Solidarity with Iran
We have good news and bad news from Iran.
The good news first: several of the activists from the bus workers' union who had been arrested in recent days have been released from jail. These included Seyyed Davoud Razavi and Abdolreza Taraazi, members of the union's Executive Board, and Gholamreza Gholam-Hosseini.
Now the bad news: the union leader, Mansour Osanloo, who was arrested on 19 November, is still locked up.
Oslanloo is the focus of a huge international campaign involving global union federations, national unions, the newly-formed International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC), and, of course, LabourStart.
Our own online campaign has already generated over 4,500 messages of protest which have been sent to the Iranian government. 1,300 of those messages have come from the USA, 839 from Canada, 638 each from the U.K. and Australia, 226 from Norway, 106 each from Ireland and New Zealand, 57 from Sweden, 56 from Germany, and 39 from the Netherlands. Surely we can do better than that.
Over 40,000 of you who are reading this message have not yet sent out a message. I'm not talking to the wider world out there, the millions of trade unionists who may not know about this case. I'm talking to you -- to the 40,000 who have gotten these emails and have not yet taken the time to respond.
Please do not ignore this appeal.
We know that these campaigns work. We know that the more messages sent from around the world, the greater the likelihood that our brother, Mansour Osanloo, will be released.
Right now, the Iranian government is feeling the pressure. They have released three activists in the last few days.
And as you may have heard, on Sunday, hundreds of Iranian students risked their lives to shout out messages of protest at a speech given by President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. Imagine the courage it takes to shout out "Death to the dictator!" in the face of a real dictator.
Imagine the courage being shown by Mansour Osanloo and family as they try to cope with brutal police repression.
It doesn't take courage for us to send off messages -- in fact, all it takes is about 30 seconds of your time.
Our campaign is now working in an unprecedented six languages -- English, French, Spanish, German, Norwegian and Polish. We know that you understand at least one of these languages.
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Please pass on this message -- spread the word. Workers rights are human rights!