No to war – No to occupation – Down with Ahmedinejad
Support Iraqi workers to end the occupation
We, who opposed the war on Iraq and who call for an end to the occupation, demand that the anti-war movement recognises the importance of the developing workers movement in that country. We condemn without reservation the attacks on prominent trade unionists by both occupation forces and those elements whose agenda is to impose a repressive, authoritarian regime on the Iraqi people.
We recognize that a nation ‘liberated’ by authoritarian movements, be they clerical or Baathist, would leave Iraq an empty shell – ‘liberated’ from foreign occupation but ruled by a clerical-fascist dictatorship. This would be a mockery of self-determination.
We support an anti-occupation movement that does not jeopardize the demands and aspirations of the working class, of women and gays, of secularists, national minorities and democrats. In the workers movement of Iraq we see just such a force. They are a minority, but it is a militant democratic working class that holds the key to full self-determination for the Iraqi people.
Solidarity with Iranian workers and democrats -
No to interventionist war – Down with Ahmedinejad
Iran has a repressive, clerical regime and a militant workers and democratic movement. In December 2005 the government arrested several members of the ‘Syndicate of Workers of Tehran and Suburbs Bus Company’ following strikes over pay and conditions. Thousands of demonstrators gathered in Tehran on 2 January to call for their release. The regime has hit back by freezing bank accounts, stopping wages and initiating a crackdown on trade unionists.
At the same time we see the Iranian president, Ahmedinejad, asserting Iran’s regional power status by restarting nuclear programs. All this has led to thinly veiled threats of US action against the country.
We state now our opposition to both military attacks on Iran and the oppressive government. We condemn the attacks on the Iranian workers movement and offer solidarity to those within the country who seek to replace the existing regime by a mass, democratic action.
The support of the international labour and anti-war movements is imperative to the continued development of the progressive forces described above. The leaders of the anti-war movement in Britain either ignore the Iraqi workers movement (or sometimes attack it!) or pick-and-choose who they promote. Their response to threats on Iran is to simply state their opposition to war without consideration of the forces at play. We ask trade union and anti-war activists to build practical solidarity with the workers movements of Iraq and Iran.
We call on you to sign this statement, affiliate to ‘Iraq Union Solidarity’, join local international solidarity initiatives and encourage others to do so.
Signed (affiliation for identification purposes only/in personal capacity):
Potkin Azarmehr (azarmehr.blogspot.com)
Tony Byrne (RMT)
Liam Conway (Notts Division NUT)
Jos Cooper (Unison)
Dave Green (FBU executive member)
Richard Hindes (aka the Disillusioned kid – see http://disillusionedkid.blogspot.com/, formerly of Nottingham Student Peace Movement)
Khashayar Karimi (thehighlighter.co.uk)
Mehdi Kia (Co-Editor, Iran Bulletin - Middle East Forum, see www.iran-bulletin.org)
Pat Longman (NUJ)
Dawn Montiel (Unison)
Pete Radcliff (Socialist Unity Candidate, Nottingham East 2001, 2005)
Dan Randall (NUS Exec)
Louise Regan (Deputy Division Secretary Notts NUT)
Dan Robertson (Nottingham Student Peace Movement)
Carolyn Shield-Williams (Nottingham City NUT)
Alan Simpson MP (Labour, Nottingham South)
Tom Unterrainer (Nottingham City NUT, Nottingham Trade Union Solidarity bulletin)
Ivan Wels (Joint Division Secretary Notts NUT)
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