Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Posts Tagged ‘Left

International Solidarity with Iranian Protests after Murder of Mahsa Amini.

with 7 comments

At least 35 dead in eight nights of protests, Iran state media report.” Guardian.

Iranian Women at the Frontline of Change

By Aghileh Djafari Marbini, Hosnieh Djafari Marbini and Sue Lukes

(Aghileh is a Labour Party member and an Iranian political activist. Hosnieh is a Labour Councillor and her city’s migrant champion. Sue is a Labour Party and human rights activist.)

The unlawful death of Mahsa Amini is an example of the violence that prevails against the Iranian people and Iranian women in particular by their own government.

Mahsa and her brother were visiting family in Tehran but were from the city of Saqqez in the Kurdistan region. On September 13th, 22-year-old Mahsa was arrested by the Iranian regime’s notorious morality police because her headscarf was not sufficiently covering her hair. Mahsa’s brother was told she would be taken to a detention centre to undergo a ‘briefing class’ and released shortly afterwards. However, she arrived at Kasra Hospital shortly after and died on Friday September 16th, after being in a coma for three days. What happened between the arrest and her arrival at the hospital is not clear.

Read full article via link.

Fourth International:

Woman! Life! Freedom! (also on Anti Capitalist Resistance).

A SHORT REPORT ON IRAN’S CURRENT PROTESTS.

LAYA HOOSHYARI

In the years that the people of Iran have lived under the flag of tyranny of the Islamic Republic, they have faced all kinds of repressions and violence. With the inauguration of Ibrahim Raeesi as president in 2021, the executioner of the 1990s who led the murder of thousands of militant activists, including socialists and feminists, the level of repression has become even more than before.

Women, especially women of ethnic groups, religious minorities, the working class and urban poor, are among the groups that have experienced the greatest amount of oppression. Each of these groups is facing various economic, social and political crises, and at the same time, their very daily life is marked by resistance. Women are experiencing a myriad of oppressions, of which the mandatory hijab is one of the main forms.

….

What is the essence of the recent protests? One can find this in the slogans that have been used by the protesters around the country: Women! Life! Freedom! I will kill those who killed my sister! Death to the Dictator! (Islamic Republic) Emancipation is our right! Our power is our collectively! Bread! Work! Freedom! …

20 September 2022

While many on the left are already standing with the Iranian protesters, from (in the UK) Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Labour MP, the writers of the above article on Labour Hub, to groups like Anti-Capitalist Resistance and the AWL, other part of the left have difficulty in coming out in support for the women in in Iran. Gender theorists like Judith Butler, who has defended the veil as a form of ‘resistance’ and ‘agency’, those who claim that feminist opposition to the covering stems from “white saviour” colonialism are finding it hard to come to terms with the Iranian revolt. The British Socialist Workers Party, which has defended and continue to defend the hijab as a choice, and that “It’s really about the freedom of wearing it or not wearing it.” have the same difficulty.

How can they react to demonstrators who defy the head-covering, some of whom publicly burn the hijab? How can they explain that this is not about ‘choice’ but a religious legal system which imposes its rules on everybody, and has the claim to divine truth and the ambition to be a model for the whole world?

The problem remains: those who think ‘modest dress’, including covering the hair, though in some Islamic opinion the full body must be covered modestly, is not just a good thing, an option, but a religious duty, do not think it’s a ‘right to choose.’ but a duty before god. When they have a legal system to back their faith up in commands that originate from something unseen, whose words are transcribed in a book only believers hold as a guide to life, and they find that not everybody agrees to change their behaviour, how many will stand up for those with a different view?

]

Iran’s legal system and the morality police (gašt-e eršād)that enforce ‘modest dress’, are not individual choices. The are part of the foundation of the Islamic Republic. They are there to make Islamic Law and the Iranian system of Velayat-e faqih—or guardianship of the Islamic jurist— real. The compulsory hijab extends to non-Muslim women.

When Ayatollah Khomeini came to power some on the left, not least in Iran itself, argued for the need to stand in solidarity with the ‘anti-imperialist’ regime. The nature of that theocratic dictatorial state has long been settled, not least after its bloody crackdown on the left in 1998.

Between late July and September 1988, the Iranian authorities forcibly disappeared and extrajudicially executed thousands of prisoners for their political opinions and dumped their bodies in unmarked individual and mass graves. Minimum estimates put the death toll at around 5,000.

Since then, the authorities have tormented the relatives by refusing to tell them when, how and why their loved ones were killed and by keeping their remains hidden. To reinforce secrecy, they have also destroyed mass grave sites and forbidden commemorations.

By refusing to acknowledge the killings and fully disclose the fate and whereabouts of the victims, the authorities have committed the crime of enforced disappearance under international law.The anguish caused to families by this ongoing crime constitutes torture.

Update: London Protest:

Written by Andrew Coates

September 24, 2022 at 12:22 pm

Breakthrough Party Breaks Up.

with 2 comments

The Breakthrough Party, founded in January 2021, is one of the left-wing micro-parties that have been formed in recent years, a list which includes the Nippers (NIP, Northern Independence Party), Chris Williamson’s (elusive) Resistance Movement, and joins older organisations such as Left Unity, the Communist Party of Britain, and the Socialist Party led Trade Union and Socialist Coalition in the list of groups who have stood candidates against the Labour Party in elections. * Breakthrough has a number of councillors, 8 – defectors from Labour – at a District, Town and Parish level.

The ideas of the Breakthrough Party are mainstream democratic socialist. They are part of the wider left and labour movement, although organised separately they have limited reach and influence.

Wikipedia entry (not up to date).

This is frankly odd:

*The George Galloway led Workers Party of Britain is widely regarded as ‘red-brown’ and not left wing.

Written by Andrew Coates

September 20, 2022 at 6:53 pm

Burston School Strike Rally, Mick Lynch, and a Surprise Appearance by Jeremy Corbyn.

with one comment

“Let’s have an autumn of demand and a winter of discontent, if necessary.

Many trade union and left activists in East Anglia go the Burston Strike Rally every year – it is “our Tolpuddle” event as we say. The Village Green, which has a small museum to the ‘longest strike in history, is covered with trade union, campaign, and left group stalls. There are speeches from memorable labour movement figures (Tony Benn, amongst many others), entertainment (Billy Bragg and Leon Rosselson have featured in recent years), and a parade of trade union banners down the village lanes.

There has not been a rally since 2019 – in 2020 the Covid Lockdown scuppered public gatherings. This year there were stands from all the main trade unions, Norwich Trades Council, Key Workers United, Acorn Tenants Union, Norfolk Constituency Labour Parties, the Greens, the Socialist Party, the SWP, to the Communist Party of Britain (CPB), the Stop the War Coalition, Jewish Voice for Labour, the Peace and Justice Project, and other pressure groups including WASPIs, Extinction Rebellion (XR)Amnesty and the Hunt Sabs. The Socialist History Society was amongst the stalls. People were selling socialist papers, this Sunday these included, Socialist Worker, the Socialist, the Morning Star (independent of the CPB and run by the co-op), Workers, from the Communist Party of Britain (Marxist-Leninist) (not to be confused with the CPB), and Socialist Appeal (SA) SA had an Ipswich banner on the march around Burston and surroundings.

The afternoon speeches (see below) were followed by the show. This September it included Attila the Stockbroker and Mark Thomas, the political comedian. Some suggested that Cde Thomas was perhaps too kind towards Boris Johnson and Liz Truss. The RMT had a blimp flying over the village which quickly acquired witty nicknames relating to a Senior Assistant General Secretary of the union.

A good time was had by all, and it was some bloody serious politics and action that was talked about both on stage and off.

The Eastern Daily Press already has this report,

Union boss declares ‘now is the time to stand up’ at Norfolk rally

The leader of a national union has told hundreds of people at a rally in Norfolk that “now is the time to stand up and say, we will fight”.

Mick Lynch, general secretary of the National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) was one of a number of speakers at the Burston Strike School Rally, near Diss.

Mr Lynch told the rally: “Our people, the working class of Great Britain, are going to face the worst cost of living crisis ever. Now is the time to stand up and say ‘we will fight’.”

The rally also saw an unannounced appearance from former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn.

He said: “All workers across all industries deserve fair pay, conditions and treatment at work. Let’s have an autumn of demand and a winter of discontent, if necessary.”

Written by Andrew Coates

September 4, 2022 at 7:16 pm