Sunday, October 21, 2007

Iranian reply to Stop the War's gatekeeper

Workers Left Unity is one of the Iranian groups involved in Hands Off the People of Iran (HOPI), which has been barred from affiliation to the Stop the War Coalition in Britain, and denounced as "enemies", without being given the chance to put forward its views, and without ordinary members of the Stop the War Coalition getting the opportunity to hear what these comrades have to say.

Andrew Murray, the STWC officer responsible for the exclusion notice, claimed that Hands off the People of Iran was just a front for the Communist Party of Great Britain. Lesser apologists for the Stop the War leadership are attempting an ignorant Stalinist-style witch hunt by
talking vaguely about unnamed Iranians "associated with the CIA".
Naturally the smear operators can neither risk naming names nor offer any evidence for their accusation .
Whether they have been up to this by others we don't know. But I am sure most anti-war activists will want nothing to do with such dirty and discredited techniques.

Meanwhile here one of the Iranian comrades, from Workers Left Unity, replies to what Andrew Murray had to say:

Amir Javaheri Langaroudi (Etehadchap Kargari) replies to the allegations byAndrew Murray

A standard reply has been sent by Andrew Murray (Stop the War Coalition chair) in response to the emails and protests by HOPI supporters over the exclusion of the campaign. In this reply Murray states:
“Our decision in respect of these two organisations is, however, political.Both are effectively controlled by the Weekly Worker group (“CPGB”) - indeed their spokesman in the current controversy is the Weekly Worker’s national organiser. This body has been hostile to StWC from its inception. It declined to support the objectives of the Coalition, which they now pray freely in aid, when they were first adopted in October 2001.”

In response to this outrageous claim, a number of points have to be clarified:

HOPI was set up by Iranians in exiles in UK and USA, many of them activists and members of Workers Left Unity -Iran (Etehadchap Kargari) in response to calls by antiwar students, workers.The first calls for such a campaign appeared in Farsi on the website of Etehadchap and Rahe Kargar in the summer of 2005.

Some of our activist spoke at dozens of meetings calling for such a campaign throughout 2005 and 2006. Radio Barabari (‘Equality’) broadcasting daily to Tehran reported our call extensively and we received support from leftist students at Iranian University, worker activists and many others.Outside Iran, editors of Iran Bulletin - Middle East Forum, the central committee of the organisation Rahe kargar (Iran) and second generation Iranian students who produce a monthly journal reporting workers struggles in Iran, Iranian Workers Bulletin, supported this call and a letter in English was sent to a number of British/US organisations, individuals, and local STWC branches calling for help in setting up a campaign along these lines.

The Green Party and the Communist Party of Great Britain were amongst the first British organizations to responded positively to this call, allowing us for the first time to set up a campaign regarding Iran that goes beyond the usual circle of Iranian exiles and their supporters inside the country. Indeed both organisations, plus Communist Students that joined HOPI later,have been amongst the most active British supporters of the campaign.However, the campaign’s publications in Farsi and English are the result of constant cooperation and consultation between Iranian and British comrades.

Rather than becoming an 'alternative' to the StWC, HOPI sees its main task as giving give a voice within Coalition to left activists inside Iran, who were deeply hurt and angered by pro Hezbollah slogans raised in last summer's anti-war demonstrations in London and elsewhere.

If Andrew Murray is referring to the list of members and supporters of the campaign, then currently Green Party members and independent leftists and activists constitute the vast bulk of our supporters. HOPI's Iranian activists and speakers include

a.. Mohamad Reza Shalgouni - Founder of the Revolutionary Organization of Iranian Workers - Rahe Kargar Member of Irons' Palestine Group who spent 8 years in the Shah’s prisons.

b.. Torab Saleth a former member of the International Executive Committee of the USFI (United Secretariat of the Fourth International) and currently an activist of Workers Left Unity Iran.

c.. Ardeshir Mehrdad - author and activist on the Iranian left with over35 years of political activity. Also of Workers Left Unity Iran.

d.. Ruben Markarian a former member of the Central Committee of RaheKargar and a cadre of this organisation.

e.. Nader Sadeh - member of Haste Aghaliyat ( Fedayin)f.. Azar Sheibani, Firouze Rad - activists in the Campaign for Abolition of all Misogynic Gender Based legislation & Islamic Punitive Laws in Iran

There are many other that we can refer you too and that would be more than happy to give you a rundown of their history in the movement.Is Andrew Murray suggesting that the CPGB has recruited all of these Iranianactivists or infiltrated their organisations in order to set up HOPI?! This is beyond comprehension.But let us assume for a moment that the ludicrous suggestion by Murray is correct and the Weekly Worker group set up HOPI as a rival to StWC.

Why would it want to now affiliate to the Coalition? In order to take it over? ow on earth would this be possible? So, your ‘political’ reason for excluding it seems rather sectarian!
We, in Etehadchap Kargari, are determined to continue our activities in HOPI. The support we got in response to our call in Farsi to unite in campaign like HOPI has been impressive. This is one of the most successful campaigns we have undertaken in the last few years.

In Solidarity
Amir Javaheri Langaroudi

On behalf of the coordinating committee of Etehadchap Kargari

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