Remember Shahrokh Zamani! Iranian workers’ solidarity fundraiser

30Nov15

Around 30 people gathered on November 28 for an evening of poetry and spoken word performances in commemoration of Shahrokh Zamani and in solidarity with all jailed labour activists in Iran. As with the similar fundraising evening on January 10, this event was organised by Janine Boothe and Alliance for Workers’ Liberty (AWL).

28nov2015

The evening started with a brief description of the circumstances of Shahrokh Zamani’s murder by the Iranian state, the reasons behind his death in prison and the general treatment of labour activists in Iran. Morad Shirin of Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network (IWSN) also described how the International Labour Organisation (ILO) is now involved in creating “gutless” trade unions in Iran and why it is important to help workers to push these unions to be more radical and more militant, as well as to emphasise the need to create a Leninist party.

Morad Shirin

Morad Shirin

The first of the evening’s poets was Owen Collins from Oxford who performed a number of poems  including one about a UKIP supporting neighbour.

Owen Collins

Owen Collins

Next was Emily Harrison whose poems included a piece about bipolar disorder.

Emily Harrison

Emily Harrison

Then Grim Chip, as in January, gave us his energetic and physical delivery of poems on the social situation in Britain.

Grim Chip

Grim Chip

More haikus were read by Janine Booth who also performed a number of poems, including one on domestic violence.

Janine Booth

Janine Booth

Morad Shirin followed and spoke about the importance of re-doubling our efforts in mobilising solidarity work for the growing struggles of the Iranian working class. Now that the Iranian regime’s improved relations with imperialism are obvious to everyone, there can no longer be any excuses about workers’ solidarity work weakening the Iranian regime (as happened eight or nine years ago, when talking at a branch meeting of the Communication Workers’ Union (CWU) at Mount Pleasant Mail Centre, which was visible from the window of the venue).

The next poet was Tim Wells, with poems that included a piece about the gentrification of Hoxton.

Tim Wells

Tim Wells

Finally Michelle Madsen read a number of her poems.

Michelle Madsen

Michelle Madsen

The evening was brought to a close when Matt Wells, a British trade unionist, talked of how there will be a re-launched solidarity campaign aiming to organise many events including a picket of the Iranian regime’s embassy in February.

Daniel Randall chaired the event and updated the audience on how the fundraising was progressing.

Iranian Workers’ Solidarity Network
29 November 2015



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