Roger Lyons, former President of the Trades Union Congress (T.U.C):
It's a very important moment for me because I'm able to turn the declarations of solidarity into meaningful solidarity. In the last month, I have attended three well-supported rallies of Iranians in London. I addressed a rally in Trafalgar Square in the center of London, I've addressed a mass rally at 10 Downing Street, outside the Prime Minister's residence, calling for British government intervention. And last Sunday we had a big rally in the area where I live in North London, represented by my wife on the City Council and the Iranians they expressed again the need to lobby and convert solidarity into action. I'm the former president of the largest union in Britain, the general secretary of the Unite Union and former president of the six million strong Trades Union Congress. But today, I particularly want to draw your attention to the statement issued on the 3rd of February by the International Trade Union Confederation, the ITUC. They issued the strongest ever statement calling for the 200 million affiliated members in 163 countries to take practical action in solidarity with the Iranian people. And this demand includes demonstrations at every Iranian embassy, it involves delegations to every government, in a hundred and sixty three countries and a follow up that is more than just passing resolutions. So, we hope that this statement issued by the ITUC will raise the level of activity and solidarity to a new level, because I have to tell you Madame Rajavi, if you've ever wondered together with all your hard-working colleagues, whether the investment, the work, the energy you put in is justified, the uprising in Iran more than justifies it.
We have to now, spread this solidarity to defend and support the brave Iranian people. We have to free the prisoners, we have to stop arrests, we have to stop the torture and we have to have no more executions. You know, pressure on individual governments is crucial. In Britain we are demanding both the UK government and the EU to intervene and object and stop paying lip service to their new relationship with the mullah’s regime in the light of the nuclear agreement. I've noticed as a trade union leader, in the last few weeks, the class that the regime in Iran relied upon has turned against those despots and we've got workers from every industry and service taking part in mass action. Sugarcane workers in Khuzestan, gold miners in West Azerbaijan, still workers and the miners in Isfahan and Arak, in Tehran the Metro workers have been taking action. We've got an illustration here of a mass movement by organized workers in total support of the demands put forward by the resistance.
This campaign is not just for liberty but for union rights, for human rights and in the case of these workers, very often it's payment of wages and against corruption, and in particular against fake privatization, where industries and services are handed to generals in the Revolutionary Guards.
The work you're doing in Iran, means we have to work that much harder, while the regime cuts benefits, refuses justice and spends billions in foreign adventures for terrorists such as in Syria.
The important point is that you have put forward a program that is very attractive. And if we can get understanding and support for your 10-point democratic plan for Iran, then we can make some further progress. I was in Kurdistan four months ago, observing the referendum and that was in the mountains, next to the Iranian border. And you know, the day after the referendum in Kermanshah, thousands came on the streets and a local television covered it intensively. And thousands came on the streets in there and other towns in that area, and the people were dancing and singing. Thousands of people! And the children were throwing sweets around and it was like a Mardi Gras Festival. And I have to tell you, the Iranian regime's response was policemen with arm bars and as was said then, it's now a crime in Iran to dance. And that's why we have to respond more fully. So, in conclusion I say thank you for inviting me here today. The solidarity action has to be increased. We have been watching the bravery in Iran. We can say those who said there was no leadership, those who said it came from somewhere, we don't know where, they got it wrong. This was the voice of the Iranian people in line with the demands of the resistance and we