the street. resistance units support iranian general strikes.
Iranians protest in the street.

2017-18 Protests

In December 2017 Workers at a number of Iranian factories in Iran started their strikes. The strikes have continued, due to unpaid wages, rising inflation, and corruption.

Just two months ago, on 2 November 2018, workers at the Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar Company factory in Shush started their own strikes. Less than two weeks later, on November 15, their strike escalated and protests spilled onto the streets of Shush.

factory workers.
Factory workers

Workers in Ahvaz were also protesting around the same time, and by December 4, they had been demonstrating for 25 straight days. The Iranian authorities eventually took action, as the workers chanted on 17 December. Security forces cracked-down on the protestors, and 51 workers were arrested.

Esmaeil Bakhshi, one of the leaders of the strikes in Shush, was severely tortured during his detention on 29 November 2018. He was transferred to a hospital in Ahvaz.

esmeil bakhshi.
Esmeil Bakhshi

Isfahan and Urmia teachers and educators protested against low salaries and imprisonment of teachers on Dec 29, 2018.

urmia teachers.
Urmia teachers

Ten students died in an accident involving a university bus on December 25. It was reported that the bus was known to be unsafe. University students held three days of protests in the streets of Tehran. The students demanded that those responsible for the deadly bus crash be held accountable.

bus accident crash

2019 Protests

Farmers gathered in Isfahan on 2 January to protest the lack of water in the Zayanderud. Security forces tried to disperse the crowds by firing tear gas and live rounds. Some of the protest slogans used by the farmers include, “Farmers will die but won’t give in to disgrace” and “death to the dictator.” The farmers blame the country’s situation on the regime, which has beensaying the US is at fault. They chanted, “The enemy is right here, [the regime] is lying that it’s the U.S.”

protestors

Resistance Units Help the People

High-ranking Iranian officials show the tension and fear that is plaguing the entire regime due to the ongoing protests across the country. The regime understands they are in trouble as the people are against them, supported by the Iranian opposition.

A statement by Ali Larijani, the Speaker of the Iranian regime’s parliament, who spoke after the Ashura uprising is typical. He said, “Opportunists and anti-revolutionaries want to take advantage of the political turmoil inside the country.” The people and the opposition are clearly having a devastating effect on the mullahs. Larijani said, “The opponents of the revolution are seeking an opportunity to cause damage to the revolution.”

In a parliament session, MP Naser Mousavi Larigani said, “The 2009 sedition pursued the aims of the PMOI/MEK to destroy our system.”

In Shahr-e Kord, Abdollah Ganji, one of the directors of the IRGC-owned Fars News Agency, said, “The PMOI/MEK members are creating content for social media networks.” Ganji also noted that the MEK took a pivotal role in publishing news about labor strikes and protests and in disclosing the details of the lavish lifestyles of Iranian officials and their children abroad. The lavish living conditions of the families of regime officials are in stark contrast to the extreme poverty that has become the everyday reality for millions of Iranians.

Members of Resistance Units across the country erected posters and images of martyrs associated to the Iranian resistance movement.

Members of Resistance Unit in Mashhad, northeast Iran, placed posters of several uprising martyrs with subtitles marking their courage.

Members of Resistance Units in Tehran commemorated the bravery of a number of martyrs. They pledged to continue their work until the mullahs’ regime is overthrown.

A member of a resistance unit visited the gravesite of one such martyr, pledging to continue to bring an end to the regime. The regime has brought nothing but misery for the Iranian people during the past four decades.

A resistance unit member in Kermanshah, western Iran, used graffiti to write, “College students will not accept living in shame.” This resistance unit also sent a message in memory of the ten individuals who lost their lives recently in the Tehran bus accident.

The resistance units are expected to continue supporting the Iranian general strikes.

In a recent article, Dr. Behrouz Puyan, political science expert from Tehran noted:

“With conditions inside Iran and abroad changing dramatically, the PMOI/MEK implemented its new strategy of launching resistance units. Numerous teams, forming a huge network, are now in direct contact with Iranian society.

By organizing and leading the Iranian uprising in an effective manner, resistance units are injecting new life in the society and protesters on the streets.”

Hassan Mahmoudi is a human rights advocate and Social Media journalist seeking democracy for Iran and peace for the region.