Working class opposition erupts in Iran: A harbinger for the world in 2018
4 January 2018
The long-suppressed and brutally exploited Iranian working class has burst onto the scene shaking Iran’s bourgeois-clerical regime.
Since Dec. 28, tens of thousands have defied the Islamic Republic’s repressive apparatus and taken to the streets in cities and towns across the country. They have done so to voice their anger over food price rises, mass unemployment, gaping social inequality, years of sweeping social spending cuts and a pseudo-democratic political system that is rigged on behalf of the ruling elite and utterly impervious to the needs of working people.
The scope and intensity of this movement and its rapid embrace of slogans challenging the government and the entire autocratic political system have stunned Iranian authorities and western observers alike. Yet, it was preceded by months of worker protests against job cuts and plant closures and unpaid wages and benefits.
In the days immediately prior to the eruption of the antigovernment protests, discussion of the ever-deepening divide between Iran’s top 1 and 10 percent and the vast majority who live in poverty and economic insecurity raged on social media. The trigger for this explosion of popular discontent was the government’s latest austerity budget. It will further slash income support for ordinary Iranians, raise gas prices by as much as 50 percent, and curtail development spending, while increasing the already huge sums under the control of the Shia clergy.
Yesterday, after days of an ever-widening mobilization of security forces, mass arrests, and bloody clashes that left at least 21 dead, General Mohammad Ali Jafari, the head of the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps, declared the unrest over: “Today we…