Monday, February 28, 2011

Protest Tuesdays in Iran

Now ... What to do about those motorcycle gangs?

Translation of a statement by Raah-e Kaargar.

In solidarity with the people of Iran!
Long Live Freedom and Justice!
Long Live the People's Liberation Movement of the Greater Middle East & North Africa!

On the Occasion of the upcoming Protest Tuesdays:
Iranian people's will is to overthrow the system, and they don't need guardians!

After the grand oppositional protests by the people on February 14 and 20, with open slogans against the dictatorship, the continuation of protests, the spreading of the anti-dictatorial movement's domain [of influence], and the ever expanding of the movement has turned into the immediate demand of freedom-seeking people and the youth. In response to this demand, and based on advice of like-minded people, there came the call for Tuesday protests has been suggested by some youth social networks. Based on these calls to action, the plan is for the people to take to the streets in protest [on successive Tuesdays], for the release of all political prisoners as well to protest against Mousavi and Karroubi's detention on Tuesday, March 1; in support of women's movement on International Women's Day on March 8; and using the presence of the masses of people out on Chaar-shanbeh Suri [Tuesday eve celebrations before the last Wednesday of the year, Iranian calendar] to transform it into a day of mass protests against the dictatorship on March 15. These calls have so far been welcomed warmly by a wide spectrum of political forces, people and organizations, including ours, who resolutely support the protest movement against the current murderous and criminal [ruling] system. We believe that in the present conditions, low cost moves [in terms of possible loss of human lives] that widen the participation of the people in the protests and demonstrations against the ruling system; that provide a larger arena for the flourishing of creativity of the people in the methods of their protests; and solidify the solidarity of different social groups and layers opposing the dictatorship, without jeopardizing the independence of action of each and without concealing the reality of the multiplicity of demands and needs present in the movement -- all actions with such characteristics will be to the benefit of the spreading of the anti-dictatorial movement. Based on all this, we support the call for Protest Tuesdays.

It is within this context that we consider the fourth statement issued by the "Coordinating Council of the Green Path's Hope" as a step backward, a reactionary effort to impose a dangerous schism in the anti-dictatorial movement, an instrumentalist approach seeking monopoly [of leadership] over the people's grievances in order to benefit a particular group, and an unwise action that will lead to the weakening of the solidarity in the anti-dictatorial movement and an effort in keeping the system of the velayate faqih [guardianship of the religious jurists], and a move to prevent the growth and spread of the anti-dictatorial movement of the people, and we oppose it resolutely.

At the same time that social networks, as a result of a process of sharing ideas, have come up with the idea of Protest Tuesdays, this Council, which after the announcement of the planned actions has joined them, completely unilaterally has cancelled the March 8 (International Women's Day) actions. Such an action is an insult to the glorious struggles and fights by our country's women, and is an emphasis on the continuation of the thirty-two year old violent and misogynist ruling system. Isn't all the merciless crackdown on women under the Islamic rule enough? [...]

This same Council, in its third statement, issued before the speech by the intelligence minister, had [previously] raised the demand for the release of the political prisoners as a central demand, as well as to protest the house arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi. However, after the intelligence minister made his speech -- in which he made threats based on his assertion that the Green Movement had become an anti-revolutionary front -- this same Council, in a rushed, defensive and reactionary effort, and apparently in order to distinguish itself from "anti-revolutionary" elements, in its fourth statement has completely eliminated its demand for the release of political prisoners. And some reformists have stepped even further beyond that, and are asking that the demonstrations on that day be turned into birthday celebrations for Mir Hossein Mousavi. Such efforts not only encourage the spread of a cult of personality mentality but also are ruthless insults to the dignity of hundreds and thousands of political prisoners who have given to the movement with their lives and limb, and have sacrificed everything for the freedom of the people of this country.

While people, on February 14 and 20 [2011] shouted out aplenty slogans such as, "Death to the Dictator", and "Mobarak, Ben-Ali, next is Seyed Ali [Khamenei]", in its fourth statement this Council has decided the slogans for the people, and has asked that only these slogans be used: "Oh Hossein, Mir Hossein [Mousavi]" and "Oh Mehdi, Sheikh Mehdi [Karroubi]". [...] The Iranian people, both in the 2009 protests/demonstrations and in this year again on February 14 and 20, have shouted out the demand for the overthrow of the system the loudest they could have. However, now at a time when the riotous masses who've had enough are shouting the slogan, "Al-sha'b al-yerid esqhaat al-nezaam" (People want the overthrow of the system), all the way from the shores of Tunis to the coasts of the Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, the regime's reformists are asking the people to put aside the slogan of "Down with the Dictator" and the demand for the overthrow of the Islamic Republic, and instead shout, "Yaa Hossein, Mir Hossein," or "Yaa Mehdi, Sheikh Mehdi!" Such futile efforts to erect obstacles in the way of the raging floods of the people's protests shall be crushed.


We declare: Denying the rights of women in Iran not only impedes the spread of the anti-dictatorial movement and its growth but is also an insult to the sacrifices and the faultless struggles of the heroic women of our country. It is obvious that the anti-dictatorial movement of the Iranian people is against the house arrest of Mousavi and Karroubi and protests those house arrests; however, in a country where thousands of freedom-seeking youths and political and social activists are in chains in dungeons, and where groups after groups of innocent people are hanged for the crime of wanting freedom, nobody has the right to put terms and conditions on political freedoms, or to replace the political freedom of all political prisoners with the freedom of only Mousavi and Karroubi. These two men are not bigger than the people of Iran and their freedom is not the same as the freedom of the people; while people's freedom can guarantee their freedom too. To reverse this equation is to take utilitarian advantage of the explosive potential of people's grievances.

We declare: The era for individuals and tendencies to use monopolistic methods to impose governments, political systems and policies has passed, as has the era for riding the waves made of our youth's blood. People of Iran will get rid of such methods and means along with the ruling dictatorship. In a society, in which oppression and injustice is everywhere, any protest against a particular form of oppression that remains particular and specific, and does not get elevated to the point of overthrowing all oppression, will undoubtedly lead to the oppression to be reproduced in another form.

We support the March 1 move as the first of the Protest Tuesdays, and within the context of the call made by the social networks [of the Iranian youth] for the Tuesdays, March 1, 8 and 15, and we are sure that the brave people and the brave youth of the country will push forth with their common current slogans, meaning, "Death to the dictator", and will crush the futile efforts to subdue this movement that is seeking the overthrow of the system. For us, the protests against Mousavi and Karroubi's house arrests have meaning only within the context of protesting against anybody's rights being taken away from them, regardless of their ideas, ilk or creed; as a result, we persistently insist on the slogan, "Free Political Prisoners!" as a non-sectarian slogan that goes beyond particular groups, and guarantees the strengthening of solidarity within the anti-dictatorial movement of the Iranian people.

Down with the Islamic Republic regime!
Long live Freedom; Long live socialism!

Executive Committee of Revolutionary Workers' Organization of Iran (Raah Kaargar/ Worker's Path) / 26 February 2011

[Original source, in Persian: here]

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