The anger suddenly flows back…

Saturday, 31st March 2007 at 9:00 UTC Leave a comment

I found a video on YouTube of some events that I actually witnessed just over 6 months ago, at the Stop the War demonstration in Manchester, the day before the Labour Party Conference opened. Actually, in fairness, I didn’t see what’s on the video, I saw what happened later on, but the sensation is just the same. Its entitled “Reza Moradi disrupts Tony Benn; gets thrown out“.

It shows what happens when someone turns up to a Stop the War protest who neither wants to be associated with Islamists nor wants to stay quiet about the issue of Islamisation.  Someone once described the Stop the War movement as the third-way alternative to “Bush or Bin Laden”.  How wrong they were…There are various things on show here.  Firstly, the woman in the orange steward jacket near the beginning isn’t just any steward, she’s Dr Ghada Kharmi (Dr of What?), the abrupt woman who often answers the phone when you ring Stop the War.  She’s a pain in the ass and completely obsessed, like most STWC employees.

Ghada unfortunately is also very typical of STWC stewards.  She believes herself to be an assistant of the police in maintaining a weird form of order, in which everyone must behave exactly the way Stop the War have ordered them to.  Sadly, she also believes she has the right manhandle someone.  As far as I know, she is neither a member of a police force, nor a licensed security guard.  She is, instead, merely a member of the public shoving someone around.  Though unprovable, she’s probably committing assault.

Beyond the fact that STWC stewards act like police officers all the time, there’s another thing I’d like to draw your attention to: the actual content of the argumens going on between the protesters and the members of the crowd.  I saw this with my own eyes, and I was disgusted, so much so I actually stuck by the anti-Islamists at risk of getting hurt if things turned violent.

It started off with the activist on the video, Reza Moradi if the title is correct, addressing those who would listen (when I heard him, the rally was over and he’d started off again) and telling them about the pending execution of a woman from Iran.  A group of Muslim protesters gathered around him waving the Iranian flag and claiming that his actions were defaming the flag.  These Muslims were backed by stewards from Stop the War, and carried placards from key STWC supporting groups.

They kept telling Reza to shut up because he was attacking the Iranian regime.  These people, with whom myself and quite a few of those reading this post have protested, were standing up for the Ahmadinejad regime.  This is a key problem in the anti-war movement today: in rushing to do the deals that built the coalitions that acheived the 2 million march in February 2003, nothing was done to prevent future marches becoming a voice for Islamisation.  And sadly, at least on that September Saturday, it was the Islamists who were made more welcome at the rally.

If America or Israel launches attacks on Iran, Stop the War will be out protesting, and I with them.  But I shan’t be doing it for the same reasons as many of the Muslims taking part.  I shall be doing it because I fear for the welfare of the Iranian people.  But I shall also be doing it because I fear the backlash, the long lasting effects, that will prevent the Iranian people from reaching any detectable kind of freedom.

We must make sure that if such protests happen, those opposed to Ahmedinejad outnumber those in favour of his so-called ‘Revolution’. What we need is a solidarity movement with the Iranian people that confronts both Western Imperialism and Islamic Imperialism.  Neither Empire shall be tolerated in Tehran, and neither shall be allowed to go unopposed.

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Entry filed under: Freedom, Human Rights, Iran, Peace, Politics.

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