Sunday, June 21, 2009

Carnival of Socialism- Iran special

Apologies if this isn't as extensive as usual, but I *volunteered* at the last minute and this weekend is busy .

Here goes...

I want to focus on Iran for this Carnival, apologies but I have run out of time to cover topics more widely. I'll try and do a mini round up later in the week.

Initially there was not that much being posted and Facebook was one of the best sources of info. HOPI have now set up a blog , News from the struggle in Iran, which is keeping track of the ongoing struggles in Iran. This is a useful place for reports , news and videos.

Also found via Facebook (what did we do before !) is photos and news report from an Iranian blogger at Revolutionary Road .

So what are the left saying? Well Dave states :

Given the choice, socialists must extend solidarity– not to mention whatever concrete support they can possibly give – to the courageous young protestors on the streets today. If they are successful, they will open up a the space in which an independent labour movement and a genuine left can re-emerge in Iran.

For those who never thought they would see the day, check out Mod and Punchie agreeing in the comments! Yes really .

Ed also muses on the response of the left:

It doesn't get much more straight forward than this. Either you side with those struggling against an oppressive state, facing down armed thugs and paramilitaries on the streets - those being beaten, intimidated, threatened and shot - or you side with oppression.


It is clear that a wide range of political and social forces are throwing their weight behind the anti-government demonstrations including the Iranian Left and other progressive forces.

This movement, and right now only this movement, can smash the most reactionary aspects of the Iranian state regime - the legally embedded misogyny, the murderous homophobia, the stonings, the hangings, the execution of children, the repression of trade unions, the incarceration of political prisoners. With (a lot of) luck it may even go further than this - this sort of struggle can take people beyond liberal demands into a much more radical consciousness very quickly.

Of course some on the left seem to think Ahmadinejad is a working class hero, whats a few gay people strung up from lampposts or a bit of holocaust denial among comrades.

For more on those who would defend a repressive state check out this post by Yoshie on Lenin's tomb (and the comments).I am pleased to see Lenny taking issue with him.

But but but...he is an anti imperialist I hear you splutter and he doesn't wear suits ...well as Charlie states :

Think about it again. Ahmadinejad may strike up poses, but behind the populism, his government has not stopped neo-liberal economic policies and attacks on workers' rights. Repression of women and minorities is no recipe for national unity or an advanced society, and imperialism has no problem with religious reaction and sectarianism - witness Saudi Arabia again, or what the occupiers have bequeathed the people of Iraq. As for the Palestinians, they need Ahmadinejad's flirtation with Holocaust-denying Nazi nutcases like a hole in the head. And though Iran's right to develop nuclear weapons to counter Israel's may be alright as a debating point, in the real struggle it is worse than useless. The Palestinians want to regain their homeland, not a radioactive ruin.

Coatsey is blogging on Iran and keeping a close eye on some sections of the left and their responses.

Meanwhile Jim considers the different approach of Obama to the demonstrations and compares it favourably with the likely response of his predecessor.Oooh Jim, you neo con you.

Max hopes for an end to repressive theocratic regimes. Don't we all...well no unfortunately.

Shiraz highlight solidarity actions by car workers, so its not just a Gucci revolution then !

Mod has a post highlighting the role of women in the demonstrations .

Meanwhile some solidarity action , on the 18th June there was a protest in London outside the Iranian Embassy. Peter Tatchell reports on it:

Nearly 600 people – both straight and gay – joined last night’s demonstration in London in solidarity with the Iranian people’s mass protests for democracy and human rights. The rally was held outside the Iranian Embassy and included a gay contingent comprising members of OutRage!, Iraqi LGBT and gay Muslims.

“Although there were a few awkward looks, we received a mostly warm welcome from the predominantly straight Iranian protesters,” said human rights campaigner Peter Tatchell of OutRage!, who had encouraged people to turnout on Thursday night, to coincide with the mass protests in Tehran the same day.

“Some thanked us for joining the demonstration; others specifically emphasised their support for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) rights. It was a very positive move to have a visible gay presence at the rally. I think we generated considerable goodwill from many of those in attendance.

“We joined the protest to show our solidarity with the heroic freedom struggle of the Iranian people."

I particularly like the fact that Ahmadinejad, who of course said they don't have gays in Iran, is now saying :

“But now in his latest broadside against the pro-democracy protesters in Tehran, he has accused his political opponents of ‘officially recognising thieves, homosexuals and scumbags’ in order to win their votes. The old tyrant has let the cat of the bag. Gay people exist in Iran and they - and millions of others - voted against him. Hurrah!” said Mr Tatchell.

Yep those damn queers...were they wearing Gucci I wonder .?

Still its all going to fizzle out anyway of course.

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