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Successful launch of Hands Off the People of Iran in Ireland

category national | anti-war / imperialism | other press author Friday May 18, 2007 11:01author by Anne Mc Shane - Hands Off the People of Iranauthor phone 086 23 43238 Report this post to the editors

Anne McShane gives a report here on how meetings in Cork, Dublin and Belfast resulted in the succesful launch of Hands Off the People of Iran, in Ireland. Full article and links to more material at the url below.

pat c

Genuine solidarity

The launch of the Hands off the People of Iran campaign in Ireland last week was an important success. It showed the potential of Hopi to draw others in and give real solidarity to left and progressive forces in Iran. Yassamine Mather put forward forceful arguments against many misconceptions. She explained the political realities in Iran and the struggles that are ongoing against the theocratic regime. She argued against the idea that the development of nuclear power by Iran was the impetus behind any US intervention. The true reason is that the Iranian state is far too influential in Iraq for the liking of the Bush administration.

The Iranian theocratic state is using the present crisis to crack down on dissent below. But despite repression, arrests and many dangers, struggles erupt again and again throughout Iran. The student and workers’ movements are particularly progressive and leftwing - against the regime, but also against imperialist aggression.

Des Derwin, vice-president of Dublin Council of Trade Unions, also a spoke at the Dublin meeting. He said he was glad to be associated with the campaign and offered the support of the DCTU. He also suggested that we put forward resolutions to union branches and organise meetings during the forthcoming conference season.

Residents Against Racism raised the need to give support to Iranian political refugees. The Irish government currently collaborates with Tehran in making enquiries about asylum-seekers - greatly endangering their lives. It is also refusing more and more applications for political asylum. It was agreed that the campaign should build links and defend Iranian migrants and refugees in Ireland.


To get involved with Hopi in Ireland, email Anne@hopoi.info; or call 08623 43238 (+353 8623 43238).

Related Link: http://www.hopoi.org
author by pat c - Hands Off the People of Iran publication date Fri Jun 22, 2007 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

New signatories from Canada include sociologist professor Chris Doran (University of New Brunswick) and geographer professor Harald Bauder (University of Guelph), and, from the United States, economist professor John Roemer (Yale University), cultural critic professor Steven Shaviro (Wayne State University), historian professor Mike Davis (University of California, Irvine) and Manning Marable, professor of African-American studies at Columbia University.

And in the Far East, Marxist historian/anthropologist professor Arif Dirlik (Chinese University of Hong Kong), defence and strategic studies expert KS Balakrishnan (University of Malaya, Kuala Lumpur) and psychologist Leo Marai (University of Papau New Guinea) have declared their support for Hopi.

Stephen Hughes, Labour MEP for North East England also signed up as a HOPI supporter.

Offene Uni is a political weekend sponsored by various student groups and the trade union Verdi and took place in Berlin over June 16-17.

On the Saturday Ben Lewis, of Hands Off the People of Iran, was one of the speakers. He described the current situation both in Washington and Tehran, stressing the need for principled solidarity with the political struggles in Iran.

This led to an interesting discussion amongst the 25-30 people that attended, particularly around the possibility of military intervention in Iran and whether the threat of war was to some extent abated as a result of the two powers meeting back in May. Comrade Lewis stressed that the question was still balanced on a knife-edge and that the apparent “breakthrough” in US-Iranian relations actually had more to do with the fact that the USA and Iran have come to a reactionary consensus over the occupation regime in Iraq, which is crucial for both of their strategic interests.


Hands Off the People of Iran’s sister organisation, the Campaign in Defence of the Iranian People (Against Imperialist War, Against the Islamic Regime) held its launch meeting on June 15 in Copenhagen. The meeting had two speakers, David Mather from Hopi, and Irene Clausen from the Danish campaign.

David Mather spoke about the struggle of car workers in the Iran Khodro plant against casualisation and lack of job security brought on by the regime’s neoliberal privatisation policies, and made more acute by the absence of any independent workers’ organisations. He described the actions of the security forces, factory police and the islamic shoras in suppressing workers, the breaching of health and safety regulations and the poor pay that forces workers to work three consecutive eight-hour shifts.

David emphasised the opposition of Iranian workers to any military intervention by the US and its allies, as well as their fears about current and future sanctions. Many workers fear that the regime will use the threat of war to increase repression, as it did in the 1980s, during the Iran -Iraq war.

Irene Clausen introduced the new Danish campaign: “We are not the friends of regimes which suppress the workers, women and students, not even if they are attacked by imperialism,” she said. “On the contrary we support the workers in Iran who are struggling for the right to form independent workers’ unions. We support the women in Iran in revolt against sexual apartheid, and we support the students who are demonstrating for freedom of expression and human rights.”


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