Friday, January 29, 2010

Hopi week of action, February 13th-20th 2010

Via Facebook :

This will see fundraising events, protest actions and meetings. Comrades around the country are coming forward with ideas for activities that range from pickets and petitions, to benefit meals for a few comrades and friends. We want to mobilise every Hopi supporter to participate in the week, at whatever level their circumstances and time constraints allow. (And make sure you send us small reports and photos for our website!)

February is a key month in the Iranian political calendar. The Shah’s regime imploded in February 1979. Every year since, the government has initiated official state-backed marches and rallies to celebrate the revolution and to bolster the myth that its social and political dynamic was simply ‘Islamic’.

However this year, in the aftermath of the huge upsurges post the rigged presidential elections in June 2009, the regime will face stiff opposition. There will be counterdemonstrations organised by both the Green reformists such as the western media darling Mir-Hossein Moussavi and by more radical trends within the movement, forces that are subject to a media blackout.

In their different ways, both these reformists and the elements to their left will challenge the theocracy for the legacy of 1979. This difference is vital, however. The likes of Moussavi charge that the regime has lost its way and deserted the ‘true’ Islamic nature of the revolution. For the left, 1979 could have had a very different outcome. That is, a victory for the forces of popular democracy from below and fundamental social change.

Iran is in turmoil and the opposition is utilising every opportunity to protest and organise. These counterdemonstrations will also commemorate the 40th day since the death of the leading reformist cleric Ayatollah Montazeri and also the murder of protesters in the Ashura demonstration in late December.

This poses important tasks to the anti-war and solidarity movement in this country and beyond.

First and foremost, we have to dramatically step our work against any imperialist intervention against Iran. Military action would be a disaster for the burgeoning movement. It would disrupt and disperse the masses just at a time when we are beginning to see the potential for a new Iran, shaped by the democratic and militant action of millions of ‘ordinary’ Iranians themselves.

Sanctions – the so-called ‘soft’ option – have the same demobilising effect, if anything in a more insidiously poisonous way. When working people have to spend their time individually begging, bartering or borrowing their way round shortages of basic foodstuffs and amenities, their ability to collectively impose a progressive agenda on society as a whole suffers.

So, we have to see off the threats of imperialism. We have to give the ‘red’ strands within the Green movement in Iran the space to survive and thrive. In contrast to some mistaken comrades in the anti-war movement, Hopi knows that the real Iranian anti-imperialists are amongst the millions of protesters on the streets, not in the corrupt and deeply compromised echelons of the clerical bureaucracy.

In addition to our anti-war work, we must also supply these comrades with the oxygen of publicity.

The bulk of the mainstream English or Persian’s media reporting of the upsurge since June 2009 has implied that the ‘Green movement is a homogeneous bloc, where the masses are little more than ‘walk-on/walk-off’ bit-part players in a drama directed by Moussavi and the reformists.

In truth, these ‘leaders’ have struggled to keep up with the movement. Actions and slogans on the ground have gone far beyond even the maximum demands of the reformists. Since at least September ’09, important elements amongst workers, students, women and youth have called for the overthrow of the entire regime. While the Green leaders repeated assert their loyalty to the existing order, militant slogans from the movement they purport to lead demand the overthrow of the supreme religious leader, Khamenei and the entire apparatus of Islamicist rule and oppression.

None of this finds reflection in the mainstream media. The BBC and the western news outlets are the propaganda wing of the imperialist campaign. Sanctions and the threat of military strikes serve the purpose of undermining the Ahmadinejad-led regime and preparing a ‘colour revolution’ a la Georgia or the Ukraine, headed by the likes of Moussavi. The BBC’s selective silence about the evolving politics of the real movement beneath this ‘hero’ makes it the propaganda arm of that reactionary campaign.

We will target the BBC for protest during the week of action. Details of protests and activities are being finalised as this bulletin goes out. We will keep comrades posted, but check regularly on our website for updates.

Check out the Facebook page for more info as events added. Also check out the Hopi website .

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