Lunch hour protest by London's workers at crackdown in Iran

Workers from across London will be giving up their lunch hour tomorrow (Friday 26 June) to protest outside the Iranian Embassy in Kensington at the Iranian government’s harsh treatment of trade unionists during the current crackdown.

Protesters, all dressed in black, will be holding aloft placards outside the Iranian Embassy bearing the names of a group of Iranian trade unionists who are still in prison following their arrest during recent May Day demonstrations.

The protest takes place outside the Iranian Embassy - 16 Prince’s Gate, London SW7 1PT - for an hour from 12.30pm.

The protest - coordinated by the TUC, Amnesty International UK and the International Transport Workers’ Federation (ITF) - will be led by TUC General Council member and UCU General Secretary Sally Hunt, Amnesty International UK Director Kate Allen and ITF General Secretary David Cockroft. The three will deliver 16,000 postcards collected as part of an Amnesty campaign calling on the Iranian authorities to release all imprisoned trade unionists and recognise independent unions in Iran.

The protest in London is just one of up to 40 coordinated by the international trade union movement taking place around the world tomorrow.

At the same time (12.30pm), the Northern TUC and local Amnesty supporters in Newcastle will mount a protest at the Monument, in the city’s Grey Street, while demonstrations are also taking place outside a number of Iranian embassies and consulates, including those in Bangkok, Canberra, New Delhi, Tokyo and Wellington.

The demonstrations, in solidarity with street protestors in Iran, are also designed to draw attention to a longstanding pattern of official harassment and intimidation of trades unionists in Iran. Independent trades unionists are frequently beaten up and thrown into prison and tomorrow’s protest organisers fear that attacks on Iranian trades unionists are likely to increase as workers consider strikes and other work-related protests during ongoing post-election unrest.

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