آيا مسولان ائتلاف ضد جنگ در بريتانيا برای دفاع بيشرمانه از جمهوری اسلامی جوابی دارند؟

جمعه 12 اکتبر مسئول کميته رهبری ائتلاف ضد جنگ در برينانيا در يک نامه الکترونيکی خطاب به مسولين کارزار« دستها از مردم ايران کوتاه » که بر عليه جنگ امپرياليستی و جمهوری اسلامی توامان مبارزه مي کند- اعلام کردند که پيوستگی اين کارزار به ائتلاف ضد جنگ، لغو شده است «چرا که اهداف و اصول اين کارزار کاملا متغاير با اهداف و اصول ائتلاف ضد جنگ در بريتانيا است» .

در فاصله دريافت اين نامه و پخش گسترده‌ی اطلاعيه مطبوعاتی کارزار در اين مورد، ميان فعالين چپ و ضد امپرياليست در بريتانيا که تا به امروز، ما با حمايت بيسابقه ای روبرو شده ايم. علاوه بر حدود ۴۰۰ عضو وحامی قبلی کارزار، تعداد بيشماری از فعالين سياسی چپ بريتانيا - عصبانی از اين تصميم فرقه گرا و کوته بين مسولين کميته رهبری ائتلاف ضد جنگ در برينانيا . با ارسال پيامهای حمايت و پيوستن به کارزار ما، نشان داده اند که برخلاف نظر محافظه کارانه «ائتلاف ضد جنگ»  فعالين و نيروهای اين جنبش با موضع ما مبنی بر لزوم مبارزه با جنگ در حين افشای جمهوری اسلامی و دفاع از مبارزات کارگران - زنان - جوانان و دانشجویان – مليتهای تحت ستم ... هم نظرند. شکی نيست ما با دوره جديدی از جنبش ضد جنگ امپرياليستی در بريتانيا روبرو هستيم . دوره ای که در آن فعالین سیاسی چپ حاضرنیستند شعارهای سازشکارانه ی مدعیان  رهبری ائتلاف ضد جنگ را بپذیرند . از اين رو لازم وضروری است؛ همه نيروها و فعالين چپ ايرانی به استقبال اين دوره جديد بروند.

آشکاراست تحليل نظرمدافعان جمهوری اسلامی درسازمان «کارگران سوسياليست بريتانيا» که مدعی است جريانی تروتسکييست است و همچنین حزب استالينيست متحدشان در کميته رهبری اين کارزار، از فرصت این نوشته خارج است. اما واضح است برای اولين بار در چند سال اخير زمينه ای پيش آمده است تا موضع فرصت طلبانه ای که دوستی با دشمن . دشمن را توجيه مي کند ( دوستی با اسلام سياسی به مثابه دشمن، دشمن ما، امپرياليسم جهانی و آمريکا) يکبار برای هميشه از صحنه سياسی دوران ما درجنبش ضد جنگ و ضد سرمايه داری بيرون انداخته شود. بسياری ا ز رفقای ايرانی تبعيدی خصوصا ساکنان بريتانيا و آمريکا و همچنین در سوئد و دانمارک ، برلین بارها به شعارهای ضعيف تظاهرات ضد جنگ درقبال اسلام سياسی ، جمهوری اسلامی و حزب الله اعتراض کرده اند . اما امروز برای اولين بار ما با شرايطی روبرو هستيم که قادريم مدافعان گسترده ای برعليه اين موضع فرصت طلبانه را بسيج کنيم و مبارزه اصولی وبا پرنسیپ عليه جنگ امپرياليستی را در دستور کار اين جنبش جهانی قرار دهيم . در همين رابطه دفاع از نامه سرگشاده کارزار حضور در تظاهرات جلو اجلاس سالانه ائتلاف ضد جنگ در بريتانيا. تشويق ديگران به حمايت از موضع کارزار «دستها از مردم ايران کوتاه » بر عليه جنگ امپرياليستی و جمهوری اسلامی ازاهميت ويژه ای برخورداراست . ما از کليه فعالين منفرد و اعضا و هواداران سازمانها و نيروهای چپ ايرانی دعوت مي کنيم تا با اعتراض به سکوت مسولان " ائتلاف ضد جنگ در بريتانيا" بر حقانيت دفاع از مبارزات کارگران ايران و جنبشهای اجتماعی درکشورمان، چون بخشی غير قابل تفکيک از مبارزات ضد جنگ امپرياليستی تاکيد کنند . در صورت توافق با خواستهای کارزار «دستها از مردم ايران کوتاه» از فعاليتهای آتی ما از جمله  کنفرانسها در دابلين و گلاسکو . جلسه های کارزار در منچستر . شفيلد و لندن در ماه های اکتبر و نوامبر و در بحثهای کنفرانس سالانه کارزار ۸ دسامبر ۲۰۰۷ فعالانه شرکت کنيد. جزئيات همه جلسه ها در تارنمای کارزار درج خواهد شد-
مسئولین ارتباطات : اتحاد چپ کارگری- امیر جواهری – یاسمین میظر


شنبه 27 اکتبر تظاهرات جلو اجلاس سالانه ائتلاف ضد جنگ در بريتانيا
.9.00am Friends Meeting House, Euston Road, London

 

Hopi fringe meeting after StWC conference 
جلسه کارزار در لندن شنبه 27 اکتبر  ساعت 30-5

سخنرانی یاسمین میظر و دیگر فعالین کارزار

Saturday October 27, 5.30pm. Sunrise room, D2,
Diorama Arts Centre, 3-7
Euston Centre, NW1

 
شنبه 3 نوامبر   کنفرانس یک روزه درگلاسکو
سخنرانان پرفسور فاولر- پرفسور کریستین کوپر- تری برزرستن
Hopi Teach in Glasgow-
Hamish Wood Building- Glasgow Caledonian University

Iran and the Threat of war  - 11.30 am- 17.00 pm

 
شنبه 10 نوامبر  کنفرانس یک روزه در دابلین
 سخنرانان – آن مکَشین – دز دروین- دیوید میظر
Teachers Club
36
Parnell Square West
Dublin - Registration 12.30pm event 1-6pm

 

شنبه 8 دسامبر کنفرانس سالانه کارزار
سخنرانان مایک مکنر- تراب ثالث – دیوید میظر
  ساعت 10-18 بعدازظهر


نامه اعتراضی کارزار
 نامه سرگشاده کارزار
اطلاعیه مطبوعاتی
حمايت از موضع کارزار

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

For principled solidarity

Yassamine Mather of Hands Off the People of Iran points to the renewed imperialist threats but warns against the anti-imperialism of fools

 

If anyone is in any doubt about the level of the threat of war against Iran, I suggest they read the text of a speech by Tony Blair comparing “Iran’s extremism” to “rising fascism in the 1920s and 1930s” (The Times October 19).

Quiet clearly the vacuous former PM and current ‘peace envoy of the quartet’ has spent so much time in Israel that he repeats like a parrot the most stupid utterances of Israeli politicians - all this in line with the US administration’s plans for possible military attack against Iran and paving the way for more extensive sanctions.

Worst of all for Iran’s leaders, Russian president Vladimir Putin, in Tehran for talks with Tehran’s clerics following meetings with Angela Merkel and Nicolas Sarkozy, gave a stark warning that Russia will not oppose further sanctions and military strikes against Iran, unless it stopped its enrichment of nuclear-grade uranium.

Many observers in Tehran believe that it was Putin’s visit that sparked the resignation of Ali Larijani, Iran’s chief nuclear negotiator. Whatever the reasons behind this resignation, coming amidst rumours of the impending departure of foreign minister Manuchehr Mottaki, it is clear that even supporters of Ahmadinejad have now realised that Iran faces a serious threat. The response to this threat has engulfed the crisis-ridden theocratic regime in turmoil and, although it appears Iran will reject any nuclear compromise, hours after the resignation of Larijani was accepted by the Iranian president, Iran’s supreme leader, ayatollah Ali Khamenei, intervened directly to make sure Larijani remains part of the negotiating team meeting EU officials.

Of course, no-one who has listened to Dick Cheney or George Bush could be in any doubt that the nuclear debacle is no more than an excuse for preparing for such an attack. The current US administration labelled Iran its main enemy in the region on the day it came to power in 2001 - it was Iran’s compliance with and support for the invasion and occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq that delayed the escalation of the conflict. But now the US administration is so desperate to divert attention from the disaster in Iraq that an air assault on Iran by the US or Israel is a real possibility.

To complicate matters further, Turkey’s threats of attacks against Iraqi Kurdistan show the fragility of the relative ‘peace’ in that part of Iraq. The Iraqi president and member of the Kurdish PUK, Jalal Talebani, has played a dangerous game over the last few years, promising one thing to the Americans and the opposite to Turkish and Iranian Kurdish groups. If you listen to both his Kurdish utterances and his English speeches, you could be forgiven for thinking there are two Talebanis: one who is pro-American, while remaining loyal to Iran; and another who is an anti-colonial Kurdish nationalist.

Of course, with the escalation of the Turkey-PKK conflict, the PUK and its leader now have to face the consequences of playing with fire for so long. Over the last few years the PUK has repeatedly justified its supporting for US military intervention in the region by telling Iranian and Turkish Kurds that the current Iraqi Kurdish statelet is the first step on the road to an independent Kurdistan. It holds up the ‘referendum option’ in the Iraqi constitution as the trump card and implies that the establishment of an independent Kurdish state is just around the corner.

Many Kurdish leaders, including in Turkey and Iran, have fallen in behind Talebani’s pro-US line, foolishly believing his slogan that the end (an independent Kurdistan) justifies the means. But Talebani’s promises mean nothing - his masters in Washington and Tehran are only interested in ‘Kurdish rights’ as long as they suit their own purposes, such as during the propaganda war against Saddam Hussein. Of course, the US still supports Iranian Kurdish groups as part of its ‘regime change’ policy, but inevitably the same support cannot be granted to the enemies of a Nato ally, Turkey. So this week, in addition to the threat of US-Israeli ‘shock and awe’ attacks against the people of Iran, the region faces the threat of military attacks by Turkey against Iraqi Kurdistan.

The barbarous US-led unfinished war in Iraq, combined with the duplicity of both the capitalist clerics in Tehran (who now call for the withdrawal of UK troops from southern Iraq, yet supported the US invasion of 2003) and the reactionary president of occupied Iraq, Jalal Talebani, have made the situation in the region far more complicated than ever before. Simplistic solutions and slogans such as the banal idea that ‘my enemy’s enemy is my friend’ can only lead anti-war activists into one crisis after another.

That is why Hands Off the People of Iran has constantly fought for a principled campaign along two main lines. First and foremost, we are vehemently against every imperialist intervention in the region and for the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of all US-UK troops. This demand is echoed by the working class and rising social movements inside Iran.

As part of Hopi’s activities in Farsi we have relentlessly exposed the advocates of ‘regime change’ Bush-style, as well as those Iranian political groups and organisations who deliberately or unconsciously take a soft line on the macabre policies of imperialism in our region.

However, as the threat of military intervention increases, we see it as our duty and responsibility to stand in solidarity with the Iranian people, who, with the exception of the regime’s paid agents and security forces, are increasingly united in their opposition to both imperialist war and the rule of the theocracy. We read their demands, see their protests and hear their slogans every day.

The thousands of workers in Haft Tape who in October shouted, “We hungry - why is the state refusing to pay our wages?” The workers in Iran’s oil industry who write that “dividing the company into hundreds of small, private contracting firms is privatisation of Iran’s oil industry on a scale far more alarming than what is happening under the US invasion in Iraq”. The car plant workers in Iran Khodro who this week drew attention to the death of yet another worker (the third in less than two months) through exhaustion in this most exploitative joint French-Iranian capitalist venture. We will not ignore their calls.

The anti-war movement should read the reports of the regular demonstrations organised by leftwing students, such as the one held on October 22, and act in solidarity with them. Student protesters in Tehran shouted, “Death to the dictator, death to reaction” , “Ahmadi Pinochet, Iran will not become like Chile” and “Release the imprisoned students”. On October 23, hundreds protested at Bouali University against the ‘suicide’ of a fellow student who was held by the security forces following a previous demonstration.

By contrast, there are those in the anti-war movement whose idea of anti-imperialism is to invite supporters of reactionary clerics such as Muqtada al Sadr and Hezbollah officials to their rallies, who lead chants of “we are all Hezbollah now”. They seem oblivious to the fact that in the only country in the region where there is a secular, socialist anti-war movement - Iran - for the majority of the population Hezbollah are the thugs who go around throwing acid in the faces of young girls for daring to reveal part of their fringe beneath their headscarf. Hezbollah are the hoodlums with chains who attack workers staging protests outside privatised factories where the unscrupulous owner (often a relative of a senior cleric in power) refuses to pay the workers their wages and calls on Hezbollah to arrest them if they protest too much. Hezbollah are the forces who arrive in jeeps to demolish the huts of poor shanty town dwellers when a developer buys up the land and needs it cleared.

To be frank, those who raise such an obscene slogan in Britain - be they followers of some islamist group or members of the Socialist Workers Party - are in no position to lecture Hopi about solidarity.

Some of us have personally experienced the repression meted out by the brutal islamic regime. We who have mourned the loss of tens of thousands of socialists and communists - tortured and executed at the hands of the clerics - view with contempt their anti-western rhetoric. We have even dared to hope - obviously foolishly! - that incidents such as Irangate, not to mention the track record of Iran’s islamic republic over 28 years, would be sufficient to prevent anti-war campaigners confusing Tehran’s anti-US slogans with the genuine anti-imperialism of the Iranian people. In our era anti-imperialism cannot but be anti-capitalist.

Do the SWP and those like the Communist Party of Britain’s Andrew Murray really think that clerics presiding over a neoliberal capitalist economy - in a country where the gap between the rich and the poor grows every day, where corruption, drug addiction and prostitution are ripe and only repression keeps the regime in power - either want or are in a position to fight US imperialism?

Those of us who are not fooled by the regime’s empty rhetoric will continue our principled campaign, whether or not we are excluded from the Stop the War Coalition. We will expose the false image of the Iranian people manufactured by the pro-war media, but we will also expose the rosy portrait of Iranian society depicted by the crude apologists of the islamic regime, such as Campaign Iran - which, to its shame, the STWC supports while smearing Hopi.

 

Open letter to Andrew Murray

From Yassamine Mather, Hands Off the People of Iran

I was amazed to receive your email in response to the affiliation of Hands Off People of Iran as a national organisation to Stop the War Coalition (Friday, October 12).

You write that, “The officers of StWC have received your application to affiliate to the coalition and have decided to decline it.” This is despite the fact that Hopi supporters had been in contact with your centre as late as yesterday, October 11, to confirm Hopi’s status as an affiliate. Of course, we recognise that the officers have now taken a political decision to disbar our campaign, not an administrative one.

It is the politics of this exclusion that I wish to take up with you, even though your letter contains simple assertions and unfounded accusations against Hopi rather than solid argument. However, there is an agenda being heavily implied here.

For example, you write that, "A study of statements and articles issued by your organisation show that you are entirely hostile to the Coalition, its policies and its work. Nor is there any record of your supporting our activity and initiatives. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to regard your application as in any way supportive or sympathetic.”

You have obviously failed to consult our website or our articles, let alone made a careful “study” of them. Let us just draw you attention to the most recent front page contributions on the Hopi site:

·      War with Iran: Probable (& Disastrous)

·      U.S. Ramps Up Threats Against Iran

·      Senator and filmmaker open campaign against Fox News Channel

·      Sociology, Science and Nuclear Weapons. Bridget Fowler paper FAB 2.doc Faslane Academic Blockade

Now these are from a range of political opinions within the broad front of opposition to the war on Iran, but I am sure all Hopi activists as well as the specific authors of these articles will be very interested to hear from you which ones can be judged “entirely hostile to the Coalition, its policies and its work”.

You also refer to the objectionable “statements” of our campaign. Rather than bald assertions, perhaps you and the other StWC officers could draw out what you find so “hostile to the Coalition” in our founding statement, also featured on the front page of the Hopi website?

This founding statement has two core elements to its political platform:

a) Unconditional opposition to any imperialist military attack/sanctions against Iran and the demand for the immediate withdrawal of all imperialist troops from the Gulf region. Surely there can be no objection to this, comrade? We assume this is a position we share with all the officers of the StWC, the steering committee and the vast bulk of its membership.

b) Opposition to the theocratic regime and solidarity with and practical aid to grassroots movements - of women, workers and students - fighting for democracy and freedom in Iran.

Now, none of us are political naives and we have already had some experience of how leading members of the StWC have characterised this second strand of the Hopi platform. But does that mean, as far as you are concerned, that it is a decided fact that the StWC’s ‘policy’ is that the theocracy must not be opposed by people who are simultaneously against the imperialist war?! And on pain of excommunication?!

Are you seriously saying that there is no place in this broad movement against imperialist war for comrades who say we should support grassroots movements for democracy and socialism in Iran? And what about the brave activists of these movements - the women beaten and arrested on International Women’s Day; the 100s of Tehran busworkers arrested for going on strike; the 1000s of workers in the car industry or the Hafte sugar cane plant; the students who protested against the presence of the barbarian Ahmadinejad on their campuses? Are they to be left to stand alone against this regime; is the anti-war movement in this country telling them that they have to abandon their struggles and get behind ‘their’ government?

This would be a betrayal not only of these people, but of the cause of peace and anti-imperialism itself.

However, if this is what is being implied, I am puzzled - where and when was this approach debated and democratically agreed by the StWC as a whole? I am aware that there certainly are political trends within the leadership of the Coalition that adhere to this shameful position, but that is not the stated position of the StWC as a national body.

So where, comrade, has this been debated and voted on?

Indeed, our exclusion is all the more frustrating (and suspicious, quite frankly), given that - according to the Coalition’s email bulletin of September 19 - the steering committee “agreed to make opposing any attack on Iran the central theme of the Stop the War annual conference … [and] an opportunity to deepen and extend our discussions on building the movement at this critical moment” (my emphasis).

If this is so, comrade, how on earth can you and your fellow officers justify the exclusion of the voice of Hopi, an organisation with significant support from the exile Iranian left across Europe and a very wide range of comrades in the left, workers, progressive and arts movements? (For a full list of Hopi supporters so far, see www.hopoi.org/supporters.html and for a small selection see the end of this letter.)

As for your laughable suggestion, “nor is there any record of your supporting our activity and initiatives”, I am not sure if you or anyone else in the StWC had taken the time to actually look at the impressive list of those who have joined our campaign and signed our founding statement, you would have seen that many are also active members and supporters of the Coalition and will find this justification for rejecting Hopi’s affiliation very insulting, put frankly.

For my part, I have been invited to and spoken on a number of occasions in StWC meetings in Glasgow (both in the city branch and at the two University StWC meetings), receiving a very warm welcome from StWC activists. In the eight months since Hopi was founded, our activists (Iranian and British) have organised over 40 meetings against the imperialist sabre-rattling against Iran, in cities such as Sheffield, London, Leeds, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Manchester and Dublin. I suggest that - quite apart from the direct practical links and material aid Hopi comrades have organised for activists in Iran itself - this is a proud and impressive record of activity that is fully in the spirit of the StWC’s opposition to this looming new tragedy in the Middle East.

(Indeed, we are the only solidarity campaign in direct, daily contact with anti-war and anti-imperialist activists in Iran. As Hopi supporter Ben Lewis has put it in his supporting statement for the elections to the StWC steering committee, our campaign is uniquely placed “to give these comrades a voice at the very centre of the anti-war movement in this country - against any imperialist attack on their country; but, at the same time, against the theocratic regime”).

In all these meetings, our speakers have spoken primarily about imperialism and the threat it presents in our region. I suspect you would have had no arguments had you attended any.

But, of course, they have also targeted Iran’s Islamic regime as a neo-liberal capitalist theocracy, a regime that supported the military invasion of Iraq and successive Shia governments imposed by US-UK occupying military forces. We make no apology for telling the truth that Iran is a country where workers protest against privatisation, job insecurity, non-payment of wages and that they deserve solidarity. A country where women, youth and gays are foully oppressed. A regime that deserves to be overthrown - but only by its own people, only by the masses imposing democracy from below!

Andrew, you really should be explicit about this. Are you and your fellow officers saying that any criticism of the Islamic regime in Iran at present is “entirely hostile to the Coalition, its policies and its work”? Is this what is being suggested, comrade? If so, I suspect that this will come as news to many the vast bulk of StWC members and supporters.

Again, I refer you to a few of our supporters listed below that I have picked from a much longer list. Let me assure you that they - and all Hopi supporters, StWC branches and sponsors, tens of thousands of activists across Europe and the Middle East - will be getting a copy of this open letter and the rest of the protest material Hopi will be producing in the very near future.

And they also may be rather bemused by your attitude, to say the least.

Yours against imperialist war and in solidarity with the people of Iran,

Yassamine Mather
Hands Off the People of Iran

Supporters of Hopi include (for a full list, visit www.hopoi.org/supporters.html):

Tommy Sheridan - Solidarity
Diane Abbott MP - Labour
Harry Cohen MP - Labour
John McDonnell MP – Labour
Caroline Lucas MEP - Green Party
Dr Derek Wall - male principal speaker, Green Party

Cllr Rania Khan - Respect, Tower Hamlets
Cllr Fozol Miah - Respect, Tower Hamlets
Mark Steel - columnist and comedian
Bill Bailey - comedian
Haifa Zangana - writer
Ken Loach - film maker
Naomi Klein - author
Peter Tatchell - human rights activist
Professor Alan McFarlane - University of Cambridge
Professor Moshé Machover - King's College, London
Professor John McIlroy - Keele University
Professor Bridget Fowler - Glasgow University
Professor Christin Cooper - Strathclyde University
Dr Terry Brotherstone - University of Aberdeen UCU
Dr Adam Swift - University of Oxford
Professor Phil Taylor - University of Strathclyde
Professor George Joffe - King's College, London & University of Cambridge
Peter Jowers - University of the West of England
Professor Guy Julier - Leeds Metropolitan University
Victor Kattan - Research Fellow, British Institute of International & Comparative Law
Dr Gerry Kearns - University of Cambridge
Professor Jeremy Keenan - University of Exeter & University of Bristol
Dr Andrew Cumbers - University of Glasgow
Dr Rolf Czeskleba-Dupont - University of Roskilde
Professor Bill Bowring - Birkbeck College, University of London
Professor Hamid Dabashi - Columbia University
Professor Moataz Fattah - Cairo University

 

http://www.etehadchap.org
etehadchap@yahoo.co.uk