Statement No1 by the First of May Organizing Committee
On the occasion of 1st of May, the International Workers’ Day, and in response to the call by the independent Iranian labour organisations, at 5pm on Friday 1 May, a large group of Iranian workers, labour activists and their families gathered at Laleh Park in Tehran to celebrate the May Day.
The security forces who from days prior to the occasion, had taken measures, such as following the activists and making constant threatening telephone calls, to prevent the gathering, appeared in police uniform on the day, and along with several plain clothes police had taken up positions in the Park, hours before the official celebration.
Security forces based in several key companies and factories had also been brought to the gathering to identify the activists and pass on the information to the mainstream security present in the park. Filming and taking photos of the participants by security police had been carried out extensively throughout the day.
The large number of participants, despite the initial effort to prevent this, angered the police. Immediately after the start of the gathering, and whilst the slogans of “long live workers’ movement” and “Workers, Unite” began to fill the park, the security police embarked on their angry and savage attacks. Many of the participants were hit by police buttons and subjected to electrical shocks. Some were surrounded by police and whilst thrown to the ground as a result of button charges, were hit in a savage manner by several police individuals. Police also used a type of coughing and eye-burning gas to disperse the crowd.
Some of the participants began defending themselves against the waves of attacks and attempts to arrest them.
A large number of workers and activists, some with faces covered in blood, were arrested by the police. After this show of force, the security police began arresting people outside the park in the surrounding streets and alley ways.
In the course of this, more than 150 men and women from various age range, have been arrested and are now in prison.
The 1st of May Organising Committee whilst congratulating the Iranian working class movement for this extraordinary success to hold a common May Day celebration by various labour groups, and identifying it as a turning point in Iran’s workers’ struggle, and whilst announcing the ruling class’s attempt to quell this unified action as a defeat, hereby condemn this inhuman and savage attempt to suppress the gathering and demand for the unconditional freedom of all those arrested in the course of this incident.
(Further News and statements will be duly announced)
Tehran – Laleh Park – 1 May 09
The May Day Organizing Committee
- The Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Vahed Bus Company
- The Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tapeh Sugar Cane Company
- The Free Union of Workers in Iran
- The Founding Committee of the Syndicate of Building 's Painters and Decoration's Workers
- The Center for Workers’ Rights in Iran
- The Collaborative Council of Labour Organizations and Activists
- The Coordinating Committee to Help Form Workers’ Organizations
- The Committee to Pursue the Establishment of Free Workers’ Organizations
- The Women’s Council
- A Group of Worker Activists