From the outside, it may seem that the movement in Iran is slowly becoming quieter. But we must not be deceived: just because mass protests no longer take place every day does not mean that it is over. On the contrary, people are increasingly aware that other, organized forms of protest are needed to achieve the same goal with fewer casualties: the fall of the regime and a life in freedom.
New forms of action have developed that did not exist like that in the last waves of protest in 2017/18 and 2019. Revolutionary performances, as well as writing political messages on house walls, in buses or classrooms have become important means of expression of everyday protest. It is mainly women, students and youth who use every second of their lives to rebel against the regime.
The Kurdish tradition of using the 40th day after the death of martyrs as a militant moment with revolutionary speeches is gaining more and more importance also beyond Kurdistan. In recent days, for example, people not only gathered in numerous Kurdish cemeteries to commemorate those killed in mid-November, but there was also a powerful protest march in Isfahan in central Iran in memory of Ali Abbasi.
People have also learned from past waves of protests how important it is to publish the names of their arrested and tortured relatives and comrades. The high level of attention provides them with more security and enables to help each other. Especially in Baluchistan, where for decades prisoners where murdered anonymously without anyone ever hearing their names, this development makes a vital difference.
Most importantly, the movement is in a phase of organizing. New local committees and organizations are emerging daily, and with their analyses and declarations they are increasingly becoming the backbone of the revolution and also elaborating perspectives for a classless society. In addition to women, the role of youth, students and teachers’ unions is particularly noteworthy.
The revolutionary spirit has taken root too deeply in minds and hearts to be extinguished so quickly. It is only a matter of time before the organized masses take back the streets.
At the same time, Iran is experiencing a profound economic crisis. Prices for food, housing and everyday necessities have doubled to tripled in recent weeks. The toman (local currency) is falling in value against the dollar so rapidly that there are days when exchange offices have to close because they cannot keep up with the hourly drop in value. This crisis has its origins not only in the economy, the constant sanctions and corruption, but can be traced back to Islamic politics itself – that means, a simple change of government will not change anything. Both among the people and in government circles, the expectation is that the economic situation will hardly improve in the next few years.
As always, it is of course the workers and the poor who are the worst affected by the consequences of the crisis. This, along with the increasing organization in workplaces, gives hope for a well-organized strike movement that will bring the class question more to the forefront in the protest movement and unite it with the women’s, youth and minority question.
Keep listening to what people on the ground are saying, find out about local committees and support them as you can. Don’t forget the prisoners! Even though executions have decreased in recent days, the list of those sentenced to death is still very long.
Continue your struggles where you live and intensify them, this is the best support for any revolution.
Long live international solidarity!
Long live the feminist revolution!
Jin Jian Azadi
Committee Mahabad International, 30.12.2022