Inhumane Apartheid regime in South Africa which was based on denial of the most basic human rights from Black workers and other black toilers was overthrown about two decades ago due to long term struggles of South African working class and liberated people and the extensive international support of those struggles; however, the exploitive Capitalist system remained secure and intact. In appearance, Apartheid has been overthrown but workers are still being severely exploited and oppressed; they face unemployment and extreme poverty; lose life and limb in work related accidents or preventable diseases, and are murdered by security forces of the Capitalist state.
Since last week, about three thousand mineworkers from the Marikina Platinum Mine near Rustenburg had been on strike for increased wages. The mine is run by Lonmin whose headquarters are in London. Police and the employers had designated Thursday16th August as return to work day, D-day, to break the strike. On that day police attacked thousands of miners that had assembled on a hill top, and after a few warnings began shooting into ranks of striking workers. According to reports, as a result 34 workers have been killed and hundreds are wounded and arrested.
International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran (IASWI) supports the struggles of Marikina Platinum Mine workers, and considers police mass killing of striking workers a criminal act against South African workers and the international working class as a whole. While IASWI expresses its deepest condolences and sympathies with victimized workers and their families, we also urge unity and solidarity of South African working class against Capitalists and their repressive and exploitative world order, the root cause of workers’ deaths and miseries, which occurs in many different shapes and forms.
The labour movement in Iran has been a strong supporter of workers’ and social justice movements in South Africa for many years. During the 1979 Revolution in Iran, before the repressive Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI) took power, which ended in killing of tens of thousands of workers and socialists and progressive people, Iranian oil workers had imposed an embargo against South African Apartheid regime and against the government of Israel in support of Palestinian people’s rights. Unfortunately, our revolution was crushed by the IRI and did not succeed in bringing about social and economic justice for the working class as the official end of Apartheid regime in South Africa has not brought prosperity and justice for workers. Therefore, our world-wide struggles against the capitalist system must continue.
IASWI urges all Labor and Human Rights organizations, all labor activists, liberated and equality seeking individuals to strongly condemn the massacre of South African workers by criminal security forces, Capitalists, mining corporations, and South African Capitalist state, in any form they can. Everyone responsible for this massacre must be put on trial and punished accordingly.
Justice for the South African miners!
Long live workers’ international solidarity!