Saturday, August 11, 2007

Iran Arrests More Union Members, As Protests Spread Across the Globe For Mansour Osanloo

Taken from Scoop:

Today's worldwide day of action to free jailed union leader Mansour Osanloo has been answered by arrests and prohibition in Iran. This morning five members of the Executive Board of the bus drivers' union were arrested while state security agents have been positioned at Osanloo's house and are threatening union members who had planned to rally there to request his release.

Osanloo is being held without charge in Tehran's notorious Evin prison as the latest move in a brutal two year government campaign against him and his Tehran bus drivers' union.

Today's action day has been called by the ITF (International Transport Workers' Federation) as the latest tactic in its campaign to defend Osanloo and his fellow bus drivers. It is being supported by the ITUC (International Trade Union Confederation), Amnesty International and unions and union organisations worldwide. Protests have today taken place or are shortly to take place in Algeria, Australia, Austria, Belarus, Belgium, Canada, Egypt, France, Germany, Great Britain, Iran, Indonesia, Finland, Japan, Jordan, Malaysia, Morocco, Nepal, Netherlands, Norway, Pakistan, Palestine, Panama, Romania, Russia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Thailand, Tunisia, Trinidad, the USA and Yemen.

ITF General Secretary David Cockroft commented: "If the Iranian Government wanted to know why workers worldwide are putting them under pressure then they've just supplied the answer. Today's arrests and intimidation show that despite all the reasonable approaches made to them in the last two years, they have locked themselves into a descending course of continued repression."

As union members once more stand up for their rights, those who claim to oppose the Iranian regime are strangely quiet. Strange, eh? I mean, I thought they were genuinely concerned about the Iranian people, not just in it for the opportunism. Ah well, fooled me. But then, of course, when the regime does fall, the right-wingers will claim that the left was quiet while the right went into battle. It's a bit like the fallacy over the Nazis. Some rightists claim that the left appeased Hitler (mmm, Chamberlain was a Conservative PM) and the right were the ones that opposed him. They obviously didn't oppose him enough. I don't remember many rightists joining the International Brigades when the Nazis were indulging in a proxy war in Spain. Facts eh? Confusing things.