International Women’s Day & May Day: More Than Just Days on the UN Calendar

These are excerpts from notes from Mehran Mahbobi:

International Women’s Day (March 8th) and May Day (May 1st) are not just UN days. They are our days – days of workers and socialists and freedom loving people of the world. And they each have their tradition in Iran to be huge demonstrations since 1979. The regime always had problem with it during the last 31 years each year. Many are right now in prison for those days and many have been executed for participating in demonstrations on these days as well.

Just last year on the May Day before the June 2009 election, ten labour organisations and WPI through its satellite TV program asked for demonstrations in Tehran, and in the first 10 minutes more than 2000 gathered in Park Laleh in Tehran. At the time regime security forces were very tight and arrested more than 170 activists. All of the current unrest could easily have been triggered by that event rather than the election. It did not but the atmosphere was hot and all knew something would happen soon or later; the election became the opportunity for that.

I remind you that in the past three years, the regime security forces were very tight and made several military-type maneuvers in the middle of Tehran by the police forces and basij and Sepah. They were not just for some supposed election a few years later but because the atmosphere was hot among people and they had to do that. And that was so because the leftist demands of people, such as freedom and equality and better life, were up and running through peoples’ each move in society.

I tell you about the March 8 and May Day. They are not just ordinary “UN” days. Not at all. That is not so a bit. The whole society will be joining the march on those days sooner or later. Belive me these two days are the engine of the whole movement. If we are not active on that we are taking an another direction consciously or unconsciously. These two days are so popular in Iran that even those who are politically right-leaning are active in them as well. And we have to be active in it with full force and planned from far earlier.

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