The Workers' Advocate


Volume 11, Number 10


August 25, 1981

Fight Reagan's strikebreaking offensive against the working class!

Support the Striking Air Controllers!

Reagan's criminal provocation against Libya

Down with U.S. Imperialist Gunboat Diplomacy!

From the Iranian people's insurrection which overthrew the Shah to the IRP coup


Condemn the Khomeini-IRP Coup d' Etat! -- Support the Iranian People's Revolution!

Solidarity with the Iranian Students in the U.S.

Fight Reagan's strikebreaking offensive against the working class!

Support the Striking Air Controllers!

On August 3, over 13,000 air traffic controllers launched a nationwide strike against the Federal Aviation Administration. They are fighting against the government's merciless productivity campaign which drives nine out of ten controllers to a premature retirement for health reasons.

The Reagan administration came down with its mailed fist against the striking controllers. Reagan has carried out a series of ferocious strikebreaking measures, including the firing of all the strikers. Besides seeking to break the controllers' strike, Reagan also aims to crush the resistance of all the public sector workers who are being warned not to break the no-strike laws or else they will be crushed by the "full force'' of the state. But these no-strike laws are unjust laws intended to turn the workers into docile slaves. The controllers are completely correct in defying such reactionary capitalist "law and order.''

Reagan's attacks have not broken the spirit of the strikers. The strikers have made a powerful demonstration of unity and determination to carry their struggle through. This strike is already hurting the airline industry badly. Hence, if the controllers persist in their fighting stand, they have a good chance of winning.

The stand of the controllers against Reagan's strikebreaking is a just and courageous struggle, of significance to the whole working class. With his draconic measures, Reagan is thus proclaiming that his administration will follow a ferocious strikebreaking policy towards all the workers. The workers everywhere should give their support to the controllers.

The Demands of the Controllers Are Just

The main issues that the controllers are fighting on revolve around job stress and speedup. Air traffic control is a very stressful job, which takes a heavy toll on the workers' health. The FA A itself admits that, for instance, between 1976 and 1979, almost 90% of those who retired had to retire early for medical reasons. Moreover, besides the ordinary pressures of the job, the controllers have had to handle greater workloads over the years. Over the last decade, the number of controllers has only increased 13.4% while total aircraft operations have more than doubled. The workers are demanding relief from these harsh conditions. Indeed, many of the things they are demanding have long been achieved by the controllers in other countries.

The main demands of the controllers are for a shorter workweek and earlier retirement. Currently they work at least a 40 hour week; they are demanding 32. Shortening the workweek would greatly alleviate the effects of the stress of the job. At present they have to work 25 years to collect full retirement benefits. But as pointed out above, most do not make it to full retirement. Hence the controllers are demanding retirement after 20 years. As well, the controllers are also demanding increased pay to make up for skyrocketing inflation. Currently the controllers make $33,000 on the average, which is similar to other higher-paid skilled workers. Nevertheless, the controllers have repeatedly pointed out that it is not wages but relief from job stress which is their main concern.

These demands of the controllers are not new. They have been fighting for them for more than a decade. They have also been fighting for better equipment to improve the safety of air traffic. In 1969, they organized into the Professional Air Traffic Controllers Organization (PATCO). The same year 500 of them staged a two day sick-out. In 1970, 2,319 of them staged a two week sickout. By 1975, the overwhelming majority of the controllers had opted to join PATCO. (The federal government is an open shop employer which means not all workers have to join.) Throughout the 1970's various job actions were taken to press their demands. But the government has consistently refused to meet the needs of the workers.

In March 1981 their last contract expired. While negotiations were going on, the controllers overwhelmingly approved a strike. On June 22, just as a strike was to begin, the FAA and PATCO negotiators reached an agreement. This contract was recommended by the top leaders of PATCO but rejected by 95.3% of the PATCO members since it did not meet any of their serious concerns.

Faced with the complete obstinacy of the government, the controllers opted to go on strike. More than, a decade of experience had convinced them that a real effort to improve their conditions would require a powerful strike in defiance of the no-strike law of the government.

Reagan's Fascist Strikebreaking Against the Workers

When the controllers prepared to go on strike, Reagan and his henchmen repeatedly threatened to bring down "the full force of the Justice Department." And indeed, Reagan has unleashed a ferocious assault on the controllers.

Dozens of court injunctions have been obtained against the strike all across the country and several controllers were thrown into jail. Others have been indicted. The government is treating the workers who are fighting to improve their conditions as though they were criminals. The union's funds have been frozen and more than $4 million in fines have been levied on PATCO and on individual controllers. In addition, Reagan made an ultimatum for the workers to either return to work in 48 hours or be fired. Only a small handful responded, so the FAA went ahead and fired all the strikers. The government has also proceeded to decertify PATCO in an effort to smash the controllers' union.

Moreover, as part of his massive strikebreaking effort, Reagan has tried to keep air traffic going by using thousands of military controllers, supervisors and a handful of scabs. By using the military personnel Reagan has once again exposed that the purpose of the U.S. imperialist armed forces is not just to wage reactionary wars abroad but also to suppress the struggles of the working class and people at home. As well, by using these untrained and inexperienced personnel, the government is showing its reckless disregard for the safety of thousands of people who are being placed in jeopardy in order to crush the controllers.

In addition to breaking the controllers' strike, the attacks on the controllers are also aimed at crushing the resistance among all the public sector workers. One out of every six workers is employed by the governments at all levels. Over the last decade the public sector workers have been increasingly active as they have been saddled with the burden of the governmental fiscal crisis through layoffs, wage cuts and productivity drives. Not only at the federal level but also in most states, the law prohibits them from striking. Nevertheless, these workers have increasingly organized strikes in defiance of these reactionary anti-worker laws. Reagan's attacks on the controllers are meant to set an example for the government at all levels to follow in ruthlessly crushing the struggles of the public sector workers.

At this time, Reagan is using his ferocious measures against the controllers to stifle all discontent among the federal workers and especially to bludgeon the postal workers into accepting the rotten contract worked out recently between the Postal Service and the sellout postal union leaders. Already, many mayors and state officials are indicating their intentions of following Reagan's lead.

In sum, Reagan's assault is a strikebreaking policy aimed at all the workers, with wide implications for the entire working class movement. The Reagan administration's fascist measures have completely exposed the cynical lie of his demagogy about ''getting the government off the backs of the people." In fact, the real Reaganite program is to step up the repression of the working class and popular movements with the most draconic measures. Thus the repression against the controllers has been properly denounced by the workers as ''fascist tactics."

Reagan's fascist repression is supported by the entire capitalist class and both its major parties, the Republicans and Democrats alike. Indeed, it was the Democratic Carter administration which laid the groundwork for Reagan's current actions. The repressive plan which is being implemented against the controllers was worked out by the Carter administration 18 months ago. Moreover, the FAA, in its firing of the controllers, is using a provision of Carter's 1978 Civil Service Reform Act which allows the government to nullify the requirement of giving a federal worker 30 days notice before firing in case "there is reasonable cause to believe the employee has committed a crime for which a sentence of imprisonment may be imposed."

Indeed the Democratic Party politicians have applauded Reagan's vicious strikebreaking. For instance, Detroit Mayor Coleman Young, one of the bigwigs of the Democratic Party, recently came forward to hail Reagan. He said, "I hate to see the president come out a hero, but on this one I think he's right. If he's right, he's right." Of course, Coleman Young is in his own right a strikebreaker par excellence. Under massive threats, he has just saddled the Detroit city workers with a wage freeze and layoffs.

The AFL-CIO Leaders Stab the Strikers in the Back

The offensive of the Reagan administration against the striking controllers has also been joined in by the trade union bureaucrats of the AFL-CIO. But instead of openly shrieking against the controllers, the labor bigwigs are stabbing the controllers in the back under hypocritical words of "support." In fact they are in full agreement with Reagan that the laws of the capitalists must be obeyed, the interests of the workers be damned!

The AFL-CIO Executive Council provided a fine example of this abject capitulation before Reagan. Meeting right at the time of Reagan's attacks, the labor bigshots all declared that these attacks were harsh and unjust; they all declared that labor faced its greatest trial in over 30 years; they all declared that this was a life and death struggle facing the labor movement -- and they all did absolutely nothing to support the controllers and oppose Reagan. They refused to organize anything and made a few lying and hypocritical statements of "support." In fact, the hypocrisy of this "support" was shown by the comments of Doug Fraser of the UAW who has recently joined the AFL-CIO Council. Fraser told the press immediately after their meeting that the real feeling of the Council was that the strike "could do massive damage to the labor movement." To be sure, it is the strikebreaking of the AFL- CIO Executive Council that is doing "massive damage to the labor movement."

Especially significant is the stand taken by the allegedly "militant" and even "socialist" labor bureaucrats, the "great" anti-Reagan warriors, Winpisinger of the IAM (machinists union) and Fraser.

Arch-scab Fraser is advising Reagan on how to get the workers back to work on their knees. He chided Reagan for being "stupid," and from his long experience in breaking wildcat strikes, offers the advice to Reagan that, "I can tell you there's no way you're going to get those people back to work in short order. It reminds me very much of a wildcat strike. You've got to let it simmer for a while, and if the president hadn't laid down the deadline, maybe in five or six days you could have started dealing with it." What a bootlicker and traitor! Instead of supporting the controllers and strengthening their struggle, Fraser lends advice to Reagan as to how to cool out the workers and defeat their strike.

Meanwhile, Winpisinger as the head of the IAM is in a strong position to give support to the controllers since 90,000 airline mechanics are in the IAM. But would Winpisinger call on the mechanics to respect the controllers' strike and lend a powerful assistance by shutting the airports down? No, Wimpy declared that he couldn't "put our guys' heads on the line." In other words, because Reagan will shake his finger, Wimpy advises the workers to sit on their hands.

Support the Controllers' Strike!

In spite of the treachery of the AFL- CIO labor traitors, the controllers' stand against Reagan's strikebreaking has won them respect of wide sections of the workers. Their picket lines have been joined by many workers and in many cities hundreds have come out to rallies and demonstrations in solidarity with the strikers. Moreover, the U.S. controllers have also received support from controllers in many other countries.

The controllers are standing solidly against Reagan's attacks. Their strike has had a big impact on the airline industry. A large part of airline traffic has been shut down, at least 25% of commercial airlines even by the government's minimized estimates. Besides, the planes that are flying are carrying much fewer passengers. The airline capitalists are losing at least $35 million in revenues and $10 million in profits daily, and other related businesses are also losing millions. Reagan is talking big about revamping the traffic control system without the striking controllers, but this would take years to do and be extremely costly to the airline industry. In fact, he has already called for drastic curtailment of air traffic to continue at least until April next year. Thus, as long as the controllers stick to their firm stand, there is a good chance they will come out victorious.

Reagan is trying set an example to all the workers by trying to break the controllers' strike. Thus, this strike is of significance to all the workers. Let all workers rally to the support of the striking air traffic controllers!

[Photo: Air controllers and supporters at Kennedy Airport, New York City, August 15.]

[Back to Top]

Reagan's criminal provocation against Libya

Down with U.S. Imperialist Gunboat Diplomacy!

On Wednesday, August 19, U.S. Navy fighter planes shot down two Libyan patrol aircraft off the Libyan coast in the Gulf of Sidra. This incident was a typical example of U.S. imperialist "gunboat diplomacy,'' of provocation and aggression. The military clash over the Gulf of Sidra was a direct result of the U.S. aggressive and warmongering policy, a policy which is fraught with the danger of further aggression and war.

The shooting down of the Libyan planes was clearly part of a massive military provocation on the part of the U.S. imperialists. From August 17 to 19, the U.S. 6th Fleet involving two nuclear aircraft carriers and a massive array of other ships and aircraft carried out military maneuvers off the Libyan coast including inside the Gulf of Sidra. These maneuvers were carried out despite the repeated and strong protests of the Libyan government which holds that the Gulf of Sidra is an integral part of Libya's territorial waters. In fact Reagan and his admirals ordered the 6th Fleet into the Gulf of Sidra in the first place with the explicit and declared purpose of flouting Libya's long-held claim to sovereignty over the Gulf. Moreover Reagan knew full well beforehand that such a provocative confrontation carried with it the possibility of a military clash. Thus, no matter which side may have fired the first shot, it is self-evident that it was Reagan who deliberately ordered a premeditated provocation against Libya.

In an attempt to whitewash this clear-cut act of U.S. aggression, the imperialist news media has created a great deal of confusion about Libya's territorial claims. At first, for example, the Associated Press and other news agencies reported that Libya claimed territorial waters extending 200 or even more miles from its coast. In reality, however, Libya claims the same 12 mile limit that many other countries claim. As well, also like many other countries, Libya claims a gulf which extends into its territory, the Gulf of Sidra, as part of its territorial waters. Nevertheless U.S. imperialism and the West European imperialist powers along with Soviet social-imperialism reject Libya's just claim to sovereignty over the Gulf of Sidra. This is because these big aggressive naval powers demand the "freedom'' for their warships to prowl at will in others' waters and the "rights'' to carry out provocations and threats against the peoples.

The other objectives of the U.S. provocation in the Gulf of Sidra are also self- evident. U.S. imperialism has a number of contradictions with the Libyan government. The State Department and the Pentagon consider Libyan policy to be an obstacle to U.S. interests, that is to the interests of the U.S. imperialist billionaires in plundering and subjugating. the oil rich Middle East. Hence the Reagan administration has often boasted about its intentions to eliminate this thorn in its side through whatever means. For example, Secretary of State Alexander Haig, speaking of Libyan President Moammar Khadafy, recently declared that: "We're going to fix that little man.'' And top Reagan officials have deliberately leaked to the press the administration's objectives of "fixing,'' that is "destabilizing'' or overthrowing the Libyan government.

Reagan and his fellow jackals are making no secret of the fact that they moved the 6th Fleet into the Gulf of Sidra to make a show of U.S. imperialist "muscle," to "bloody Khadafy's nose" and twist the arm of the Libyan government. In other words, the Gulf of Sidra incident was yet another display of U.S. imperialism's aggressive "gunboat diplomacy." Interestingly enough, the 6th Fleet exercises took place at the same time as large-scale Egyptian troop maneuvers ordered by the pro-U.S. lackey regime of Anwar Sadat on Libya's eastern frontier.

Aboard the aircraft carrier Constellation, war dog Reagan bragged about the U.S. provocation against Libya as "impressive to the enemies of freedom in the world." But what is so "impressive" about this incident is that it brings home the fact that U.S. imperialism is still striving to be the world policeman. By way of nuclear aircraft carriers and sidewinder missiles, through the CIA and other means, U.S. imperialism continues to carry out aggression, continues to try to make and break governments and impose its will on the peoples all over the globe.

What the incident over the Gulf of Sidra shows is that U.S. imperialism has not changed a bit since it concocted the notorious Tonkin Gulf incident which paved the way for the massive escalation of the U.S. genocidal war against the people of Viet Nam. Carter's military raid and the other bloodstained crimes against the Iranian people, the stepwise escalation of U.S. military intervention in El Salvador and Central America and now Reagan's deliberate provocation against Libya all demonstrate that U.S. imperialism remains hellbent on a dangerous policy of imperialist aggression and war.

The Workers' Advocate firmly condemns Reagan's criminal provocation against Libya. We hold that it is the revolutionary struggles of the people -- from the revolutions in El Salvador and Iran to the revolutionary mass struggle of the American working class and people -- that are the number one obstacle to U.S. imperialism's plans for further aggression and war. As the Gulf of Sidra incident clearly underscores there is a great necessity to step up the fight against U.S. imperialism!

[Back to Top]

From the Iranian people's insurrection which overthrew the Shah to the IRP coup

The Iranian revolution which toppled the Shah in January-February 1979 was a great people's revolution. It had a tremendous effect in invigorating the world situation. It inspired the oppressed masses the world over that, through revolutionary struggle, they could bring down such a tyrannical regime as that of the Shah, which had been backed to the hilt by U.S. imperialism. It was a big blow to U.S. imperialism.

This was no palace putsch. On the contrary, the masses in their millions took part in the powerful storms of struggle which brought down the Shah's dictatorship. The Iranian proletariat played a special role in this upsurge. The big strikes of the oil workers and the strikes and demonstrations of the workers throughout the country played a major role in forcing the surrender of the Shah.

The revolution also spurred a great movement among the peasantry. The peasants sought an end to the barbarous exploitation by the big landowners and improvement of their utterly impoverished conditions. In short, they sought a thoroughgoing agrarian reform. As well, Iran had long been a virtual prison of nationalities and hence, with the revolution, the Kurdish and other oppressed nationalities demanded an end to the vicious national oppression that they had long suffered.

The Iranian revolution brought into motion the broadest sections of the popular masses -- the workers, peasants, oppressed nationalities, women and youth. These sections hoped that the revolution would go on from the overthrow of the Shah to the complete smashing of his despotic apparatus, freedom from imperialism, the establishment of democratic rights, equality for the nationalities and women, and social measures in favor of the toiling masses.

But besides the broad masses, certain sections of the exploiters also took part in the overthrow of the Shah. During the course of his regime, the Shah was so exposed as a backward, reactionary force that even other anti-popular forces deserted him. Certain sections of the bourgeoisie had formed a liberal opposition to the Shah's regime; in the end, a part of them came out for its overthrow. As well, there were the mullahs (Islamic clergy) who developed contradictions with the Shah. Part of this was due to the fact that the Shah infringed on the financial interests of a large section of the mullahs.

After the overthrow of the Shah, it was inevitable that a struggle would ensue between the different forces. This is a common occurrence during democratic revolutions. Would the masses form a revolutionary-democratic or national-revolutionary government as a step towards carrying the revolution through to the end? Or would the exploiters seize power and use it to halt the movement of the masses, setting up, at best, a bourgeois nationalist regime which is still linked to one degree or another with imperialism, or at worst a despotic pro-imperialist regime? Or would the royalists succeed in undermining the revolution and with the help of foreign imperialism, restore the old regime?

The wake of the overthrow of the Shah brought with it a number of particularities.

First, although the Shah was overthrown by the masses, it was the exploiters of town and country who usurped the power. This was the Khomeini government. This government was compelled to rule by presenting itself as a government of the revolution, although it had no interest in solving any of the problems raised by the revolution. This government had the aim of stopping the revolution halfway, to quell the mass movement, and to come to terms with imperialism, but without restoring the old regime.

Although its purpose was to stop the revolution it was unable to utilize massive force against the people. The masses were armed and active in the wake of the revolution they had carried out. Hence the government ruled by a combination of methods. Though it used a certain amount of force -- especially against the Kurds and the left -- in the main, however, it ruled by gaining the naive trust of the masses. It accomplished this by granting some concessions here and there and by demagogically asserting its "revolutionary" and "anti-imperialist" credentials in order to fool the masses and dull their vigilance. Thus it tried to disarm the masses, dislodge them from the organized strong points they had created, and so forth, all with the perspective of putting an end to the revolutionary situation.

A second peculiarity of the aftermath of the insurrection was that right from the start, the government found itself caught between two fires. On the one hand stood the masses who wanted to carry through the democratic revolution including an agrarian reform and measures in favor of the workers. They waged battles against the capitalists and landowners, and resisted the attempts of the government to take away the positions they had captured through the revolution.

On the other hand, there stood the old reaction which aimed to restore the old regime. These elements carried out assassinations of members of the government and plotted coups d'etat, etc. Behind them stood U.S. imperialism which intervened repeatedly in order to put more pressure on the Iranian people and strangle their revolution. Among the hostile acts carried out by U.S. imperialism were the protection and support of the Shah till his death; support for the old reaction and its plots inside Iran; the economic blockade of Iran; the Carter military raid against Iran in April 1980; and the instigation of the Iraqi aggression. All along, U.S. imperialism has wanted restoration of the "paradise" it lost with the fall of the Shah. But while it has backed up the old reaction, it has also shown its interest many times in coming to an accommodation with the Khomeini regime against the revolution.

Yet another major particularity of the revolution was that the government was riddled with factions representing the different exploiting interests. These factions crystallized into two major groups: the group that eventually formed the IRP, the shock troops of clerical reaction and obscurantism; and the liberals originally around Bazargan but finally grouped around Bani-Sadr.

On the Two Factions of the IRP and Bani-Sadr

The question of the two factions in the Iranian government deserves closer examination. Both these factions vied for the support of the bourgeoisie and exploiters of town and country. Both in fact pursued a similar policy. The Bani-Sadr faction however aimed for a liberal policy. In other words, it disagreed with medievalism and preferred Western capitalist institutions, while the IRP worked to set up a medieval and obscurantist regime.

Both factions accused each other of being conciliatory to imperialism and both were right. It has been presented that the IRP stood firmly against imperialism in foreign policy while being reactionary domestically, and that Bani-Sadr and company were democratic at home but conciliatory abroad. This is not true. The leaders of the IRP have many longstanding connections with imperialism. Ayatollah Beheshti, head of the IRP who was killed recently in the bomb blast that blew up the IRP headquarters, was closely linked to U.S. imperialism as are many other IRP leaders. Moreover, the IRP was just as responsible as the liberals for refusing to break Iran's economic dependency on imperialism.

On the other hand, the Bani-Sadr faction was not only conciliatory to imperialism, but pursued similar policies to the IRP on other questions, too. Far from being democratic at home, Bani-Sadr himself championed the mullahs' attacks against the left in the so-called "cultural revolution" of Khomeini.

In addition, it was the liberals Bazargan and Bani-Sadr who were the point men for stopping the peasant movement. Had the liberals supported an agrarian revolution, had they helped the peasant movement wipe out the relics of feudalism, landlordism and rural oppression, tremendous forces would have been released to push forward the revolution. This would have greatly weakened reaction as a whole. But the IRP relied on the liberals to oppose the peasant movement, and when they had done their job, the IRP kicked aside the liberals like a used-up rag. Similarly, Bani-Sadr, who has recently criticized some of the excesses in fighting the Kurds, was among those who opposed the just demands of the oppressed nationalities and supervised the war against the Kurds.

Furthermore, both factions were responsible for the fact that the government did not suppress the old reaction properly. The government, liberals and mullahs alike, allowed large sections of the Shah's despotic apparatus to remain. It is said that the IRP is stern while the liberals are soft on the old reaction, but this is not true either. The opportunist softness towards the Shah's apparatus is the policy of both factions. At the beginning of the revolution, a number of reactionary butchers and criminal followers of the Shah were executed. But this was only a small number, especially compared to the mass executions being carried out by the government today against the left. Moreover, the IRP's "sternness" was not due to a desire to suppress reaction. On the contrary, the summary procedures and secret trials were due to the fear of the mullahs and exploiters that the Shah's officials would implicate them in the crimes of the Shah. Only those were executed as were necessary to eliminate this danger. That is why bigger trials which would have aroused the masses further against the Shah's crimes were not carried out. And then, after a period, the Khomeini government pardoned the rest of the Shah's butchers, the SAVAK agents, etc.

On the Evolution of the IRP Coup

Despite pursuing a similar policy against the revolution, there were real differences between the IRP and the liberals. Each faction sought to use the other while consolidating its own strength. The mullahs have so far proved to be more successful. They had established their own para-military force, the "Revolutionary Guards" and had also set up their own political party. At the same time, they were craftier than the liberals. While the liberals repeatedly exposed their conciliation to imperialism, the mullahs cunningly used this to their maximum advantage, while pursuing similar policies in a more hidden way, camouflaged with anti-imperialist rhetoric.

As the mullahs consolidated their strength, they moved against the liberals. In November 1979, they removed from the government the Bazargan elements who had compromised themselves by openly flirting with U.S. imperialism. But shortly afterwards, with Bani-Sadr's election as President, he became the standard-bearer for the liberals. The IRP proceeded to move against Bani-Sadr after making what use of him they could. Earlier this year, they proceeded to shut down the newspapers of the liberals, including that of Bani-Sadr. The IRP removed the Bani-Sadr faction from their government positions one after another. Finally, in mid-June, after working out the proper deals with the armed forces, the IRP completely ousted Bani-Sadr from power. Now, having ousted their rivals from power and achieving undivided sway over the government, the IRP felt itself strong enough to unleash its iron fist against the revolution as a whole.

As can be seen, the present coup is in reality the continuation of the policies of the previous government. It is continuing the great damage done to the revolution by the halfway government.

The government could not solve any of the deep economic problems facing the people. The economic situation in Iran remains in disarray. There is massive unemployment, soaring inflation and so forth. True, these conditions have in large extent been caused by imperialist pressure on Iran. But it is equally true that the government cannot solve the economic catastrophe facing Iran because it will not take revolutionary measures against the exploiters and in favor of the working masses. Instead it has allowed the situation to deteriorate day by day.

Having achieved complete control over the government, the IRP will no doubt try to consolidate its power. Whether it will succeed is a big question, for its power is very unstable. There are various possible outcomes. Since the revolution continues to exist in Iran, there is the possibility of the revolution overthrowing the IRP regime. It is also possible that the liberals could come to power. As well, there is still the danger of the old reaction returning to power backed up by imperialism. They remain active, and in particular seek to use the bankruptcy of the Khomeini government in order to seek support inside Iran for a restoration of the old regime. The royalists remain hopeful that,' as the government continues to discredit itself, some section inside Iran, especially inside the armed forces, will support a restoration. Indeed, the very fact that such a prospect still exists is one of the greatest crimes of the Khomeini government against the Iranian revolution.

Support the Iranian Revolution!

The passing away of the halfway government does not signify the end of the revolution but that the revolution has gone into a new phase. It signifies that further advance of the revolution will now have to take the form of sharp clashes with the regime. Indeed, only a new upsurge of the mass revolutionary struggle, clearing away the Khomeini-IRP government, represents the hope for saving the revolution.

However the revolution continues to face a very complex situation. It now faces a situation in which the IRP has consolidated its hold over the government and thrown itself completely against the people. On the other hand, the liberals grouped around Bani-Sadr have been deposed and thrown into the opposition. In fact for several months prior to the coup, as the IRP moved sharply against the liberals, the Bani-Sadr faction began to be more and more openly critical of the IRP's reactionary measures. At first this was limited to the IRP's repression, but it has now extended to other questions. At the same time, proceeding from the fact that he has very little if any organized base among the masses, Bani-Sadr has sought an alliance with the revolutionary forces. Of course this is dictated by his own interest of returning to power.

The similarities between the two factions of the IRP and Bani-Sadr do not mean that the toiling masses cannot make use of the contradictions between them. But whether at present they utilize a temporary alliance with the liberals or not, the masses must maintain their vigilance and preserve their independence. The carrying through of the revolution in the interests of the workers and peasants requires that the toilers must be organized independent of all the exploiters. This is the only guarantee for the future of the revolution. This lesson is strongly underscored by the experience of the February 1979 revolution, when the masses struck jointly with the Khomeini and other forces to overthrow the Shah.

Through all the twists and turns of the Iranian revolution, the Marxist-Leninist Party of the USA has recognized that support for the revolution has meant, above all, support for the toiling masses of Iran. Because we are in the U.S. imperialist heartland, we have considered it one of our foremost duties to oppose U.S. imperialism's hysteria campaigns and every one of its efforts to strangle the Iranian revolution. At the same time, we have repeatedly noted the character of the Khomeini government as one in contradiction to the masses in Iran.

Today at this critical juncture, we condemn the massacre of the revolutionaries by the Khomeini-IRP government and give full support to the Iranian people in their struggle against it. We urge all progressive people to remain steadfast against all the plots and intrigues of U.S. imperialism against the Iranian revolution.

[Back to Top]


The Soviet social-imperialists are an enemy of the Iranian revolution. When the Shah was in power, they were very friendly to his bloody regime. It is well known that since the February 1979 revolution, the Soviet Union has been speculating about partitioning Iran among the imperialist powers. Thus it is not surprising that they are now applauding the IRP's coup and massacre of revolutionaries in Iran. Right after the coup, they sent greetings to the IRP-Khomeini government, and their lackey revisionist parties are going into ecstasy over the IRP.

In Iran, the IRP's reactionary measures have met with the full approval of the pro-Soviet revisionist groups there, the Tudeh Party and the Fedayee (Majority). Reports from Iran speak of these renegade forces working hand in hand with the IRP's gangsters in fingering revolutionary people and handing them over to the executioners.

This is being praised to the skies by the pro-Soviet revisionists in the U.S., namely the "Communist" Party of the USA of Gus Hall. Since the IRP coup in mid-June, the "C"PUSA newspaper, the Daily World, has been writing one nauseating article after another in praise of the IRP. For instance, in its July 7 issue, the Daily World wrote approvingly of the persecution of the revolutionaries in Iran that, "In Iran, supporters of ousted President Abolhassan Bani-Sadr, described incorrectly as 'leftists' in the Western news media, are being hunted down and arrested. The Tudeh (Masses) Party... is not being persecuted, nor are other Iranian progressives." Besides shamelessly flaunting their support for the repression, the "C"PUSA also shows what a bunch of liars they are. By lumping everyone together as "supporters of Bani-Sadr," the Daily World hides the fact that the repression is especially directed at the revolutionary opposition to the IRP regime. Besides, the revolutionaries are not just being arrested, but summarily executed. Even the IRP does not hide that.

The Soviet revisionists support the IRP under the pretext that it is allegedly anti-imperialist. But in fact, it is precisely because the IRP is soft on imperialism and social-imperialism that the Soviet Union wants to work with it to stop the revolution and further its own imperialist ambitions towards Iran.

The counter-revolutionary stand of Soviet revisionism towards the Iranian revolution deserves nothing but contempt from the proletariat and progressive people everywhere.

[Back to Top]

Condemn the Khomeini-IRP Coup d' Etat! -- Support the Iranian People's Revolution!

In mid-June, the Islamic Republican Party (IRP) staged a coup and took complete control of the government in Iran, ousting its rivals grouped around Bani- Sadr. With this coup, the Iranian government, previously divided into two factions both of which sought to cool down and stop the Iranian revolution, now stood united behind the shock troops Of clerical reaction in the IRP. The IRP immediately launched a barbarous rampage against the revolutionary forces. Dozens of revolutionaries began to be summarily executed each day. To date, more than 600 people have been shot to death, including 12-year- old children. Thousands more have been thrown into dungeons. Through such measures, the IRP is attempting to install an iron regime on the people.

But the Iranian revolution is by no means over. On June 20, just as the IRP staged its coup, more than half a million people demonstrated in Tehran against the IRP regime. Thousands of others took to the streets in other parts of the country. These protests were attacked by the so-called Revolutionary Guards, the militia of the IRP regime. Despite the fierce repression, a powerful resistance is gathering force among the downtrodden masses of Iran.

The Iranian revolution aroused millions upon millions of the workers, peasants, women, youth and oppressed nationalities of Iran. Defying death and shedding rivers of blood, they revolted against the Shah's regime which was one of the most barbaric governments of recent times. The power of the aroused masses smashed the monarchy and shook world imperialism which had propped it up. Clearly then, no matter how much it tortures and murders, the IRP regime will not find it easy to subjugate this mighty force.

The IRP coup marks a turning point for the Iranian revolution. For the last two and one-half years, the Iranian government was a government which balanced between the revolution and the deposed reaction. It tried to stop the revolution halfway. Since it came to power on the crest of the revolution and because the masses were aroused and armed, it could not use massive force against the revolutionary masses. Instead, it sought to whittle away at the strength gained by the masses in the revolution by a combination of methods. This included the use of force, albeit in a limited manner, but especially the government ruled through gaining the naive trust of the masses in its anti-imperialist and revolutionary pretensions.

Now with the IRP coup, the government has let loose its unrestrained force against the revolution. It seeks to completely stamp out the revolutionary ferment. Thus the halfway situation has passed away. A dangerous situation has been created for the Iranian revolution, the further development of which will involve direct clashes with the government.

The Workers' Advocate condemns the IRP coup and the present Khomeini- IRP government as a regime of hangmen of the revolution. It denounces the brutal murders of the progressive and revolutionary people of Iran. It denounces the vicious oppression of the Kurdish and other oppressed nationalities. It reaffirms its solidarity with the heroic toiling masses of Iran.

The Workers' Advocate also condemns U.S. imperialism whose hands are stained with the blood of the Iranian people. For decades the U.S. imperialists propped up the bloody regime of the Shah. They are still backing the pro- Shah royalists and protecting the new shah, the late Shah's son. They are behind the Iraqi aggression against Iran. As well, today they are openly expressing hopes of working with the IRP and have seen the coup as a "positive" factor to "stabilize the situation."

All progressive people should rally to the side of the Iranian revolution which is continuing in the face of a difficult situation. The Iranian revolution has been a great historic advance for all progressive mankind. This fact stands, no matter what the outcome of the current situation. The proletariat and progressive people should give full support to the revolutionary masses who are fighting valiantly to carry forward the revolution.

[Photo: Iranian people protest reactionary press censorship law of the halfway government, August 12,1979.]

[Back to Top]

Solidarity with the Iranian Students in the U.S.

Ever since the IRP went on its murderous rampage against the revolutionaries in Iran, the progressive Iranian students in the U.S. and around the world have organized many activities to protest the repression and support the struggle of their brothers and sisters at home. In the U.S., demonstrations have taken place in New York City, Los Angeles, Houston and other cities. These actions have been met with harassment and persecution by the U.S. imperialist authorities.

Over the last few weeks, the U.S. government launched vicious police attacks against the Iranian students, arresting many and threatening to deport them to the IRP's executioners in Iran. For instance, on August 6, 60 Iranian students were arrested in Englewood, New Jersey by the local police in conjunction with federal immigration authorities. This was a completely arbitrary attack on a group of students who were resting in one of their own residences after having completed a six-day hunger strike in front of the United Nations in protest of the murder of revolutionaries in Iran. And the only "crime" for which they were arrested was that in the face of this utterly illegal entry of their residence, the students refused to hand over their names to the police. The students were completely justified in this refusal, since they very well know that their names would find their way to the regime in Iran which has already condemned to death all those who are struggling against it. As well, the lives of their families in Iran would also be placed in jeopardy.

While in jail, the students were subjected to the most vile, racist and jingo-ist abuse, psychological torture and physical beatings. The prison guards repeatedly taunted them that they would be sent back to Iran to be executed. But true to their courageous traditions, the Iranian students refused to bow down to the brutal abuse of the U.S. authorities. Instead of handing over their names, they identified themselves as "militants." They shouted revolutionary slogans, and also launched a hunger strike which they maintained until they were to be released.

In another incident, 24 Iranian students were arrested in Washington, D.C. on August 8 after they took over the Iranian Interests Section in the Algerian embassy there. Two of the students were shot and injured by a representative of the Iranian regime. In both this and the New Jersey-New York incidents, the threat of further imprisonment and deportations continues to hang over their heads.

These episodes are part of the longstanding hostility of U.S. imperialism to the struggle of the Iranian students in the U.S. For many years the Iranian students resident here demonstrated and fought fearlessly against the Shah and the U.S. imperialist oppression of their homeland. They gave their full sympathy and support to the revolution at home. At every step of the way, they have had to fight the attacks of the U.S. government. Their demonstrations, against the Shah were frequently attacked by the police. After the overthrow of the Shah, the U.S. protected the late Shah and gave refuge to every reactionary element while continuing to attack the progressive Iranians. Especially during the period of the occupation of the U.S. embassy in Tehran, Carter launched a massive round of deportations against the Iranian students to completely stifle their sympathy for the revolution.

Today as well, the U.S. government seeks to silence the voice of the Iranian students. This is also a signal to the IRP regime that the U.S. stands ready to work with it against the revolution. But through all the twists and turns, the Iranian students have continued to support the revolutionary struggle at home and have stood up to U.S. imperialism here.

Just as in the past, the courageous stand of the Iranian students finds warm approval from the revolutionary and progressive people in the U.S. The Workers' Advocate condemns the persecution of the Iranian students and calls for support for their struggle.

[Back to Top]