Thursday, July 09, 2009

Green Thursday

Today is Green Thursday. Azarmehr (writing yesterday, so read "today" where he says tomorrow), writes:
The 10th anniversary of the student uprising in Iran. The student protests in 1999 spread to 19 cities and went on for 6 days. The uprising was brutally crushed but it was the beginning of a new dawn. It gave us hope that change was coming to Iran. That despite all the propaganda machinery of those who consider themselves the 'Representatives of God on earth', the young Iranians had not been duped, and they had not given up. They were as determined as ever to bring about the 100 year old struggle of the Iranian people for democracy and freedom of speech to fruition.

'Freedom of Thought, Forever, Forever' Was the main slogan of those youngsters who had risked their lives by joining the protests in 1999. Ten years on now, the struggle is much more widespread. Now its every section of the Iranian population. The people of Iran deserve your international support.

Come and join us outside the Islamic Republic embassy in London, tomorrow 9th July, in London after 5:30 pm. Let the forces of darkness know that the freedom loving people of Iran are not on their own.

See you tomorrow at:
16 Prince’s Gate, SW7. The nearest Tube station is South Kensington.

Victory to the freedom loving people of Iran.

Help them enjoy the same freedoms you enjoy.



In Britain, Iran Solidarity is being launched next week. Their declaration and signatories are here. The declaration begins like this:
In June 2009 millions of people came out on to the streets of Iran for freedom and an end to the Islamic regime. Whilst the June 12 election was a pretext for the protests - elections have never been free or fair in Iran – it has opened the space for people to come to the fore with their own slogans.

The world has been encouraged by the protestors’ bravery and humane demands and horrified by the all-out repression they have faced. It has seen a different image of Iran - one of a population that refuses to kneel even after 30 years of living under Islamic rule.

The dawn that this movement heralds for us across the world is a promising one – one that aims to bring Iran into the 21st century and break the back of the political Islamic movement internationally.

This is a movement that must be supported

For more information on Iran, start with Entdinglichung, or the list of sites at the bottom of this post and this post. *UPDATE: REPORTS HERE.*

***

I don't want the below to detract from the above, but I think it is important to keep on maintaining clarity about the political battle about solidarity for Iran, and continuing to combat those on the left and right who seek to defuse our solidarity. The violence in Xinjiang province is an instructive case study in solidarity. On the one hand, the Islamist groups (rightly) calling for solidarity with the Uighar people neglect the (mainly Muslim) oppressed of Iran. On the other hand, leftists remain silent and confused about Xingjiang. As Voltaire's Priest notes, "One could safely assume that there would be far more banner headlines if the oppressor state involved was the USA. But, as with certain bloggers’ treatment of the inspiring protests in Iran, for some on the left a state’s opposition to the Great Satan trumps the blood of the working class as a cause for support and solidarity."

Similarly, the coup in Honduras is already amassing more column inches on the American left than the crushing of the uprising in Iran. I flicked over to CounterPunch (strapline: "Tells the facts, names the names") and scan through three days worth of posts. Two articles on Honduras, only one on Iran. Ah, but the article on Iran is not actually about Iran. Iran is pretext to talk about Israel and the Israel Lobby. (Same period: six articles on Israel.) Common Dreams? Three articles on Honduras, none on Iran. ZNet? Four on Honduras, none on Iran. Over here, Socialist Unity?* Two on Honduras, none on Iran.

As Azarmehr notes of totalitarianism's useful idiots, "They pick and choose their issues according to their agendas which has nothing to do with human rights or people suffering."



*Don't mean to pick on Socialist Unity unduly, but can't think what other sites are as representative of the British left, in the way the American sites I mentioned are.

3 comments:

Mike said...

Hey Bob,

I get your point about the ease (for some sections of the left) in focusing on Honduras instead of Iran, but it is worth noting that in the US there is some good reason for those of us on the left to focus our attentions squarely (though not exclusively) on the Americas. Both the history of US imperialism from the Monroe Doctrine to the present and the significant influx of immigrants from Latin America (including Hondurans in a number of places) make an emphasis on Latin America in general and Honduras in particuar understandable. This is certainly not meant to excuse those on the left who grossly oversimplify the situation in Honduras, or those who choose to completely ignore what is happening in Iran. Just saying...

While I'm at it, I thought I'd see if you are familiar with Danny Postel at all. He's an old friend and comrade, and he has quite a nuanced position on Iran (among many other topics). If you haven't already, you should check out his website: www.postelservice.com

bob said...

Thanks Mike. Yes, you are right. It is sensible that American leftists pay more attention to Honduras than to Iran or China; there are good reasons. However, these good reasons don't extend to the centrality of Israel/Palestine to the leftist imagination (which is part of the subtext). Nor do they excuse our ignorance (mine included) about less fashionable struggles (such as the Uighars, Sri Lanka, Western Sahara). And nor does it explain why British leftists find it easier to get worked up about Honduras than about Iran.

I have read Postel, but not for a while, and will go now to check out his site The Postel Service.

Entdinglichung said...

and nearly nobody is bothered about the repression against the Adivasi movement in Lalgarh/India