19 independent civil organizations and unions release a common statement of demands in the ongoing and growing protests

19 independent civil organizations and unions release a common statement of demands in the ongoing and growing protests. This statement is s decisive response to the Iranian right-wing opposition who had a meeting at Georgetown University in Washington on February 11th 2023 where they said they would publish their manifesto soon in an attempt to defeat the revolution of the Iranian people with the support of the world capital and in cooperation with some elements within the Islamic regime including former reformists, and orchestrate a change of power from top.

The statement notes that the state is in a crisis that cannot be resolved in the existing political system. The signatories note that the protests against “misogyny, gender discrimination, endless economic insecurity, labor slavery, poverty, misery, class oppressions, as well as national and religious oppression” are furthered by a generation determined to form a “modern, prosperous and free society in Iran.” 

They define the current movement in Iran as a movement that will “permanently end the formation of any power from above,” a “humane social revolution” that will free Iranian people from all oppression.

The declaration gives a list of 12 minimum demands that they call anyone who “value freedom, equality and emancipation” to raise in all sections of society and internationally. 

The demands include the release of all political prisoners and the end to criminalization of political activities, as well as trial of those who oppress the protests. They further demand freedom of speech and protest; abolishment of death penalty, torture and execution; equality among men and women in all levels, protection and recognition of LGBTQIA+ people; end to the religious rule and recognition of religion as “a private matter of individuals”. 

The demands also include workplace protections and increases in salary determined by representations of workers; end to “national and religious discrimination”; formation of local and national councils that will enact political power and the power to dismiss government officials via voting; confiscation of property of officials, persons, government “that have obtained the property and social wealth of the Iranian people through direct looting or government contracts”. The groups also call for an end to environmental destruction and child labor; providing free education and a life “free from economic and social hardship” to all children; and normalization of foreign relations. 

Here is the full text of the statement:


The Manifesto for minimum demands by independent trade unions and civil organizations in Iran

Honourable and Free People of Iran!

On the 44th anniversary of the 1979 Revolution, the economic, political, and social foundations of the country have plunged into a vortex of crisis and disintegration. No clear and achievable perspective can be imagined to end it within the framework of the existing political system. It is for this reason that the oppressed people of Iran, including women and young people who seek freedom and equality, have turned the streets all over the country into the center of a historic and decisive struggle to end the inhumane conditions and despite regime’s bloody repression, they have not rested for a moment since five months ago (16 September 2022).

Today, these fundamental protests, the flag of which has been raised by women, students, teachers, workers, those seeking justice, artists, queers, writers, and all oppressed people of Iran in every part of the country from Kurdistan to Sistan and Baluchistan and has received unprecedented international support, is a protest against misogyny, gender discrimination, endless economic insecurity, labor slavery, poverty, misery, class oppression, as well as national and religious oppression. It is a revolution against any form of religious or non-religious tyranny that has been imposed on the Iranian people throughout the last century.

These radical protests happen in the context of large and modern social movements and the emergence of an invincible generation that is determined to put an end to a century-long history of backwardness and fight for a modern, prosperous and free society in Iran.

After the two great revolutions in Iran’s contemporary history, the leading social movements – including the labor, teachers’, and retirees’ movements, the women’s, students’, and youth’s equality seeking movements, as well as the movement against death penalty – have now gained a historical and decisive position that can impact and shape the political, economic, and social structures of the country from a grassroots level and in mass dimensions.

Thus, this movement aims to permanently end the formation of any power from above and to be the beginning of a modern, humane social revolution that frees people from all forms of oppression, discrimination, exploitation, tyranny, and dictatorship.

We, the unions, civil organizations, and institutions, the signatories of this manifesto, while focusing on uniting and connecting social movements and their struggles against the current inhumane and destructive situation, see the following minimum demands as the first orders and outcomes of Iranian people’s revolutionary protests and also as the foundation for building a new, modern, and humane society in the country. We call upon all those honourable people who believe in freedom, equality, and emancipation, whether they are in factories, at universities or schools or in localities or the world at large, to raise the flag of these demands at the high peak of freedom.

1. The immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners, an end to the criminalization of political, union, and civil activities, and the public trial of those responsible for the repression of mass protests.

2. Unrestricted freedom of opinion, expression and thought, press, political parties, local and national union and mass organizations, gatherings, strikes, rallies, social networks and audio-visual media.

3. The immediate abolishment of all types of death penalty, execution, and retribution, as well as the prohibition of any type of mental and physical torture.

4. Immediate declaration of equal rights of men and women on all political, economic, social, cultural and family levels; unconditional abolition of discriminatory laws and forms against sexual and gender orientations, recognition of the rainbow society of “LGBTQIA+”, decriminalization of all gender orientations and unconditional adherence to women’s rights over their bodies and destiny and preventing patriarchal control.

5. Religion be recognized as a private matter of individuals and should not be involved in the political, economic, social, and cultural decrees and laws of the country.

6. The provision of work safety, job security, and an immediate increase in the salaries of workers, teachers, employees, and all working and retired individuals, with the involvement, intervention, and agreement of their elected representatives of independent and nation-wide organisations.

7. Abolition of any laws and norms that are based on national and religious discrimination and oppression, the establishment of suitable supporting infrastructure for fair and equal distribution of state resources for the development of culture and arts in all regions of the country, and the provision of necessary and equal resources for learning and teaching of all spoken languages in society.

8. Dismantling the organs of repression, limiting the power of the government, direct and permanent engagement of the people in the country’s affairs through local and national councils. Removal of any state or non-state authority by electors at any time should be recognised as the fundamental rights of the electors.

9. Confiscation of the properties of all real or legal persons and all state, quasi-state or private institutions which have plundered directly or through state rents the properties and social wealth of the people of Iran. The confiscated resources should be spent immediately on modernization and renewal of education, pension funds, environment, and the needs of those regions and sections of the people in Iran who have been deprived and enjoyed the least resources during the reign of both regimes of monarchy and Islamic Republic.

10. Ending environmental destruction, implementing fundamental policies to restore the environmental infrastructure that has been destroyed over the past hundred years, and returning to public the ownership of those parts of the environment (such as pastures, beaches, forests, and foothills), which denies the people their rights to access and use them under the guise of privatisation.

11. Prohibition of child labour and the provision of subsistence and education for every child irrespective of the economic and social circumstances of their families, the general provision of welfare through unemployment benefits and substantive social benefits for all people who have reached the legal age to work or are unable to work. Access to free education and healthcare for all people.

12. Normalization of foreign relations at the highest levels with all countries of the world on the basis of fair relations and mutual respect, banning the acquisition of nuclear weapons and striving for world peace.

In our view, the above minimum demands can be realized and implemented immediately, considering the existence of potential and real natural wealth in the country and the existence of an informed and capable people and a generation of young people who aspire to a happy, free and prosperous life.

The demands in this manifesto are the general outline of our beliefs and it goes without saying that as we continue in our struggle and as we gain strengths in our solidarity, we will endeavour to present them in further details.


– Coordinating Council of Trade Union Organizations of Educators in Iran

– Free Union of Workers of Iran

– Union of Student Organisations of United Students

– Centre for the Defence of Human Rights

– Syndicate of Workers of Haft Tappeh Cane Sugar Company 

– Organising Council for the Protests of Contract Workers in the Oil Industry

– House of Educators of Iran (Khafa)

– Voice of Women in Iran

– Independent Voice of Workers in the National Steel Group in Ahvaz

– Centre for Defence of Workers Rights

– Kermanshah Electrical and Metal Workers Union

– Coordinating Committee to Help Establish Workers Organizations

– Union of Retirees

– Council of Retirees in Iran

– Organisation of Progressive Students

– Council of Free-Thinking Secondary Students

– Syndicate of Painters in Alborz Province

– Follow-up Committee for Establishing Workers Organisations in Iran

– Council of Retirees of the Social Security Organization (Basta)


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