[Marxism] request for signatures for letter to Code Pink

John Reimann 1999wildcat at gmail.com
Sat Dec 1 14:31:00 MST 2018


The following is an open letter to Code Pink, which is organizing a "peace
delegation" to Iran. This delegation will be used to legitimize the Iranian
regime, both at home and in the US. We are requesting additional
signatures. If you are willing to sign, please let me know, either on this
list or to me personally. Please include how you wish to be identified.

Open Letter to Code Pink

December 1, 2018


Dear Code Pink:


You have recently announced
<https://www.codepink.org/peace_with_iran_delegation_to_iran_2019?fbclid=IwAR2nNOZTkEVMADQa5HoAAOc9Wb6PYar6Uedbp_5iLrmbnggF-RDgn2K63pY>
that you will be organizing a trip to Iran. You state the purpose is to help
"move our two nations from a place of hostility and military threats to a
place of mutual respect and peace with one another."


As socialists, and as supporters of the international working class, we, of
course oppose any aggression - economic, political or military - by US
capitalism against Iran or any other country. However, we also do not think
that the issue is simply a matter of lack of “mutual respect” between this
aggressive and repressive US government and, we have to say it, the smaller
and less powerful but also aggressive and repressive capitalist government
of Iran.


We think that the real issue for discussion between Americans and Iranians
is that of organizing links and mutual support between the working class
and the oppressed peoples of our two countries. This is as opposed to
talking about “mutual respect” between the “nations”, which always means
between the governments. Any agreement reached between the US and Iranian
governments will simply be an agreement for how to “peacefully” loot,
plunder and repress the peoples of the world as well as the global
environment.


We are concerned that your visit will actually help facilitate the
repressive role of the Iranian government. We note that you plan to meet
with “representatives of the Foreign Ministry and Parliament” - that is to
say, representatives of the regime. You say you will be meeting students
and professors. But who will be selecting the students and professors you
will be meeting? In the absence of any hint to the contrary, we think it is
safe to say it will be the same regime that will be selecting those
students, professors and anybody else you will meet with.


Your plans to meet with Iranian regime officials fly in the face of what
has been happening in Iran this year.



   -

   There have been a number of major labor strikes in Iran. These include
   the strikes of 4500 Haft Tapeh sugar cane workers and of 4000 workers at
   the National Steel of Ahvaz. (See Alliance of Middle East Socialists
   <https://www.allianceofmesocialists.org/new-wave-of-strikes-protests-in-iran-need-solidarity-from-international-socialists-and-progressives>
   )

   -

   There have been protests of ethnic Arabs in Iran, and these protests
   have been viciously repressed, complete with sweeping arrests and even
   executions. (See Amnesty International
   <https://www.amnesty.org/en/latest/news/2018/11/iran-hundreds-arrested-in-vicious-crackdown-on-ahwazi-arabs/>.)
   The Iranian government has also executed Kurdish political prisoners and
   continues to imprison other Kurdish political prisoners.

   -

   We have seen the courageous acts of Iranian women who have taken off
   their head scarves in public. They too have been repressed, arrested and
   imprisoned. Other feminist human rights activists such as Nasrin Sotudeh,
   Narges Mohammadi, Zeynab Jalalian, Golrokh Iraee, Atena Daemi as well as
   feminist men such as Farhad Meysami and Arash Sadeghi languish in prison.
   Some are currently on hunger strike.

   -

   There is also the continued mistreatment of Afghan migrants/refugees who
   do not have basic civil rights and are treated as a source of even cheaper
   labor.

   -

   Finally, we note that the Iranian regime has been involved in mass
   murder and ethnic cleansing in Syria, and intervening militarily and
   politically in Iraq, Lebanon and Yemen as well.


We are alarmed that while you will be hearing the position of the
repressive right-wing government in Iran, you evidently have no plans to
hear from any of the progressive opposition forces mentioned above. That
can only mean that the end result of your visit will be to help legitimize
this right-wing, repressive and reactionary regime.


Recognizing the nature of the Iranian regime does not mean supporting the
capitalist / imperialist government of the United States. We can and should
oppose both by supporting the struggles of the oppressed and exploited in
both countries and around the world. The enemy of my enemy is not
necessarily my friend.


We hope you will reconsider your plans for your visit to Iran.


Our true allies in Iran are all those struggling against this regime, not
the regime that is even more repressive than the Trump regime.


Yours for international working class solidarity and for socialism,


John Reimann,

former recording secretary, Carpenters Local 713

Editor, www.oaklandsocialist.com


Cheryl Zuur

former president, AFSCME Local Union 444


Sarah Morken

former candidate, Tacoma City Council


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