Following widespread protests in over 100 cities across Iran in January 2018, which have continued to escalate in terms of labor and mass protests, a clear divide has emerged in society and among opposition forces in terms of political stance and actions.

For instance, in the effort to overthrow the Islamic Republic, these two factions have distinct goals, tactics and methods. Leftist and communist groups aim for a revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic Republic, while right-wing forces, under the guise of “regime change” and the like, seek to transfer power from the top down and impose a right-wing alternative, with support from the United States and other imperialist powers and reactionary governments in the region.

In the past months of the ongoing revolution in Iran, numerous pictures and videos from different Kurdish cities were published on social networks, which had a more radical political message than what was going on in other parts of Iran. “Long live socialism”, “Long live the council management” and emphasizing the opposition to the centralized government along with the capture of urban facilities to make the voices of the fighters louder.

In light of this evolving political landscape in Iran, the Cooperation Council of Left and Communist Forces was established in Kurdistan to respond to these changes. Members of the council held a special conference during the recent protests in Iran and decided to take a more active role. The statement below reflects the outcome of the discussions at the first conference.

Breaking and dismantling the Islamic Republic is our first step to establish a Council rule in Kurdistan!

Iranian society has undergone a great revolutionary evolution. The revolutionary uprising of the Iranian people against the Islamic Republic will not stop until the end of this regime. This sensational reality has been formed on the context of deepening economic, social and political crises and on the basis of the growth and expansion of labor strikes and protests and other civil right movements in the society. The struggle to overthrow the regime of the Islamic Republic has entered a new phase.

In September 2022, the government’s murder of Zhina (Mahsa) Amini proved to be the spark that ignited public anger and protest. The Iranians protested against poverty and economic hardship, political and social disenfranchisement, government violence, and discrimination based on gender and sexual orientation. The repression of the regime had brought the country to a boiling point, and both men and women took to the streets, chanting “Women, Life, Freedom.” The uprising quickly spread to all parts of Iran.

The enthusiastic participation of the Kurdish people in the protests against the government’s murder of Zhina sparked support and solidarity among all of Iran’s protesters. In this revolutionary uprising, the young fighters, with the leadership of women, played a key role in counteracting the aggression of the repressive forces. This marked a historic turning point. Furthermore, with the emergence of various labor centers and their support for the revolution, the possibility of dismantling the current regime through a mass revolution has become a realistic prospect.

This movement has accelerated the decline of the Islamic regime and has made the issue of political power an urgent matter. To address the key issues related to the process of overthrowing the Islamic Republic, as well as issues of political power and progressive possibilities, the alignment between the left and right forces of society in Iran and Kurdistan has become deeper and more visible.

In such circumstances, various right-wing opposition forces are attempting to change the political governance in Iran from the top, relying on support from world powers, instead of relying on the transformative intervention of the working people.

Forming a leftist and socialist alternative, especially in the current changing conditions of Iran, is an urgent task for all fighters and libertarian people. We call on all freedom fighters, activists, and leftist and socialist parties who align with these principles to join us in this crucial effort.

In response to this need, the participants of the Cooperation Conference of Left and Communist Forces in Kurdistan have come together to form a left and socialist pole in Kurdistan.

1- We believe that the all-out effort and struggle for the revolutionary overthrow of the Islamic regime, the mass and class organization of workers, the creation of councils in neighborhoods, and the formation of organizations for women, teachers, students, retirees, nurses, and other oppressed groups, as well as the effective efforts to dismantle the repressive forces and institutions of the regime and overthrow its inhumane rule in Kurdistan, which is an essential part of the nationwide revolutionary movement, are the top priorities for this period. The easiest and least troublesome way to preserve the achievements of the people’s struggle in Kurdistan is to link with the overthrow and revolution movement at the national level in Iran.

2- It is possible that the government in Kurdistan may be dismantled before other parts of Iran. However, the collapse and retreat of the central government’s forces and institutions is not the end of the story. In such a scenario, it is important to establish council rule and empower the people to directly govern themselves in order to take control of administration in Kurdistan. This can be achieved by forming mass power bodies in both urban and rural areas.

We view the council structure as a form of resistance, and in light of the downfall of the Islamic Republic, It will be an organ to rule the direct will of the masses. This it is an immediate task for activists in the labor movement and progressive social movements, as well as for all communist and leftist parties and groups.

3- Right-wing parties in Kurdistan are attempting to push forward their political agenda in the form of a federalist structure based on the parliamentary system following the overthrow of the Islamic regime. However, implementing this plan would not alleviate the suffering and political and social injustices faced by the people of Kurdistan. Experience has shown that federalization of society is not a viable solution for addressing national oppression or resolving the Kurdish national problem.

Federalist plans do not address the national question and may instead cause further harm. We firmly reject any plan that perpetuates oppression against the people of Kurdistan and promotes division among the population. We stand against it in the political struggle and will rely on the support and awareness of the workers, toilers, and oppressed people of Kurdistan.

4- We firmly reject the attempts of external forces to dictate the fate of the Kurdish people through their alliance with imperialist governments. Instead, we emphasize the importance of the Kurdish people’s struggle and partnership with progressive social movements and masses throughout Iran.

The struggles of the workers and people in Kurdistan are intrinsically linked to the nationwide struggles of the Iranian people. Together, we will ultimately achieve victory in overthrowing the Islamic Republic. In the face of interventionist policies by world powers and their regional allies to impose their preferred outcome on the political developments in Iran and Kurdistan, we reject any alternative plan imposed from above, and actively strive to resist it.

5- Given that the oppressive regimes of the monarchy and the Islamic Republic have inflicted immense suffering on the Kurdish people through national oppression and brutal repression, we demand the immediate elimination of national oppression and resolution of the Kurdish question. Therefore, we respect the outcome of a free and democratic decision made by the Kurdish people, whether that be secession or remaining within the framework of Iran with the provision and guarantee of equal rights.

We firmly condemn and reject any form of coercion or military action aimed at preventing the Kurdish people’s decision, or not recognizing its outcome, under the guise of “preserving territorial integrity” or combating “separatism” or any other justification. We stand firmly in defense of the rights of the Kurdish people. At the same time, we highlight the importance of the solidarity and struggle of the Kurdish people with the libertarian and oppressed people throughout Iran.

6- Given that the oppressive royal and Islamic regimes have systematically violated the basic rights and freedoms of the Kurdish people through military campaigns, force, and repression, the Kurdish people have the right to take up arms in self-defense, and to defend their rights, dignity, and humanity against any oppressive forces. They have the right to be armed and organize an organized armed force under the guidance of popular institutions and councils.

We urge the freedom-loving and egalitarian workers and people of Kurdistan to continue to pursue a revolutionary uprising to overthrow the Islamic Republic with strength and determination alongside the Iranian people, and to strive for the establishment of council management rule in Kurdistan and throughout Iran. We call on all libertarian men and women, political parties, organizations, and leftist and socialist activists to join this collective effort.

The Islamic Republic must fall!
Long live the rule of the council!
Long live socialism!

Cooperation Council of Left and Communist Forces in Kurdistan
January 8, 2023

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My journey in creating this space was deeply inspired by James Baldwin's powerful work, "The Fire Next Time". Like Baldwin, who eloquently addressed themes of identity, race, and the human condition, this blog aims to be a beacon for open, honest, and sometimes uncomfortable discussions on similar issues.

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