6 March 2008
Rallies and demonstrations were held in Belgium, Spain, Lithuania, India, Pakistan, Australia, the West Bank and Canada. Distribution of information took place in Belgium, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Luxembourg, Spain, Japan and Ethiopia. Foreign Ministers in Australia and Great Britain issued statements in support of our campaign.
Some unions also visited the Iranian Mission on 6 March or sent their protest letters to the Iranian authorities. LabourStart gathered more than 6,000 signatures on their online petition in two weeks (http://www.labourstart.org/iran).
The Dutch confederation FNV held a ceremony in Amsterdam on 6 March to award Mansour Osanloo with the Febe Elisabeth Velasquez Prize. It is awarded every two years to someone who campaigns for the observance of trade union rights under difficult circumstances and at personal risk.
In Tehran on the Action Day, some bus drivers wore the ITF's campaign badge during their duties and drove buses. Members of the union's Executive Board visited the bus terminals in the capital and handed out the Farsi version of the DVD film, "Freedom will come – The Mansour Osanloo story" to the workers. 1,000 copies were distributed during the day. In the evening, they gathered at the house of Osanloo's mother. Each was able to speak to him on the phone. Osanloo was quite emotional by the fact that the day had been successful. In Sanandaj, a union gathering was also organised in the Guz circle. On the following day, 60 unionists and supporters went hiking to the mountains in the Tehran suburb. It has become a tradition in the independent workers' movement to organise a social function like this to build activism at workplaces.
In building-up to this Action Day, the ITF Inspectors in 11 countries visited Iranian vessels to deliver our message to the government.
The ITF film "Freedom will come – The Mansour Osanloo story" has been particularly popular with its firm and striking message. Film shows at union meetings and seminars have been held in countries around the world. 12,000 people have viewed the English version of the film on YouTube. 3,900 have viewed the Farsi version of the film.
Transport workers and activists continue to wear the ITF “Free Osanloo” badge to express their solidarity – more than 300 photos are currently displayed in the ITF gallery on flickr (http://www.flickr.com/photos/itf/sets/72157602429966468/). Pictures have been taken in various cities around the world including Algiers, Amsterdam, Antwerp, Brussels, Geneva, Hobart, Jakarta, London, Manchester, Oslo, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney, Tunis and Vienna.