Iranian Workers Rally Against WTO, Globalization
Islamic Republic News Agency(IRNA)
Tehran - About 500 Iranian workers rallied peacefully here Friday to protest against the world economic liberalization as world ministers readied to convene in Doha to forge a new agenda on the global trade.
The demonstrators, called by the Iranian labor unions, rallied to the venue of the weekly Friday prayers at the Tehran University campus from a central labor house in the city.
They chanted slogans against the World Trade Organization, with one labor leader describing it as "a drunkard bloodsucker devil." "Globalization means the domination of the Western culture and the institutionalization of the despotic Western system," Hassan Sadeqi said.
"Global economy is the domination of the West. The cultural domination should be demolished. World workers, unite, unite and death to the Zionist capitalism," the demonstrators chanted.
Sadeqi blamed the "the loss of 200,000 jobs, closure of 3,000 small and large- scale labor units" in Iran on the country's privatization bids.
He said that the situation would even become worse as Iran is fighting its way into the WTO in the face of obstinate US opposition.
"This is still a breeze, triggered by globalization. With Iran's) accession to the WTO a storm will rise and workers will be the first victims," Sadeqi said.
The demonstrators also issued a statement at the end of the rally, in which they blamed Iran's current economic ailments on globalization.
"An ailing economy and repeated crises are souvenirs, gifted by the advocates of globalization, who are not satiated yet and want to plunge the country further into a swamp in the name of accession into the WTO," part of the statement said.
"The accelerated pace of globalization is so high that the justice-seeking revolution of the Iranian people has fallen pray to this current as it has inflicted its first blows on the nation in the form of a structural reform plan and massive privatization," it further said.
Trade ministers from over 140 nations gathered amid tight security in the Persian Gulf state of Qatar on Friday seeking to launch a new round of trade liberalization in a bid to revive the world's worsening economy.
In total, 2,641 delegates, 388 representatives of non-governmental organizations and 808 journalists are attending the conference.
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