Greenman's Occasional Organ

Ecosocialist. Syndicalist. Critical Techno-Progressive.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Weekly Links - 22/07/07

The first link this week is to the growing campaign, Hands Off The People of Iran, dedicated to opposing both the theocratic authoritarian regime and US/Israeli war plans:

We recognise that there is an urgent need to establish a principled solidarity campaign with the people of Iran. The contradictions between the interests of the neo-conservatives in power in the USA and the defenders of the rule of capital in the Islamic Republic has entered a dangerous new phase.

US imperialism and its allies are intent on regime change from above and are seriously considering options to impose this - sanctions, diplomatic pressure, limited strikes or perhaps bombing the country back to the stone age.

In Iran, the theocracy is using the international outcry against its nuclear weapons programme to divert attention away from the country's endemic crisis, deflect popular anger onto foreign enemies and thus prolong its reactionary rule.

The pretext of external threats has been cynically used to justify increased internal repression. The regime's security apparatus has been unleashed on its political opponents, workers, women and youth. The rising tide of daily working class anti-capitalist struggles has been met with arrests, the ratification of new anti-labour laws and sweeping privatisations. Under the new Iranian government, military-fascist organisations are gaining political and military strength, posing an ominous threat to the working class and democratic opposition.

Paradoxically, the US/UK invasion of Iraq has actually increased the regional influence of Iran's rulers - it led to the election of the pro-Iranian Shia government currently in power in Baghdad.

This means that any support from the anti-war movement for the reactionaries who currently govern Iran and repress its people is in effect indirect support for the occupation government in Iraq.

We recognise that effective resistance to this war can only mean the militant defence of the struggles of the working class in Iran and of the rising social movements in that country. 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.

We call on all anti-capitalist forces, progressive political groups and social organisations to join activists of the Iranian left to both oppose imperialism's plans and to organise practical solidarity with the growing movement against war and repression in Iran headed by the working class, women, students and youth.

* 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 in a nuclear-free world!

Here is the address for the full statement :

Next a link to the Green Empowerment site set up by those opposing the centralising moves in the Green Party of England and Wales where there is to be referendum asking members if they wish to move away from the current participatory and collective leadership model towards a more traditional, personality-based, individual leader model. One can almost feel the "mainstream" media itching to be able to go on about the "weak leader", whilst demanding the unfortunate individual "stamp their authority" on the party. The pro-leader side are having themselves led by the mass media in the strange belief that the establishment media are about allowing radicals to get their message across - they are not, they are about playing up every conflict, creating drama to snare their audience, enforcing adherence to the neo-liberal consensus and mocking/destroying those who step out of line with it. A single leader will be lapped up by the establishment media because it will make all these things easier. If you are a GP member who opposes the centralising move please sign the petition on the Green Empowerment site. The site was linked by Mike Armstrong from Croydon on his "Fairfield Life" blog, where he says the Green Party needs an individual leader "like a fish needs a bicycle!"

An example of how far 'leaders' can get from the grass roots of their party is highlighted by Jim on his Daily (Maybe) blog - he is campaigning against the actions of the Australian Green Party Senator (possibly under pressure from Green Party Leader Brown) who has asked for the resignation of an activist who was involved in a direct action that was attacked by the Police.

A plug for the Glasgow Radical Independent Bookfair project, who have this year's bookfair planned as follows -

SAT 4th AUGUST- 2007

12 - 10pm

Kinning Park Complex - Cornwall Street - Glasgow
(next to Kinning Park Subway)

stalls / resources / videotheque / events

FREE entry

In the evening they are showing two films on the IWW Coffee Shop organising project.
More info on the events here.

Speaking of organising, the new TUC guide to organising is now available online here.

Meanwhile an excellent example of united action is ongoing in Leicester where the Social Forum, the IWW and the local Green Party are supporting the Leicester Post Office Users' Group and the campaign to Save Bishop Street Post Office.

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