International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran: In Solidarity with Kobane

imagesThe vicious forces of the Islamic State (ISIS) have been killing thousands of people in Iraq and Syria in the past few months. In recent weeks, we all have witnessed that the people in the city of Kobane in Syria, have been under heavy and brutal attacks by the ISIS forces. Hundreds of people have been killed, tens of thousands have been forced to flee the area while thousands others have been defending their City despite very limited resources and weaponry. There is widespread fear that a great human tragedy might occur if Kobane falls under ISIS.

 There is mounting evidence that the Turkish regime has been colluding with the ISIS in order to facilitate the defeat of Kobane. The Turkish government has been blocking and persecuting thousands of people who have been willing to volunteer in support of Kobane by crossing the border. The Turkish police and security forces have been attacking protesters across Turkey killing and maiming scores of people.

In recent days we have witnessed that workers and social activists in Turkey, Iraq, Iran and other parts of the world have been standing up widely in solidarity with the people of Kobane and their courageous resistance. Workers, students and progressive political parties and groups across Turkey particularly in Kurdish regions have been launching various actions in support of Kobane. In Turkey, for instance, the Confederation of Public Workers Union (KESK) and its affiliates, have been taking part in demonstrations and strike actions across the country. Actions in the workplaces, universities and on streets are daily occurrences across Turkey despite heavy-handed repression and mass arrests by Erdogan’s security forces. In Iran, independent protests in solidarity with Kobane have been organised by ordinary people and progressive and labour groups from Tehran to Sanandaj and Tabriz and in many other cities. Demonstrators in some cities across Iran were assaulted by the Islamic Republic of Iran’s security forces and a number of people have been arrested. Independent labour groups such as the Free Union of Workers in Iran, members of the Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations in Iran and the Haft Tapeh Sugarcane workers’ Syndicate have been issuing statements in support of Kobane and against ISIS, the Turkish regime and the US-led coalition and their imperialist policies in the Middle East.

 It is important to emphasize that as workers and socialist organizations across the world we have not been as pro-active as we should have been regarding what has been happening in Kobane. It is now becoming increasingly clearer for the working class organizations and progressive forces around the world that Kobane is not just a town among other towns recently sieged by the murderous and deeply reactionary forces of ISIS (even though every ISIS victory is a great step backward and a tragedy in itself). Kobane is one of the three cantons in the predominantly Kurdish areas in northern Syria, on the border with Turkey. For the past two years, people in Kobane, including women and workers, have been engaged in grassroots, self-organizing and collective decision making processes through formation of general assemblies, councils and other community-based tools and avenues. There have been great emphases on women equality and leadership as well as anti-discrimination and equity among people from diverse ethnic and religious backgrounds in Kobane during this period. It is apparent that the progressive and egalitarian social changes in Kobane during the past two years were inspired by socialist and emancipatory ideals while almost the entire region has been under the control of repressive and corrupt regimes and reactionary Islamic forces. Of course, there is no need to romanticize Kobane; we are aware that there have been numerous weaknesses as well as serious critics of the political parties that have been dominant in Kobane during this period; nevertheless, nothing must undermine the fact that the defence of Kobane today is not merely the defence of a geostrategically or geopolitically important area; it is the defence of the ordinary and oppressed people’s aspiration for creating a better society during one of the darkest periods in the history of the region; it is the defence of the hope for creation of a just and egalitarian society, a society in which workers and women and all those oppressed and exploited throughout the years would be able to work collectively towards real social and economic justice and freedoms.

 Within the above context, it has also become increasingly clearer for the workers and ordinary people around the world why the Turkish capitalist regime, the US imperialism and its coalition, and all other capitalist, repressive and corrupt regimes and governing bodies in the region, including Saudi Arabia, Qatar, UAE, Iran, Syria and Iraqi Kurdistan’s bourgeoisnationalist rulers, have no real interests in defending people’s resistance in Kobane. It is precisely the responsibility of the working class and its organizations and all progressive forces around the world to stand up for Kobane and its people’s collective achievements.

 International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI)

October 13, 2014


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