May Day: Student & Labor Activists Unite

May 3, 20100 comments

International Worker’s Day, traditionally held on May 1st globally, typically involves demonstrations and rallies organized by unions and other labor groups. Labor activists in Iran face their own set of social problems. On April 26th, the Network of Labor Association published an open letter to all “Iranian workers, young people, and freedom lovers,” detailing the struggles of labor activists. In it, the network also lists their demands, which includes freedom for all imprisoned labor activists, the right to strike and the right to have a union of one’s own choice,  an end to discrimination against female workers, and an end to the exploitation of child labor. Most interesting in the letter is the below: “The Green Movement partisans should realize that without securing the support of the working class, there can be scant chance of success in their fight for freedom and democracy. The working class movement of Iran with well over one hundred years of militant history is among one of the oldest and, until recently, one of the most influential labor movements in all the third world… Iran’s working class has been unequivocally in the forefront of democratic struggles—a fact that the new generation needs to be fully cognizant of.”

Well, their hope for better movement integration seemed to take shape as demonstrations erupted over the weekend, both on May Day and May 2nd’s Teacher’s Day (Rooz-e Moalem), as both Students & Labor activists united in a show of strength.

Watch the short clip below, reportedly from over this past weekend, showing students and labor activists joined in the chant of “Student and Workers United!”

A second video (reportedly from the same day) continues the new-found student-labor activist dynamic with chants of “WE ARE ONE VOICE.”

And a few more for posterity.