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Search words: Workers Solidarity

Support Our Fellow Workers

category international | worker & community struggles and protests | press release author Wednesday November 14, 2007 09:06author by John - Hands Off the People of Iran - HOPI Report this post to the editors

Trade unionists and activists across the world are calling for the immediate release of bus Workers jailed in Iran.

Workers employed by the United Bus Company of Tehran (Sharekat-e Vahed) were arrested and detained in Evin prison in an attempt to prevent a strike. The Workers are demanding a pay rise, collective bargaining, recognition of their union and the release of their union’s president. 12 leading members of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested following their fight for better pay and working conditions. After their arrest, 3,000 bus Workers staged a walkout in protest. Police responded by making further arrests.
prisoners.jpg

All those detained were released except for Mansour Ossanlou, the union’s president. Calls for his release continued, with almost 5,000 union members gathering outside the Azadi stadium in protest. Six members of the union executive were summoned to court following the union’s call for an all-out strike on 28 to demand the release of Ossanlou. They were interrogated then sent to Evin for their refusal to cancel the strike. On the eve of the strike, the state arrested hundreds of Workers as a preventive measure. Nevertheless many gathered the following day. They were attacked, rounded up and also sent to Evin. Family members, students and activists supporting the strike were also arrested. The Workers are courageously struggling on. Family members and supporters staged a protest outside the Iranian parliament calling for the immediate release of all those imprisoned. The action was successful in getting 200 Workers released. But hundreds are still in custody and two other union executive members have now been detained. And those released have been refused reinstatement by the bus company.

The bus driver’s union was formed in 1968 and played an important role in the 1979 revolution. In the early 1980s it was disbanded by the state in order to crush its militancy. In 2004 it was reactivated, but is still not legally recognised. The strike is a sign of the new mood developing inside the Iranian working class, defying not only the bosses, but also government officials.

The struggle of Iranian Workers has the potential to gather broader forces around it in the fight for democracy and social justice. Students and women’s rights activists have been at the forefront of the pro-democracy movement that developed from the mid-1990s. But that potential is being strangled by the US’s sabre rattling against Iran. Regime hardliners have capitalised on the US threat of war to rally support and to quell any opposition. Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s election campaign was centred on his promise to redistribute the country’s oil wealth to the poor. Unable to deliver on this, he increasingly relies on an anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric to strengthen his hand against other factions of the regime. This is why activists in Iran are facing two challenges. On the one hand they are fighting to enhance the lives of ordinary people.

What can Workers do in Solidarity:

1. Please deposit your financial support to the account number of 732280 at Meli Bank of Iran, Branch of Tehran Nou, Branch Code 134, under the names of Ebrahim Madadi, Davoud Razavi and Naser Gholami from any branches of Meli Bank . You can also support us directly and get the Syndicate’s receipt.
Address: P.O.Box 4557-111 Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburban Bus (Vahed) Company,
Email Address: syndica_vahed@yahoo.com and syndicavahed@gmail.com
This bank account has been suspended. Please see this comment for details of how to transfer money
2. Send messages of Solidarity to above address.

3. Send messages of complaint to Iranian Embassy:
Embassy of the Islamic Republic of Iran
72 Mount Merrion Avenue
Blackrock
Co. Dublin
Tel: 01 288 0252 /01 288 5881
Fax: 01 283 4246
Email: iranemb@indigo.ie

Published by HOPI
Hands Off The People Of Iran fights against the threat of any imperialist intervention, war or sanctions against Iran. It looks to build active, practical Solidarity with grass-roots radical secular forces in Iran, the militant women’s, Workers and students movements. We want regime change, both in Iran and in the imperialist countries. But we know that change must come from below - from the struggles of the working class and social movements - if it is to lead to genuine liberation. Our campaign demands are:
• No to imperialist war!
• No to the theocratic regime!
• The immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US/UK troops from the Gulf region!
• Opposition to Israeli expansionism and aggression!
• Support to all working class and progressive struggles in Iran against poverty and repression!
• Support for socialism, democracy and Workers' control in Iran!
• For a nuclear-free Middle East as a step towards a nuclear-free world!

http://www.hopoi.org/
anne@hopoi.info
HOPI
c/o Barracka Books,
61 Barrack Street,
Cork

author by J - HOPIpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 09:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Workers who are in unions should raise this issue with their union and propose motions of support for the workers and/or a protest letter to the Iranian Embassy. Your Union can also ask for the support of the ICTU. Also workers should keep an eye on indymedia for HOPI activities.

author by Sceptic - nonepublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 11:49author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I have been sceptical about the sudden interest by some people in the rights of workers in Iran. The wisdom of my scepticism has been confirmed by this story. It seemed familiar. I had read it before. It was so familiar that I checked the date to see if it was an old story. No, just posted today. Then I googled Iran bus workers strike and this link came up. http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id...=8313

It's a Socialist Worker article from February 2006 and, as you will see if you read it, the article posted here is a edited version of the Socialist Worker article written to make it look as if the strike is happening at the moment. So, why was I so sceptical? There are many parts of the world where workers are denied their rights, where women's rights activists are tortured, raped and imprisoned etc. But only one of those countries is under threat of imminent attack by the world's superpower. Yet that is the one chosen for a major assault on its human rights record. Of course we have to support those inside Iran looking for their rights and wanting to overthrow their government but why is there not a similar campaign about Saudi Arabia which is a hundred times worse than Iran in terms of human rights???? Is it because Saudi Arabia is a 'friend' of the USA?

author by Jdpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:19author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The union reps are still in jail and the union is still not recognised.

author by so what - Are you fucking joking?publication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You see no problem with a misleading article which has resorted to dishonesty to bolster an ongoing campaign of demonisation toward Iran. Glad to see your priciples are so flexible in the name of solidarity.

Ends justify the means in your book? Have heard that before.

author by Readereile - trollbusterspublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 12:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Whats your problem? The busworkers have been on strike since 2006. Two of their leaders are in prison and all you are out do is spot any typos in the article.

Do you support the imprisonment of the Iran trade unionists or do you think they should be released. They are in prison for doing just what Dublin busworkers are doing now - going on strike to defend their working conditions.

Maybe you'd like to see Dublin busworkers locked up as well?

This isnt about pedantic nitpicking its which side of the class divide you are on.

Support the Iranian busworkers against the Iranian Capitalists and support the Dublin busworkers against the Irish Capitalists.

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 13:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburban Bus (Vahed) Company have a website in English at:
http://www.syndicavahed.com/english.htm

This is their latest statement:

The Syndicaye Sherkat-e Vahed once again expresses its deep appreciations to our trade union brothers and sisters in the Middle East and North Africa , who expressed their solidarity to Mansour Osaloo and Ebrahim Madadi, the Chairperson and the Vice President of our union after his arrest in July 2007. Your messages of support were most encouraging and empowered us to keep our unity in the times of difficulties.

In our statement , we strongly condemned the unfair verdicts to Mansour Osaloo and Ebrahim Madadi on 3 November 2007 , and requested all the international trade union organisations to react seriously to this unfair and anti-workers ruling globally.

We sincerely hope that our brothers and sisters from the region will be on the forefront in expressing their solidarity towards the Syndicaye Sherkat-e Vahed and continue to their Solidarity Campaign globally for the immediate and unconditional release of Mansour Osanloo and Ebrahim Madadi.

With hope for peace and justice in the world
Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburban Bus Company, Vahed


The full statement may be accessed at this link-
http://www.syndicavahed.com/engl33.htm

author by jdpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 14:41author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Misleading? Thell me one lie that the article contains. It would be misleading for the SWP to highlight the plight of the bus workers in their paper and the actively attack HOPI for doing the same. No not misleading, it would be a downright hypocrisy.

author by So Whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 14:58author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Strike happened over a year and half ago.

The Arrests happened over a year and a half ago

Its presented here as being recent. Why else would it be posted in full as a story and not an update.

That is misleading. No two ways about it. But you call it nit-picking. Convenient, I must say.

See here

http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id...=8313

author by Readerpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The SWP lifted the story from an International Labour bulletin. The issue is ongoing. No harm getting solidarity from fellow bus workers also involved in fighting for their rights. Or maybe all animals are equal but some are more equal than others...?

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You are a liar and I wonder what your motivation is.

This is very much a fresh story. Just a week ago the 2 union leaders were sentenced to prison. You know that is the case so why are you undermining support for the Iranian workers?

Who do you support in Iran? The workers or the bosses?

author by So Whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not to mention, for a heavily repressive regime, the Iranian government seems pretty reluctant to seize the assets of this Union seeing as it is illegal. Yet the Union plainly advertises Iranian bank details on a western internet site and has a PO Box in Tehran.

They seem pretty confident that the oppressive Iranian regime wont simply shut down the accounts or close the PO Box.

Somethings amiss here.

An organisation deemed illegal by the state would not be able to operate so overtly, so whos bank accounts are they and what is this PO Box fronting?

"Please deposit your financial support to the account number of 732280 at Meli Bank of Iran, Branch of Tehran Nou, Branch Code 134, under the names of Ebrahim Madadi, Davoud Razavi and Naser Gholami from any branches of Meli Bank . You can also support us directly and get the Syndicate’s receipt.
Address: P.O.Box 4557-111 Syndicate of Workers of the Tehran and Suburban Bus (Vahed) Company, "

author by Very Very Puzzledpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In Dublin the SWP support the buswoorkers, actually one of the leaders of the busworkers is a member of the SWP.

In Tehran busworkers have been sent to jail for going on strike and what happens? The SWP (apparently) attack the Tehran busdrivers and try to derail attempts to support them.

I think its about time the SWP clarified their position on trade union rights in Iran.

author by So Whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The SWP lifted the story from an International Labour bulletin. The issue is ongoing. No harm getting solidarity from fellow bus workers also involved in fighting for their rights. Or maybe all animals are equal but some are more equal than others...?"

Are you telling me it took a year and half for an ongoing issue to finally reach Indymedia?
Conveniently concinciding with a marked increase of the intensity of the propoganda campaign against iran? You really cant see anything Fishy here?

As for mister Makhno calling me a liar. The link to the story in the Socialist Worker clearly shows this happened well over a year ago.

And then we get
"I think its about time the SWP clarified their position on trade union rights in Iran."

What has the SWP got to do with the time-line of this story.

Yez made a mistake, got called on it and are now indulging in all sorts of bullshitography to try and delfect attention from that very obvious fact.

The Damage is done guys, trying to expand this into a wider micro left v micro left dust up will not change that.

This is a genuine 'old' story being manipulated in a wider campaign to vilify Iran.

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Its quite obvious from the way you make such attacks on trade union members who have been imprisoned that you are on the side of Iranian Capitalism. Trade unions are banned and strikers imprisoned in Iran yet you take the side of the bosses.

Well you will probably be glad to here that the union bank account has been frozen.

Here is another account you may contribute to:

Workers Fund Iran
Account number 42593705
Branch 09-06-66
BIC - Bank International Code
ABBYGB2L
IBAN GB 16ABBY 0906 6642 5937 05

Workers Fund Iran is a registered charity.

author by So Whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:29author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Its quite obvious from the way you make such attacks on trade union members who have been imprisoned that you are on the side of Iranian Capitalism. Trade unions are banned and strikers imprisoned in Iran yet you take the side of the bosses"

More sanctimonious with us or against us tripe. I'm taking nobodies side except the iranian peoples side. You have a narrow agenda and are spreading bullshit in an attempt to inject urgency into it.

You are an enemy of the Iranian people because you ride roughshot over their wishes and are calling for a solidarity the majority of them dont want. Sorry to burst your bubble.

"Well you will probably be glad to here that the union bank account has been frozen."

I dont believe you. You cant even admit that the story posted above is over a Year old yet any one who follows the link to the Socialist Worker can see it is as clear as day.

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Are you telling me it took a year and half for an ongoing issue to finally reach Indymedia?"

No. As you well know this story has been raised on Indymedia many times before.

"Conveniently concinciding with a marked increase of the intensity of the propoganda campaign against iran? You really cant see anything Fishy here?"

What have workers rights got to do with that? Workers are entitled to rights in both Dublin and Tehran.

"As for mister Makhno calling me a liar. The link to the story in the Socialist Worker clearly shows this happened well over a year ago. "

You brought the SWP on here. Other stories have been published here since.

""I think its about time the SWP clarified their position on trade union rights in Iran."
What has the SWP got to do with the time-line of this story."

You tell me. You brought an old SWP story on this thread which is about 2 Iranian TU leaders who were jailed less than a forthnight ago.

"This is a genuine 'old' story being manipulated in a wider campaign to vilify Iran."

You postted the old story. The Tehran busworkers are appealing for support now. Two leaders of this union were imprsoned less than 2 weeks ago.

You arte villifying the Iranian workers.

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"More sanctimonious with us or against us tripe. I'm taking nobodies side except the iranian peoples side. You have a narrow agenda and are spreading bullshit in an attempt to inject urgency into it."

No. You are taking the side of the Iranian Regime. The Iranian People are not the Iranian Regime. Workers are striking, students, women are protesting yet you support the Iranian Regime against them.

"You are an enemy of the Iranian people because you ride roughshot over their wishes and are calling for a solidarity the majority of them dont want. "

How do you work this out? From Iranian Embassy handouts? These workers have asked for support we are providing it. How could I be an enemy of the Iranian People by sdupporting those in struggle?

You are the enemy of the Iranian people and the supporter of the Iranian Capitalist Government.

author by So Whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:42author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"You tell me. You brought an old SWP story on this thread which is about 2 Iranian TU leaders who were jailed less than a forthnight ago."

Oh Boy, the story on the Socialist Worker is the story that was posted by 'John' just some of the paragraphs have been re-arranged.

It is an old story. It is clear to all. You are completely off the wall tryin to sell this as anything other than that.

The part about the 2 Iranian TU leaders is buried deep in the article (they are exec. members btw, not Leaders) which clearly shows this article is not about them. It did not lead with their arrest, it started off

You are desperately reaching now and really making yourself look foolish by not admitting that the article posted above is a reworking of the linked article. Its patently obvious.

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 15:54author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Oh Boy, the story on the Socialist Worker is the story that was posted by 'John' just some of the paragraphs have been re-arranged."

Thats a lie. The text is mainly based on info from the ITF site.
http://www.itfglobal.org/urban-transport/tehranbuses.cfm

"The part about the 2 Iranian TU leaders is buried deep in the article (they are exec. members btw, not Leaders) "

What sort of a pedant would suggest that EC members are not leaders?

"You are desperately reaching now and really making yourself look foolish by not admitting that the article posted above is a reworking of the linked article. Its patently obvious. "

You are a childish liar. Your hatred of Iranian workers and support for Iranian Capitalism is clear to all.

author by So whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 16:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Here are the opening paragraphs from the Article posted above

"Trade unionists and activists across the world are calling for the immediate release of hundreds of bus workers being held in Iran’s capital Tehran.
Workers employed by the United Bus Company of Tehran (Sharekat-e Vahed) have been arrested and detained in Evin prison over the last week in an attempt to prevent a strike.
The workers are demanding a pay rise, collective bargaining, recognition of their union and the release of their union’s president.
On 22 December last year, 12 leading members of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested following their fight for better pay and working conditions."

Here are the opening paragraphs fron the article posted on the Socialist worker over a year ago.

"Trade unionists and activists across the world are calling for the immediate release of hundreds of bus workers being held in Iran’s capital Tehran.
Workers employed by the United Bus Company of Tehran (Sharekat-e Vahed) have been arrested and detained in Evin prison over the last week in an attempt to prevent a strike.
The workers are demanding a pay rise, collective bargaining, recognition of their union and the release of their union’s president.
On 22 December last year, 12 leading members of the Union of Workers of the Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company were arrested following their fight for better pay and working conditions."

link: http://www.socialistworker.co.uk/article.php?article_id...=8313

It is word for word plagiarism.

Seriously who do you think you are fooling?

author by So What Party Watchpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 16:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Workers rights, Human rights, Sexual rights, etc.
So what?
The SWP putting the So What into socialism.

author by Makhnopublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 16:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Who are you trying to fool?

Reader already posted this:
"The SWP lifted the story from an International Labour bulletin"

Common data was used for the opening part of both stories. Now are you going to attack the SWP for plagiarism?

But all of that is irrelevant. You are just using this to derail the story.

It is not an old story, the two trade union leaders were sentenced less than 2 weeks ago, their case has been raised many times on INdymedia. You are using red herrings to try and destroy the story.

There are 2 sets of people involved in this debate:

1. Those who support the busworkers in Tehran and the Iranian People.

2. There is you who supports the Iranian Capitalist Regime against the Iranian People.

author by So whatpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 16:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Common data was used for the opening part of both stories?"

Anyone with a pair of eyes can see how remarkably similar the articles are all the way through. It is a clear reworking of an old story, re-hashed to look recent in light of the sentencing of two union officials who where arrested at the time this story broke well over a year ago.

"It is not an old story, the two trade union leaders were sentenced less than 2 weeks ago, their case has been raised many times on INdymedia"

Where. Links please?

It has been established that apart from the sentencing this is an old story. If it was raised so many times on Indymedia why werent those links just bumped with an update of the sentencing of the 2 officials?

You where just caught wih your trousers down trying to make an old strike look like it happened recently.

"There are 2 sets of people involved in this debate:

1. Those who support the busworkers in Tehran and the Iranian People."

Would these be the same Iranian people who voted in massive numbers for a president who supports that regime?
You dont represent or support the Iranian people at all. Just a tiny fraction of them.

"2. There is you who supports the Iranian Capitalist Regime against the Iranian People."

I support the Iranian People. Emotive hyperbole is for the gutter press.

author by Anne - HOPIpublication date Wed Nov 14, 2007 23:50author address author phone Report this post to the editors

'So What' is very keen to undermine the story. The fact is that the leaders of the strike are still in prison after the strike took place. Is 'So What' trying to say that bus workers are not in prison and that we should not support them and their families?

Obviously that is clearly the aim. All this to shield the Iranian state from criticism.

author by Mark Lpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 00:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wouldn't say undermine it. The fact remains that this story is old and it was shown to be old.

Not even you are willing to admit this. Smokescreens about intent and motive wont take away from that fact. HOPI has done its self an injury with this manipulation of the truth and continues to do so by trying to defend such trickery.

author by Mark Lpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 00:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Tune into RTE 1. They are showing a programme on the Ashura festival.

You might find the reality of Iran somewhat different from the perpetual disproportionate bullshit commented on here by some of your colleagues.

author by John O'Neill - HOPIpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 00:34author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I compiled the leaflet above as I was asked to put a leaflet together fast. I used the SWP article because it was well written as the basis for the leaflet. I also thought it would be good to use as if it was challenged by SWP members as innacurate then i could say it was from 'Socialist Worker'. I sent it to another hopi member to make sure it was accurate and they confirmed it was and made one or two additions to the content. I don't understand what all the above posts are getting so upset about. None of the facts contained are wrong and there was no intention to mislead anybody. The leaflet is an accurate background to the situation.

I think there is a very real agenda to try to wreck HOPI and I believe the SWP are at the forefront of this unending charade. One of the posts above contains the line "Would these be the same Iranian people who voted in massive numbers for a president who supports that regime?" What sort of fucked up logic is that. Should we all stop supporting the Irish bus workers because, using the same logic, they voted for Bertie?

If the SWP want to sue me for plagurism then they can go ahead but they will have to get in line because I have taken articles from the Times Indo and even the Herald over the years - thats the beauty of the internet

author by Mark Lpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 08:09author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"I compiled the leaflet above as I was asked to put a leaflet together fast."

I see. And in your haste you forgot to check whether or not his story was recent?

Now that this has been pointed out to you will you be editing the article to include the fact that the strike and the arresst happened over a year ago to avoid misleading readers who would otherwise reasonably assume that this occurred recently?

"I think there is a very real agenda to try to wreck HOPI and I believe the SWP are at the forefront of this unending charade"

I wouldnt touch the SWP with a barge pole. Your position is not infallable. HOPI has an agenda, a very real one to manipulate any story it can to demonise Iran. Any reasonable person can see that with the relentless postings on this site which is done to give the impression that HR abuses are endemic in Iran and happening at an alarming rate. Another insult thrown at the people of Iran because it assumes that they stand idly by, muted and powerless as these multitude of atrocities are carried out in front of their eyes.

"Would these be the same Iranian people who voted in massive numbers for a president who supports that regime?" What sort of fucked up logic is that."

HOPI claims to support the Iranian people and condemns the Iranian government. That is rather difficult when a massive majority of Iranians came out and voted for a President who supports that Governement. It is a fact that HOPI continues to ignore because that is what really undermines HOPI both here and in Iran.

"Should we all stop supporting the Irish bus workers because, using the same logic, they voted for Bertie?"

Always with the whataboutery. Supporting the Bus Strikers is a million miles away from calling for regime change and likening the Governement to a pack of Fascist Nazis. How many of the bus strikers in Harristown would be of that opinion? I'm sure they would not want your support if that was the position you qualified it with.

How many of the Striking workers in Iran want their government overthrown? Is that what they are striking for or are they looking for better working conditions.

You lot are interperating these strikes as some sort of mass Iranian mobilisation of workers who are on the brink of revolution. You try an portray these actions as proof that the masses in Iran want regime change.
This strategy is common among weakly supported groups and HOPi is weakly supported within Iran. It is virtually unheard of in fact.

author by John O'Neill - HOPIpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 09:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mark L says "That is rather difficult when a massive majority of Iranians came out and voted for a President who supports that Governement. It is a fact that HOPI continues to ignore...."

You don't know much about elections in Iran do you? Its not as if the Iranian workers had much of a choice. Iran is a one-party state where defenders of a single ideology, ‘political islam’, constitute 95% of elected officials. Article 1 of the constitution states that the form of government in Iran is that of an islamic republic. According to the constitution, the country’s religious supreme leader is the commander-in-chief of the armed forces and the president can only serve in this function with the approval of the supreme leader.

There were seven people running for the post out of more than a thousand initial candidates, most of whom were disqualified by the Guardian Council, which holds veto power over all political candidates in Iran.

author by Gerry Cpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not you as well

The system you describe is the system Iranians want. It is the system they put in place for themselves after the revolution.

A schematic to better show how the Iranian electoral system operates can be seen here
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/shared/spl/hi/middle_east/03/ir...t.stm

There was an 86% (Men and Woman) turnout in the last presidential election. Do you think these people are stupid, that they turn out in such mass numbers to vote for the sake of it. Do you not think they know the candidates have been vetted and approved?

It is you who is taking Iranians for morons by insinuating that they dont even understand their own election process by participating in such large numbers in that process in complete ignorance.

Iranians know the candidate was vetted, they knew what he stood for, who he represented and what he would try to achieve. They knew it what they where doing when they voted in such large numbers for him. It is you who seems to think that they dont. You desperately need to believe that so you can console your postition as supporting the people of Iran when in fact you dont. You attack the very system of government they put in place for themselves and imply they are too stupid to understand their election process by participating in it.

If it truly was the case that Iranians dont support their government then they would not participate in these elections if they considered them a sham. Or do you stil insist they are too stupid to know the difference.

author by Makhnopublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 10:55author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"The system you describe is the system Iranians want. It is the system they put in place for themselves after the revolution."

That was in 1979. It is disputed as to whether or not it was a fair vote. In anycase the majority of the present Iranian voting population didnot have a vote in 1979.

"There was an 86% (Men and Woman) turnout in the last presidential election. "

Under dictatorships there are often "turnouts" of up to 100%.

"It is you who is taking Iranians for morons by insinuating that they dont even understand their own election process by participating in such large numbers in that process in complete ignorance."

I dont believe that they did participate in such vast numbers. Even the moderate Islamic clergy say that the presidential election was rigged.

"If it truly was the case that Iranians dont support their government then they would not participate in these elections if they considered them a sham. Or do you stil insist they are too stupid to know the difference."

You are the one who thinks that the Iranians are stupid. You suggest that Iranians are so stupid that they are happy to accept dictatorship and do not want democracy.

All opposition parties are banned in Iran, all candidates are vetted. Only a conman would suggest that it is a democratic sytem.

Would anyone have the neck to suggest that the Burmese people do not want democracy or that the Pakistani people are happy with the Military Coup?!

author by Makhnopublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

""It is not an old story, the two trade union leaders were sentenced less than 2 weeks ago, their case has been raised many times on INdymedia"

Where. Links please?"

Glad to oblige. Here are stories about the Tehran busworkers posted over the last 6 months. If you acces them you will observe that the busworkers also opposeany US war against Iran. They have the support of Trade Unions internationally in Muslim countries and in the West.

Bus worker union activists jailed in Iran
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84935

Workers in Iran: Special “August 9th” Issue
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83806

Iran prisoners - ITUC-ITF Appeal for Day of Action
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83719

Iranian trade unionist 'kidnapped'
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83385

Iranian Workers Bulletin, Issue 14. No War or Sanctions, No to the Iranian Regime!
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/84081

Strikes and labour unrest increase in Iran
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/82409

Iranian Workers Request International Trade Union Solidarity
http://www.indymedia.ie/article/83990

author by Gerry Cpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:25author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Would anyone have the neck to suggest that the Burmese people do not want democracy or that the Pakistani people are happy with the Military Coup?!"

Where was that suggestion made? Are you equating Burma with Iran simply because it is a dictatorship?

In that case you must conclude that Cubans want democracy too and therefore are itching to overthrow Castro. Hyperbolous reactionary waffle.

Iranians chose the President they wanted. If they did not want him they would not have voted for him. If there was no candidate they felt they could vote for they would not have voted at all.Your arguement is butkim but you insist on it becasue you want to avoid dealing with the rather sticky reality of the Iranian government having widepread support amongst its people. You choose to ignore it becuase it offends your personal view. If you admit it HOPi as an organisation becomes irrelevant. You cannot show solidarity with a people who want nothing to do with you.

Of course that is the case. You chose to ignore it and deal in idealist purism devoid of the political realities in Iran. Some would call that a head in the sand approach. Most would call it dangerously naive and likely to do more harm than good.

author by Gerry Cpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:31author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Here are stories about the Tehran busworkers posted over the last 6 months"

Thanks, it think that perfectly illustrates the MO of HOPI.

It is the same story posted over and over again about the same two Union officials.

Why was this thread necessary when there was so many others available to post an update.

This is HOPI trying to garner as much political capital from the same story whilst at the same time giving the impression that these strikes are happening all the time. Which of course feeds into its regime change mantra.

author by Makhnopublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:39author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"It is the same story posted over and over again about the same two Union officials."

It is not the same story. Its stories from Iranian Trade Unions. Its stories from the International Transport Federation. Its stories from Iranian socialists.

Its a story about an event 2 weeks ago where the 2 were sentenced to prison.

"Why was this thread necessary when there was so many others available to post an update."

Because this is the text of a leaflet which was distributed to the locked out Dublin Bus workers.

Why dont you go to the Dublin Bus workers and distribute a leaflet in support of the Iranian Regime?

The sentencing of the 2 TU leaders to prison is a new story and no amount of lies by you will change that.

author by Gerry Cpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 11:57author address author phone Report this post to the editors

But you said "their case has been raised many times on INdymedia"
You then supplied links to articles highlighting their arrest. You've already admitted it is the same story, you are just coming unstuck as it was pointed out to you that this thread was unnecessary when all that was needed was an update posted on the existing threads.

The reasons behind this thread are fairly obvious, spew out more anti-Iranian propaganda.

Do you think any of the Dublin bus drivers support a communist Iran? Did you tell them what HOPis real motives where which is to overthrow the Iranian Government and instill a communist government? You are hiding behind Union activism and are deliberately concealing your real objectives. All this 'No to this' and 'no to that' sloganeering is just what it is, soundbyte sloganeering.

And as for what I support, I support the Iranian people’s right to decide for themselves what is best for themselves. If they want an Islamic Government they have every right to have one.

I also support their right to defend themselves against aggression both within and without, from the US propaganda and HOPi propaganda which does nothing but service the notion than Iranians are backward savages incapable of governing themselves because it is not a western democracy.

Iranians are a dignified, proud, highly cultured and ancient civilisation. Leave them alone to find their own way. What right have you to preach either to them or on their behalf?

author by Makhnopublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 12:14author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"But you said "their case has been raised many times on INdymedia"
You then supplied links to articles highlighting their arrest."

Your friend "So What" denied that there were any such stories on Indymedia and demanded links. Now that I provide links you attack me because the stories exist!

"You've already admitted it is the same story,"

Thats a lie, I admitted no such thing. Its developments on the story.

"this thread was unnecessary when all that was needed was an update posted on the existing threads. "

Would any rational person suggest that the launching of an International Campaign by the ITF only merits an update?

Would any rational person suggest that the actual sentencing of the TU leaders only deserved an update?

This article is the text of a leaflet distributed to Dublin Bus workers.

"The reasons behind this thread are fairly obvious, spew out more anti-Iranian propaganda."

How could it be Anti-Iranian to support Iranian workers who have been imprisoned for their TU activities?

"Do you think any of the Dublin bus drivers support a communist Iran? Did you tell them what HOPis real motives where which is to overthrow the Iranian Government and instill a communist government? "

Thats a lie. You fool no one. HOPI is supported by Noam Chomsky. John Pilger, Naomi Klein, Seanator David Norris, Ken Loach, Deirdre Clancy, Tony Gregory TD. They support Internal Regime Change From Below. Are you suggesting they want to impose a Communist Government on Iran?

author by Gerry Cpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 13:12author address author phone Report this post to the editors

One again you withdraw into your carefully constructed cocoon.

HOPI is a CPGB front. Had you a shred of integrity you would admit it. Its objectives are the same of any communist organisation, to instil a communist government. Armed revolution is the mechanism most often cited as achieving that goal in recognition of the insignificant support of the masses/working classes for communism despite it ideologically being in their interests. Although communists skillfully disguise this as a need to overcome the oppressive forces of the state, completely blind to the fact that these forces are actually made up of those same working class. (workers in Uniform???) The same is true of Iran.

You have assumed ownership of the working classes in Iran and assume that they instinctly support your ideals.

HOPI cannot even grasp that premise. It assumes it has moral authority when talking about Iran but side steps with ease the blatant political reality that it has no support in Iran. It does this for reasons of self preservation. Like I said what is the point in showing a solidarity with a people who want nothing to do with you.

As for regime change from below? They have already done that in Iran, its called the islamic revolution. The continued mass participation in the instruments of that revolution during presidential and parliamentary elections clearly indicates that Iranians still consider the Islamic republic their preffered choice of Government. That may be unsavoury to 'western democrats' but that is the reality in Iran. One that cannot be swept away by a tiny extreme left internet based organisation and a list of western intellectuals.

Iran will reform. They will do it themselves in their own way.

author by John - HOPIpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 15:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I am a member of HOPI. I am not a member of the CPGB. As far as I know the CPGB are a GB party and are not organised in Ireland. HOPI is a 'broad church' with socialists, anarchists trade unionists, independents and others who agree with our campaign demands (listed above).

I don't see anything with any group/party/organisation establishing a campaign once they are committed to the campaign, have democratic structures and are not using the campaign as simply a front to attract new members.

author by Anne - HOPIpublication date Thu Nov 15, 2007 16:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Gerry C supports the Iranian regime. He apparently believes that an election where the candidates were handpicked by the clerical regime is an example of democracy. Just because there was a vote does not mean people had choice. Next he will be telling us that women are not forced to wear the hijab and in fact are very happy with their lot!

Gerry tells us to leave the Iranian people alone. Let them suffer the consequences of their own government! This is despite the calls for solidarity being made in an atmosphere of repression. They voted for that government - let them rot he says!

We presumably should leave it to the US to pose as the 'supporters' of the people of Iran and we keep our mouths shut.

Look, Gerry if you are not interested in supporting the struggles of women, students and trade unionists in Iran, then fine. But at least give up supporting the government against those struggles.

We on the other hand will continue to campaign against all sanctions and attacks on Iran. We are an anti-war campaign - but one that is not afraid to criticise the Iranian elite.

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