Ook onderdeel van Iraanse protesten: studenten tegen dwangarbeid

It is also important to mention that many of these kidnapped students were student union activists who pursued the demands of immediate interests of students, and, in this regard, organized protests against the state’s neoliberal policies such as the commodification of the educational system and the privatization of universities, as well as the government’s new apprenticeship program. By organizing a campaign called “Bigarvarzi” [a wordplay combining forced labor (bigari) and apprenticeship (kaarvarzi)], they were successful in organizing effective opposition, criticism and protests against the government’s new apprenticeship program. They argued that the state-run program actually turned graduate students into extremely cheap labor force, who, under the pretext of preparation for employment, would be excessively exploited by the employers. In this way, by linking this neoliberal program to the increasing commodification and cheapening of labor force, the students emphasized the linking of labor and students struggles. Given the insistence of Rouhani’s government on the advancement of the apprenticeship program, it is not surprising that by arresting opponents and critical students, the state’s intelligence and security apparatus is, in addition, seeking to strike down resistance against the government’s economic policies.

In A statement on recent protests in Iran, signed by 125 leftists, socialists and communists from the Iranian diaspora (Libcom)