August 29th will once again see Hands Off the People of Iran play the Labour Representation Committee in their annual solidarity cricket match to raise £1,500 for the charity Workers Fund Iran, which raises money for Iranian workers. (workersfund.org). In the face of an enormous political and economic crisis, a new round of UN sanctions and war threats, Iranian workers are in a very difficult situation.
This is why it is absolutely vital that the workers’ movement in this country organizes material and ideological solidarity with workers’, women’s and students’ struggles in Iran – they are our natural allies and a true beacon of hope for genuine democracy and freedom. Read the rest of this entry »
Wednesday, May 12, 6pm. Soho Theatre, 21 Dean Street, London W1
With an introduction by John McDonnell MP. The event is co-sponsored by the Labour Representation Committee (click here to read their letter, urging support for the event). For details of screenings in Glasgow and Manchester, click here.
Jafar Panahi – the well known Iranian film maker – was arrested on March 1 and is still being held without any charges. He has twice been offered bail, but has refused in solidarity with all those incarcerated for their participation in the mass demonstrations against the regime that have shaken Iran since June 2009.
The Hopi showing of the director’s most popular film in the West – ‘Offside’ – is an important opportunity to raise the profile of Panahi and step up the pressure on the regime in Tehran. We believe that international solidarity of this sort – not the threat of military strikes or sanctions – is the way to deliver effective aid to the struggle of ordinary people in Iran for freedom and social change.
To buy your tickets and to find out more, please click here.
On December 30th two students were critically wounded and scores injured by knife wielding members of Ansar-e Hezbollah and Basij militia. Up to 500 thugs were brought in to attack students at Mashhad University after they staged anti-regime protests during Ashura. One of the students’ professors was also attacked and sustained knife wounds, whilst a young female student was badly injured after being struck repeatedly over the head with a piece of wood. Students at the university were holding silent mourning ceremonies for the Ashura where they opposed the repression of popular protests. The police aided the Basij and Hezbollah by blocking the roads leading up to the University and attacking crowds of students with tear gas and batons. Around 210 students and youth were arrested by the state-repressive forces throughout the recent Ashura protests. Below is the video of the brutal attack by Basij and Hezbollah on students:
The day after over 4000 students and professors staged protests against the attacks and arrests at Ferdowsi University of Mashhad and Azad University of Mashhad but were laid siege by security forces and militia. Students, professors and parents have tried to find out information on the arrested and injured. Read the rest of this entry »
Below is a brief report of the moves the regime has been taking against known leftwing activists and the threats that leading officials have been giving on state television. This report was sent to Hands Off the People of Iran by Anahita Hosseini of the ‘Independent Leftist Students’, who represent an anti-imperialist socialist tendency within the student movement in Iran.
After the mass protests of Sunday December 27th the regime is showing its fear of the people’s uprising by going to well known activists’ homes one by one and arresting them. This morning (Monday 28th) armed plain clothes forces went to the home of Mahin Fahimi, who is a member of the organization of mothers for peace, and arrested her and her son Omid Montazeri, who is a known leftist student activist. Omid is the son of Hamid Montazeri, a known communist activist who was executed by the regime during the mass murders of leftists and Mujahideen in prison in 1988. Read the rest of this entry »
Saturday 28th November saw 50-odd people congregate in central London for the 2009 Annual General Meeting of the Hands Off The People of Iran campaign. Being a internationalist socialist campaign this gave oneself the chance to mix with some of the more principled elements of the British left, from class struggle anarchists to the LRC. Read the rest of this entry »
Somers Town Community Centre, 150 Ossulston Street, London NW1 1EE (near Euston station). Registration from 10am. Download a leaflet here: (front/back)
Since the June 2009 elections, the situation in Iran has dramatically changed. Thousands have taken to the streets in defiant protest – despite the Iranian regime’s history of brutal repression. Initially, they were commonly portrayed as middle-class backers of the leading ‘reformist’ candidate Mir-Hossein Moussavi, but as protests have continued, and Moussavi himself has repeatedly shown his timidity and ties to the theocratic state, the mood has radicalised dramatically and this anger has embroiled wide swathes of the society. Many of those who were initially protesting against the election outcome now question the entire basis of Iran’s Islamic republic and there are daily strikes and protests. Come along to our AGM to discuss this and many other issues. Read the rest of this entry »
Fundraising cricket match: Hands off the People of Iran vs. Labour Representation Committee. From noon on Saturday August 1st at Low Halls sports ground, South Access Road, London E17, followed at 8pm by social at Dalston Social Centre, 2 Belgrade Road, N16.
With Yassamine Mather and Moshe Machover. Followed by a fundraising social.
Sat 20th, 2pm, Caxton House,129 St. John’s Way, London (Archway).
Iranian society is convulsed by a political crisis on a scale not seen for 30 years. Masses of Iranian people have taken to the streets since the results of the rigged elections. Their outrage is justified. The levels of blatant vote-rigging on show was crazy even by the standards of Iran’s Islamic Republic regime. The final result underlined that the whole process was compromised from top to bottom: Read the rest of this entry »
It is no surprise that the highly contested results of the presidential elections in Iran have sparked unrest in Tehran and other cities across Iran. The level of cheating on display seems crazy even by the standards of Iran’s Islamic Republic regime. Clearly, the results are the final proof that confirms that the whole electoral process is deeply undemocratic and rigged from top to bottom: Read the rest of this entry »
Below is a video of the Iranian student activist Behrouz Karimizadeh – a leading member of Freedom and Equality who spent several months in prison in winter 2007-spring 2008 – speaking at the Hands Off the People of Iran conference on December 13th. Behrouz discusses (via an interpreter) the challenges the student movement faces in building its forces and building its links with the workers’ movement in the face of repression and imperialist threats, as well as outlining the history of the movement. Videos of other talks are available on the HOPI website.
Below are a few photos taken at the Hands Off the People of Iran conference on Saturday 13th December. Much of the event was filmed: a video of John McDonnell speaking about sanctions is featured here, while Yassamine Mather on the Iranian trade unions is here.
Our group now has a Flickr page with photos from meetings, demonstrations and so on, which can be found here.
On Saturday 13th December I attended the conference of Hands Off the People of Iran, a solidarity campaign not only opposed to military attacks, “surgical strikes” and sanctions against Iran, but also supporting struggles against the régime waged by the workers’ movement, women’s and student organisations.
Just over sixty people attended, which was slightly down on last year, no doubt largely because the threat of a US or Israeli military attack on Iran seems lesser now that the US government and its allies are making deals with Islamist élites in order to extricate themselves from Iraq.
After a report on the last year’s activities, there was a general discussion on the current situation, led by Torab Saleth. This particularly focussed on the seemingly more “pragmatic” attitudes to foreign policy now held by the American ruling class, as symptomised by their majority support for Barack Obama in the recent presidential election and the weakening of the neo-conservative voice on Capitol Hill. Torab and several speakers from the floor warned that the situation could change suddenly, particularly given the continuity shown by Obama’s appointments, the risk of the US ruling class lashing out under pressure from the recession, and even the possibility of an Israeli “surgical strike” without Obama’s approval. A further consideration is, of course, the weakening of the Iranian economy with the collapse in world oil prices.
In any case the situation is in many ways unpredictable because (i) the Obama administration and the Iranian régime are not utterly irreconcilable and could easily reach accommodation: the latter supports the occupations of Iraq and Afghanistan and aggressively implements IMF neo-liberal reforms (ii) nor are their relations purely “rational” or reflective of greater economic or strategic dynamics. Read the rest of this entry »
Barack Obama has made it clear that he “will do anything” to stop Iran from developing the capacility to produce nuclear weapons. The global economic crisis has made world imperialism more belligerent. How do we fight the danger of another disastrous war in the Middle East? 7pm, Wednesday November 26. King’s College London. Strand Campus, The Strand (Temple tube)
Revolutionary Struggle in Iran
with Torab Saleth (Workers Left Unity Iran) 7:30pm, Tuesday 2nd December, University of Manchester Students’ Union – Meeting Room 1
Click here for details of HOPI conference, taking place in London on December 13th.