During the past week the Iranian regime has arrested several labour activists. They join a long list of imprisoned Iranian labour activists who have committed no crime other than try to form trade unions (or other labour organisations) and to defend the pay and working conditions of workers. We urge all trade unionists, socialists, and labour and human rights activists to send protest emails/letters to the Iranian authorities.

Earlier this year the Iranian regime's authorities announced that thousands of Afghan workers who needed work permits to work in Iran, because they do not have passports, will not be allowed to work from the beginning of the Iranian month of Shahrivar. It is the duty of the Iranian working class to defend its Afghan brothers and sisters, especially as the regime's shrinking oil revenue will make it search for more scapegoats to let it off the hook.

The Hands off Venezuela campaign has learnt news of the killing of 3 leading trade unionists in Aragua, Venezuela, on November 27th. We would like to condemn this brutal killing in the strongest terms.

We have received news of the assassination of three prominent trade union leaders in Venezuela. The International Marxist Tendency unites its voice to the condemnation of these killings and calls on the Venezuelan working class to stay firm, organise and continue the struggle for socialism, as well as to join all the protest actions that are being prepared.

According to the international teachers' federation Farzad Kamangar was taken from his cell in Tehran's Evin prison on 26 November in preparation for execution. Fortunately he has not been executed. The rumours and preparations for his execution are despicable stunts that highlight the real danger that this Kurdish teacher still faces. We urge all trade unionists and labour activists to support the campaign to free Farzad Kamangar.

Between November 7-14, Jorge Martin, the International Secretary of Hands Off Venezuela, visited Malaysia and Indonesia. In Malaysia, Jorge spoke at the Socialism Malaysia 2008 Forum organized by the Socialist Party of Malaysia. During his visit to Indonesia, Jorge spoke to workers who have occupied their factory and run it under workers' control for 15 months. There, he also met with a number of militant trade unionists discussing about the factory occupation movement in Venezuela.

On Wednesday, October 5th, in Bolívar Hall in London, there was a screening of “People's Power” (“El poder popular”) the third part of “The Battle of Chile” (“La batalla de Chile”), by Patricio Guzmán, a film produced in 1979. The film focuses on “People’s Power”, i.e. the formation of grassroots movements and organisations that challenged the old structures of Chilean society.