"Hands Off the People of Iran"

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oisleep's picture
oisleep
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Nov 12 2007 18:12

if an analogy is apt seems a shame to waste it

jack white
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Nov 12 2007 22:26
Mike Harman wrote:
Lesser evil, TINA etc. etc. ad nauseum.

could you expand on that a bit?

WeTheYouth
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Nov 12 2007 23:00
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WeTheYouth: Are you claiming that "Workers Left Unity Iran" is in no way connected to the CPGB and Critique?

No it would be politically dishonest do to so. What i am saying is that you are belittling the work of the Iranian comrades inside of HOPI. You are also reproducing the same crap the SWP throw at HOPI.

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Also I don't think you understand the difference between "popular front", "united front" or the colloquial use of front as in "Mafia front" and "CIA front" - I'm using it in the sense of "popular front".

I know the difference, i dont think HOPI is either a popular or united front. At the moment it is an ad hoc campaign. It will be properly constituted with a steering committee and constitution at the founding conference on the 8th December,

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i'd take the position of hoopi over stwc any day of the week mind, but it grates a bit to see it's supporters stuffed with people mentioned above and academics

Why does it grate you to see those people supporting HOPI? who do you expect? The reality of the british left as Gurrier pointed out is far from ideal.

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Coming from the other side of the pond, I do know that the 'Hands off the People of Iran' campaign is endorsed by numerous Marxist-Leninist type groups over here. I know Worker's World (Blehhhh....) has endorsed the campaign in their paper.

Means nothing. Im happy to work with them in HOPI, i may disagree with them on plenty of things but atleast we can agree to work of specific campaigns.

Quote:
regardless of who else there is, or isn't - if you see a bunch of smug middle class self serving liberal moral refuge hunters get involved with anything then it grates because of who they are alone, the fact that next to none of them would get involved in anything relating to the indigenous working class of the country they are living in, and their perpetuation of the smug self important self created myth that because they are so clever & knowing then they are the only hope of salvation in relation to distant far away issues in the nasty world they find themself in (a large part of which is of their own making in the first place)

Nice. so i expect you wont be going to any stop the war events? or any anti fascist events? or any trade union events? unfortunately we cannot live in a world were we keep ourselves isolated from the wider movement even if that movement is filled with liberal lefties, the point is to build the movement, win people to our arguments and move forward,

Mike Harman
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Nov 12 2007 23:26

jack: TINA > there is no alternative. More expansion will have to wait until tomorrow., I assume you've seen the other thread on this subject?
http://libcom.org/forums/organise/hopi-anti-war-organisation-18102007

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oisleep
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Nov 12 2007 23:26
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Nice. so i expect you wont be going to any stop the war events? or any anti fascist events? or any trade union events?

i tend to avoid 'events' thanks

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unfortunately we cannot live in a world were we keep ourselves isolated from the wider movement even if that movement is filled with liberal lefties, the point is to build the movement, win people to our arguments and move forward,

you might not be able to, but i certainly can, in fact the last thing i want anything to do with is this 'movement' you talk off

what practical benefits you hoping to achieve by building 'the movement'? build it for it's own sake by the sounds of things

what if 'our arguments' aren't the arguments and positions that the bulk of the people are really interested in, and are ones which don't even come close to addresing the immediate concerns, hopes, desires, insecurities, motivations and dreams of the wider class?

WeTheYouth
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Nov 13 2007 02:01
oisleep wrote:
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Nice. so i expect you wont be going to any stop the war events? or any anti fascist events? or any trade union events?

i tend to avoid 'events' thanks

Quote:
unfortunately we cannot live in a world were we keep ourselves isolated from the wider movement even if that movement is filled with liberal lefties, the point is to build the movement, win people to our arguments and move forward,

you might not be able to, but i certainly can, in fact the last thing i want anything to do with is this 'movement' you talk off

what practical benefits you hoping to achieve by building 'the movement'? build it for it's own sake by the sounds of things

what if 'our arguments' aren't the arguments and positions that the bulk of the people are really interested in, and are ones which don't even come close to addresing the immediate concerns, hopes, desires, insecurities, motivations and dreams of the wider class?

You are pathetic. If you do not think that our arguments can win through then why the hell are you even involved? And buidling the movement for its own sake? what does that even mean? You build a movement which can make serious gains and mount serious challenges. If your not trying to do that, what are you doing? Its like walking road with Ian Bon surrounded by coppers, gets us nowhere. If we are serious about social change we have get real and begin organising to win the arguments and build the movement,

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Nov 13 2007 08:03

build this, build that

you've no idea have you

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Its like walking road with Ian Bon surrounded by coppers, gets us nowhere.

ironically you've actually neatly summed up 'the movement' in that very phrase

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Refused
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Nov 13 2007 19:31

Yeah, I'd like some clarification on what "build the movement" means what exactly these serious gains are.

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oisleep
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Nov 14 2007 16:36

sounds like preparation for a huge dump, which would probably be about as effective

IrrationallyAngry
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Nov 15 2007 00:41
gurrier wrote:
The trots are taking a soft pro-regime line.

We're doing what now? Man, nobody tells me anything.

Remind me to tell you all about the joys of the last IAWM conference thing. It isn't every day I get personally denounced by a representative of the Al-Sadr movement, a speaker for Hezbollah, the chair of the IAWM and the chair of the Stop the War Coalition.

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cantdocartwheels
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Nov 15 2007 10:28
WeTheYouth wrote:
If you do not think that our arguments can win through then why the hell are you even involved? And buidling the movement for its own sake? what does that even mean? You build a movement which can make serious gains and mount serious challenges. If your not trying to do that, what are you doing? Its like walking road with Ian Bon surrounded by coppers, gets us nowhere. If we are serious about social change we have get real and begin organising to win the arguments and build the movement,

How is hopi any different, its not a mass movement. If there actually was a war with iran, HOPI would hopefully be utterly irrelevant, i have no desire to see 'the mases'' file neatly into a pre-prepared organisation no matter what its slogans happen to be. What was exciting about the anti-war movement a few years ago was that for a short while local groups weren't dictated to by leftist idealogues, a million people turned out in london, and the left didn't have a clue what to do. This was because the STWC like HOPI was and is an organisation designed for people to shuffle into; its not a dynamic response to working class desires, its just a shitty lobbying group made up of a bunch of leftist sects and liberal parties whose main collective interest in the campaign is pushing their own agenda and recruting members.

gurrier
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Nov 15 2007 15:04

Sorry, Mr. Angry, should have been "most of the trots".

Also

Quote:
How is hopi any different, its not a mass movement. If there actually was a war with iran, HOPI would hopefully be utterly irrelevant, i have no desire to see 'the mases'' file neatly into a pre-prepared organisation no matter what its slogans happen to be. What was exciting about the anti-war movement a few years ago was that for a short while local groups weren't dictated to by leftist idealogues, a million people turned out in london, and the left didn't have a clue what to do. This was because the STWC like HOPI was and is an organisation designed for people to shuffle into; its not a dynamic response to working class desires, its just a shitty lobbying group made up of a bunch of leftist sects and liberal parties whose main collective interest in the campaign is pushing their own agenda and recruting members.

I actually don't know the words to describe how terrible those politics are. You will be waiting a long time for your "dynamic responses to working class desires" - you should just rename it "the messiah" and everything would become clearer.

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Nov 15 2007 18:59
cantdocartwheels wrote:
i have no desire to see 'the mases'' file neatly into a pre-prepared organisation no matter what its slogans happen to be. What was exciting about the anti-war movement a few years ago was that for a short while local groups weren't dictated to by leftist idealogues, a million people turned out in london, and the left didn't have a clue what to do. ..

So apart from getting you excited how did that turn out?

Would you describe it as a good demonstration or the power of small groups sitting on their hands until a mass movement emerges for fear of contaminating it?

Or was it perhaps an illustration that small groups who choose to do this will get rapidly sidelined when mass movements emerge by those who did put in some sort of effort and who thereby appear to have something to offer to those who sought organization?

I'd have thought the anti-war movement in general but also the specific comparison between what happened to the left in the almost identical circumstances in Britain and Ireland expose the huge limitations of the the 'it will be all right on the day' approach.

Mike Harman
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Nov 15 2007 19:07
JoeBlack2 wrote:
Or was it perhaps an illustration that small groups who choose to do this will get rapidly sidelined when mass movements emerge by those who did put in some sort of effort and who thereby appear to have something to offer to those who sought organization?

Are you claiming the StWC was a mass movement, Joe?

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Nov 15 2007 19:24

I don't see how you could read his post that way. try visualizing parentheses around "when mass movements emerge"?

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Nov 15 2007 19:31

I'm not sure what the purpose of inventing claims and demanding that I answer them is except its yet another method of 'debate' around here. You use it a lot.

I'm not an expert of StWC but from what I do know I'd describe it as a fairly small organization that managed to put itself at the head of the (quite short lived but then they often are) mass movement against the war. This was a pretty common pattern, ANSWER seems to have done the same in the US and its core political group was considerably crazier than the SWP/IST.

Mike Harman
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Nov 15 2007 19:46
MJ wrote:
I don't see how you could read his post that way. try visualizing parentheses around "when mass movements emerge"?

Ahh, now I see. Too much talking to WeTheYouth.

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Nov 16 2007 00:51

I might be able to clarify somewhat the situation:

I organize with the new and small Iran Solidarity Group in the US and I'm also a member of the Antithesis Collective (NEFAC-NYC), and I have been in contact with the HOPI campaign and Mather. From my understanding they are mainly based in the UK and the campaign was an outgrowth of the people who organized the Iran Workers Fund. The Workers Fund was basically a strike fund which was organized mainly by academics in the UK, including Istvan Meszaros and Yassamine Mather. The Iranian contacts in Iran and some in the UK had to remain anonymous for security reasons. We did some fundraisers for the fund here, but stopped after the connections regarding money became unclear. But the fund was in no way a front for any political organization. The HOPOI campaign grew out of that as a result of the more prominent anti-war groups taking a soft line on the Iranian state and not discussing the social movements in Iran. I personally experienced this while attempting to organize within anti-war groups here in the US.
The campaign, from my understanding, is dominated by members of the CPGB and Workers Left Unity. But I wouldn't consider it a fron. In the very early days of the campaign I was in contact with them regarding doing anti-war work on this side of the pond and supporting the campaign. I asked many questions regarding the structure of the campaign. At the time it was still new and it's been a few months since I was last in touch so things might have changed since then. But there was as of then no formal structure and they were open to suggestions and imput. I was told that local branches can do what they wanted as long as it didn't contradict the founding statement. I was very transparent about my politics and my affiliations and there didn't seem to be a problem. But we chose not to sign on to the campaign for various reasons. One was hesitancy of joining an orgaization dominated by certain political parties. But this said, I still put HOPOI liturature on ISG tables, and honestly party politics aside, is some of the best work on the current situation.

Now let me say a few words in regard to the Iranian parties involved:

There is no doubt that there is a difference between our politics, vision, tactics, what have you, and that of many of the parties involved. Hence houre hesistance to joining. The Workers Left Unity formed during the revolutionary period 79-81 and soon became one of the plethora of exile Iranian left parties. The were formed out of various smaller groups that formed together after they split off of other groups, some of them were split offs of the revolutionary armed struggle groups who denounced the armed struggle and chose to organize among workers, whatever that means. They have some good politics on particular issues, but overall they're pretty lame. Like many exile left Iranian parties they still think its 1979. And in 1979 they thought it was 1917. I don't know the details, if people are interested I can put down wore on the subject later.

I hope this helped, sorry for the long post.

David UK
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Nov 16 2007 13:19
Quote:
The CPGB can be best summed up by the fact they actually chose to put this on their website.

http://www.cpgb.org.uk/voice/MarkonR4.mp3

Oh my dear god...

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Nov 17 2007 09:28
JoeBlack2 wrote:
[So apart from getting you excited how did that turn out?

Oh right so apparently its wrong to say having a million people on the streets was exciting? Seriously i hate it when people play that sort of moralistic nonsense.

Quote:
Would you describe it as a good demonstration or the power of small groups sitting on their hands until a mass movement emerges for fear of contaminating it?

Well i wasn't particualrly anarchist at the time and most of my political activity was doing loads of stuff for the local peace campaign. I cant remember sitting on my hands waiting for a mass movement very much at all, in fact i distinctly remember doing quite the opposite. We all got a lot of shit wrong for sure, but i'm buggered if what we got wrong can be simplified to the idea that we should just have had a better slogan, afterall why is one national steering committee going to be any better than another just because it has more of a ''class struggle'' line; that sounds like the worst kind of left liberal nonsense to me.

Quote:
I'd have thought the anti-war movement in general but also the specific comparison between what happened to the left in the almost identical circumstances in Britain and Ireland expose the huge limitations of the the 'it will be all right on the day' approach.

No i just beleive in the autonomy of local groups and in working class action against the war rather than in a pointlessly dull coalition of left liberals and political sects, i've been there done that its a waste of time, especially on a national level. The strength of any peace movment is in the autonomy of its local groups, in proposing some tedious blanket organisation that we're all supposed to file into you get rid of the main strength of an anti-war movement.
HOPI just seems like crap substitute for actually going out there engaging people where you live and work and winning arguements and actually proposing good anti-war activity,

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Nov 17 2007 09:53
gurrier wrote:
Sorry, Mr. Angry, should have been "most of the trots".

Also

Quote:
How is hopi any different, its not a mass movement. If there actually was a war with iran, HOPI would hopefully be utterly irrelevant, i have no desire to see 'the mases'' file neatly into a pre-prepared organisation no matter what its slogans happen to be. What was exciting about the anti-war movement a few years ago was that for a short while local groups weren't dictated to by leftist idealogues, a million people turned out in london, and the left didn't have a clue what to do. This was because the STWC like HOPI was and is an organisation designed for people to shuffle into; its not a dynamic response to working class desires, its just a shitty lobbying group made up of a bunch of leftist sects and liberal parties whose main collective interest in the campaign is pushing their own agenda and recruting members.

I actually don't know the words to describe how terrible those politics are. You will be waiting a long time for your "dynamic responses to working class desires" - you should just rename it "the messiah" and everything would become clearer.

Yes, in fact i spent the whole of 2003 doing nothng but waiting for the messiah, your totally 100% right there ... roll eyes .

Anyway seriously now are you actually saying the HOPI isn't just an alliance of left-iberal groups creating an organisation that the masses should just shuffle into? And yeah i'd say their were dynamic responses during the war, they failed and were isolated due to the complete lack of wider involvement in community and workplace struggle not because they ''didn;t have the correct line''. Over in colchester we had a mass school walk outs and all sorts and these were reponses to a desire for peace, what the fuck else would you call them., down here in brighton several hundred people stormed the town hall. Now remember being in colchester talking to squaddies, paras and iraqi refugees at the height of the anti-war movement, and i remember putting a shitload of time and effort into anti-war stuff and sure our local peace group got stuff wrong and we weren't purist and i was a bit of a liberal but you know we all gave it our best shot, so i kinda take objection to people who think that just because they have a slogan saying ''islam s like bad too yeah'' they suddenly solved all the worlds problems and are going to build some fantastic mass anti-war movement out of us moldable masses.
.

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Nov 17 2007 12:22

Nowhere did I say you did nothing. I don't know who you so I have no way of knowing what you did or did not do in those months in 2002/3, nor do I really care. I was replying to what you now seem to advocate. Apart from getting all indignent you don't seem to have replied to the actual point I was making either.

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Nov 26 2007 02:27
JoeBlack2 wrote:
the mass movement against the war

The whatnow?

Fuck me, that one must have passed me by altogether. All I saw was a bunch of people milling around central London for an hour or two.