UNITE ‘s Equality Conference debates important emergency motion on support for popular protests in Iran

CODIR congratulates Unite the Union on the successful holding of its National Equalities Conferences, which took place from Monday 24 October to Wednesday 26 October in Bournemouth. We were especially delighted to note the adoption of the following emergency motion at the Unite National Women’s Conference, submitted by the London & Eastern region branch, titled “Women, Life, Freedom” on the popular protests which continue to rage in Iran one-and-a-half months after the killing of Mahsa Amini in the custody of the so-called “Morality Police”. Despite the brutal violence once again unleashed by the theocratic dictatorship’s repressive apparatus, the courageous protests led by the women and girls of Iran continue in earnest.

We applaud and welcome this considered and timely motion of solidarity with the Iranian protesters from London & Eastern region and its adoption by the Unite National Women’s Conference.

We call upon all trade unions to consider debating solidarity with the Iranian people, the protesters, and their advocates in Iran’s independent trade union movement!

Emergency Motion – Unite Women’s Conference

Women, Life, Freedom

This Conference notes:

  1. The latest uprisings in Iran which began in protest against the murder of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Jina Amini on 16 September, while in the custody of the Islamic Republic of Iran’s so-called “Morality Police” for allegedly wearing “inappropriate attire”.
  2. Her name has become the symbol and “codeword” of a countrywide uprising against the theocratic dictatorship that has brutally suppressed the freedoms, democratic self-determination, and flourishing of Iranians for many decades.
  3. Their demands for basic human rights, dignity, and justice have been met with a brutal crackdown by the authorities.
  4. Students’ peaceful protests and civil disobedience in universities and schools have been faced down with violence, killings, abductions, and disappearances. University campuses have been forcibly attacked and occupied by the regime’s security forces.
  5. Workers in the oil and gas sector have gone on strike in support of “the people’s struggles against organised and everyday violence against women and against the poverty and hell that dominates society.” This has taken place in the wake of an acute increase in labour protests in response to declining living standards as the depredations of crony capitalism and inhumane Western sanctions are increasingly felt across society at large.

This Conference believes:

  1. The uprising in Iran is fuelled by a deeper sense of political disenfranchisement, repression, socio-economic deprivation, and systematic discrimination against ethnic minorities, such as the Kurds.
  2. Neoliberal reforms, systemic corruption, privatisation, precarious labour and unemployment have created frustration, and comprehensive and crippling economic sanctions imposed by Western powers have exacerbated and worsened conditions for ordinary Iranians, fuelling inflation, unemployment and shortages of medicine.
  3. Iranian women have played a leading role in rejecting state interference and encroachment upon their social and private lives; the slogan of the movement “Women, Life, Freedom” is a popular chant demanding a better life for all, free from inequality, poverty and political/cultural repression and violence.

This Conference calls on the National Women’s Committee and Unite to resolve:

  1. To stand in solidarity with the millions of brave and courageous protesters who have taken to the streets chanting “Women, Life, Freedom” and calls on trades unionists around the world to join us in condemning the actions of the Islamic Republic of Iran
  2. To work with other unions to build awareness and solidarity and work with all those fighting to protect and advance human and workers’ rights in Iran.
  3. To work with the wider labour movement, both nationally and internationally

in  networks to  support Iranian protesters and dissidents including women who have come to harm or face intimidation and threats at the hands of the Islamic Republic

  • To support a labour movement campaign of solidarity with the movement in Iran for justice and human rights
  • To continue to support the Kurdish women’s movement that not only calls for human rights and equality in Iran, Iraq, Syria and Turkey but also offers an alternate political system that puts women front and centre.

The struggle of the Iranian protestors is our struggle!

                                                                                                 London & Eastern

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