The Rebellion Reborn From the Ashes- Ghader Anari
A rebellion started this week following a price hike in gasoline in Iran. The protests, which first began in the southern province of Khuzestan, have spread to almost all the states and cities of the country. Gasoline sales prices up to tripled caused the masses poured into the street. But as soon as the protests began, the slogans went beyond the anger against the gasoline hike and target the regime. In an interview he gave two days before the protests began, the Minister of Petroleum, replied the question that how much would the government raise the price of oil as ‘ up to the level that the people keep its silence’. Nevertheless, two days after this statement, Iranian people poured into streets and proved that they will raise its voice.
The Price Hike and the Inflation
With the new petrol hike, drivers are entitled to 15,000 rials (US $ 0.13) per liter for the first 60 liters each month. The price for each liter after 60 liters will be 30 thousand rial (0.26 US dollars). Before the hike, drivers had the right to buy 250 liters of gasoline from 10 thousand rials per liter. It is also known that the hike to gasoline is the beginning of a new wave of price hikes in all basic goods that means a general increase in inflation. The main reason behind the rebellion sparked by the price high is that Iran has already been experiencing a high inflation for a long time.
12 banks in the city of Behbahan, 15 banks in the city of Karaj, the National Bank of Iran and many private banks in many places were set on fire by the protestors. Cars cut the highways. The traffic was stopped by pouring sand onto the roads.
These radical mobilizations of the masses, who poured into the streets, motivated by the anger against intense exploitation, oppression and the economic crisis hit the country.
.Although the regime conceals the number of those who lost killed in the protests, it has been reported that at least 15 people have been killed so far. This shows a contrast with the 2017-18 protest wave, the regime has been more aggressive this time.
The protests attracted all sub-classes in urban centers. Workers, artisans and the Bazaar (Tehran), students and large sectors laborers take part in the protests.
Despite the current harsh weather conditions in Iran, despite the cold weather and snow, people take the streets for long hours and do not turn back to home.
Rebellion Targeting the Regime
In December 2017, the “bread and freedom rebellion” took place in Iran, in almost all cities. After weeks of protests, the masses had to withdraw, but in many places, there were ongoing aftershocks and social movements. Now, with the experience of recent years, the working people of Iran were born from the ashes and poured into the streets again. This time, both the protests are more massive and the resistance capacity is higher.
Unlike the 2017 protests, the masses, instead of retreating against the police and the military, attack the institutions that are identified with the regime of oppression and the regime of exploitation such as the police station and the bank.It is important for the Iranian people ,who are struggling with poverty, economic crisis, inflation and unemployment to take a political attitude towards the regime. The decades-old Mullah regime is based on exploitation and repression. In recent years, economic problems have increased with the impact of the crisis. And the gasoline hike was the last straw.
With its members live in luxury, with the huge income gap and inequality it created, the rotten regime paved the way for massive political break Iranian people. In Iran, where there will be no change without targeting the Mullah’s system, the realization of this political break was an important move forward.
Compare to the 2017-18 protests, the massiveness and radicalism of current protests show that the struggle of the working class against the regime is progressing.
An Untied Knot: Unorganized Masses
The biggest deficiency of social struggle in Iran is the absence of an organized alternative. Although the socialist left is weak and scattered, various movements and solidarity movements develop in the workers’ movement. It is hard to say that a unity is formed.
Similarly, the liberal, shahist or Islamist opposition wings also do not have organized forces in the country. Moreover, the opposition of these groups are in favor of an imperialist interventions, etc. than a radical mass movement. In this case, it would be right to say that the left, which is the only political force that can lead the mass movement in Iran, has insufficient physical capacity.
For this reason, an organized alternative must be developed in the struggle for the masses to gain a victory. This task is difficult, but it will not be possible without effort.
The International Protest Wave
In recent months, social explosions and rebellions have been developing around the world from France to Chile, from Iraq to Lebanon. This process is not independent of the global crisis of the capitalist system. All over the world, the economic crisis, unemployment, poverty, futurelessness cause such mass explosions.
The rebellion in Iran must be understood as an accumulation of the anger, which caused two protest waves before, and as a part of the international social movements.
The ongoing economic crisis in Iran is due both to the sanctions imposed by the USA and the structural economic crisis hit the world in general. In other words, the developments in Iran cannot be read independently of the crisis of the international imperialist capitalist system.
The causes and development of social outbursts and their weaknesses are similar everywhere. The masses that took to the streets in Iraq, Lebanon, Chile, France and finally Iran have difficulties in achieving victory because they lack of an organized vanguard.
In the face of these international developments, our struggle must be internationalist too. Now is the time to organize an international struggle while the protests are shaking the world!