Some of our policies
These motions were adopted by Hopi’s AGM on February 12 2011
1. Democracy must come from below
The Hopi AGM notes:
- The continued imperialist threats against Iran – threats which must be seen against the backdrop of the global economic crisis and the dynamic situation across the entire Middle East.
- The failure of recent talks between the ‘six nations’ (the US, Russia, China, Britain, France and Germany) and Iran in Turkey.
- The imperialists’ concern to preserve the existing system of oppression and exploitation in the Middle East following the recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia.
The AGM further notes that:
- Sanctions are just one of a number of weapons used by the US and its allies.
- Last year’s ‘Stuxnet’ virus attack – jointly coordinated by US and Israeli intelligence – must be seen as part of a more general cyber war against Iran
- On the propaganda front, Zionist and neo-conservatives in US and Canada have launched a controversial film, Iranium, which advocates pre-emptive strikes against what the films deems a “sponsor of Islamic terrorism” which is on the verge of obtaining nuclear arms capability.
- The Iranian regime’s exaggerated claims about its nuclear and aerospace capabilities are both contributing factors to a continued state of conflict between Iran and the US.
The AGM salutes the popular uprisings against the dictatorial regimes in Tunisia and Egypt. They have inspired young Iranians to demonstrate against the dictatorial, corrupt regime in Tehran. These uprisings show that:
- Tyrannical regimes can be brought down by the mass action of the oppressed, as opposed to the military intervention of the US and its allies; and
- The US, which has for decades sponsored both Ben Ali and the Mubarak regimes, is not the enemy but the historic ally of tyranny throughout the Middle East.
The AGM therefore resolves:
-To continue its struggle both against imperialist sanctions and intervention against Iran, and in support of the workers and oppressed of Iran and their struggles against the ‘Islamic republic’ regime.
2. Support workers’ rights
This conference notes the shocking news of the death of four workers and the injury of 13 others in Iran Khodro car plant. This was caused by the absence of even basic safety measures and, not surprisingly has led to a major dispute between the workers and management. We support the demands of Iran Khodro workers for:
- The immediate removal of security forces from this plant;
- The identification and trial of those responsible at a managerial level for these deaths and injuries;
- The establishment of a fact-finding commission led by the workers themselves and
- The right to form genuine workers’ organisations in Iran, independent of the religious state and its security forces.
This conference further notes that six workers organisations – those of the Vahed Bus Company, Neyshekar Sugar Cane, Iran’s Free Workers Union, the Committee to Re-establish the Syndicate of Metal Workers and Mechanics, the Syndicate of Electric and Metal Workers of Kermanshah and the Committee to Defend Workers Rights have called for a rise in the minimum wage from 500,000 tomans a month to 1million tomans in the new Iranian year starting in March. They point out the current rate of inflation and price rises is rapidly driving down the standards of already impoverished workers. This conference supports Iranian workers demands for a living wage and the right to establish independent workers organisations.
Conference also notes with concern the gathering pace of executions over the past period. Iran has hanged over 60 prisoners in January. We add our voice to those activists and workers’ organisation in the country that are calling for an immediate and unconditional halt to these state sponsored murders.
Further, we call for the immediate unconditional release of all labour activists currently in prison, amongst them Ebrahim Madadi, Reza Shahabi, Mansour Ossanlou , Ebrahim Zadeh. We also reiterate our stand for freedom of all political prisoners in Iran.
3. Launch statement: Freedom for Jafar Panahi and all political prisoners in Iran
The Iranian regime has unleashed a new wave of oppression against opposition activists. In recent weeks, dozens of campaigners, lawyers and artists have been convicted on spurious charges and many more have been arrested.
- Award-winning filmmaker Jafar Panahi was sentenced to six years’ imprisonment for planning to make a film about the opposition movement that sprung up after the disputed elections of June 2009. In addition, the director was banned from making any films or travelling abroad for 20 years.
- Student activist Mohammad Pourabdollah has been in prison since early 2010.
- Habibollah Latifi, a student of Kurdish descent, has been sentenced to death after having being found guilty of “waging war against God”.
- In January, human rights activist Shiva Nazarahari was sentenced to a four-year jail term and 74 lashes on charges of subversion. Her lawyer Nasrin Soudeh was handed a jail sentence of eleven years for defending political prisoners.
- Fariborz Rais Dana, a Marxist economist and sterling critic of the regime’s neoliberal policies, was arrested on December 18 (28 Azar). No reason for his arrest has been given and not even his lawyer knows where he is being held.
The US is continuing to make military threats against Iran, while crippling the country with ever harsher sanctions. But these have not weakened the regime fundamentally. In fact, it is the people of Iran, the workers, women and students, who are suffering most – precisely those sections of society that are fighting for radical change from below.
This is why Hopi is launching a campaign that fights for:
- Freedom for all political prisoners! End all executions!
- Squash the medieval prison sentences imposed against political opponents of the regime!
- No sanctions, no military threats against Iran! For radical change from below!
These policies were adopted by Hopi’s AGM on November 28 2009
(for reports, see Weekly Worker and The Commune blog)
For a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons and other WMDs
Sanctions are a form of war
Day of solidarity with Iranian workers
No to state murders
(proposed by Moshe Machover, London)
The US imperialists, flanked by their hatchet man, Israel, and by their European camp followers — masquerading as ‘the international community’ – are accusing Iran of planning to manufacture nuclear weapons.
Under this pretext, they have mounted a vicious campaign of sanctions, whose real victims are the ordinary Iranian workers and impoverished masses; and they threaten Iran with massive military action.
We have no reason to believe in the imperialists’ accusation, for which no solid evidence has been produced so far. Nor do we have any reason to trust the Iranian theocrats’ protestations that their nuclear programme is for purely civilian use and that nuclear weapons are ‘un-Islamic’. Hopi is against the Islamic Republic developing nuclear weapons.
Irrespective of these accusations and counter-protestations, it is indisputable that the existence and potential spread of nuclear weapons in the Middle East constitute a horrendous danger to the people of this volatile and conflict-ridden region, and an appalling global threat to humanity.
The imperialists’ campaign in fact adds to this danger, as one of its clear, albeit unstated, aims is to preserve Israel’s regional monopoly of nuclear weapons.
Israel, the most aggressive and expansionist state in the Middle East, launched the regional nuclear arms race in the late 1950s; in this it was secretly aided by France — as payment for Israel’s service to French imperialism in the Suez aggression of 1956. Subsequently, the US and its satellites, including Britain, have lent their tacit support to Israel’s nuclear status by joining the silent charade and studiously avoiding any official mention of it. They have tolerated Israel refusal to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (1968) and to ratify the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (1996).
Israel’s massive arsenal of nuclear weapons – as well as other weapons of mass destruction – constitutes a constant grave provocation and a temptation to other states in the region to join the nuclear arms race. The suspected (albeit as yet unproven) nuclear-weapon ambition of the Iranian theocracy is just one illustration of this grave risk.
Attempts to preserve Israel’s regional nuclear monopoly by use or threat of armed force will backfire, by reinforcing the incentive of the targeted state to produce nuclear weapons, or to develop and stockpile an alternative arsenal of other weapons of mass destruction (chemical and biological), which have in fact been used in some Middle-East conflicts.
The only long-term means of preventing the peril of regional proliferation of nuclear weapons is the nuclear demilitarization of the entire Middle East.
We therefore call for a mass grass-root campaign for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons, with the following aims:
• Prevention of development and manufacture of nuclear weapons and other WMDs
• De-commissioning of all nuclear weapons and other WMDs
We call upon all progressive organizations and individuals in this country, in the Middle East and throughout the world to join this campaign. In particular, we call upon the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament in the UK, and similar organizations elsewhere, to actively promote the above aims.
The campaign for a Middle East free of nuclear weapons is not a substitute for a campaign for global nuclear disarmament; on the contrary, the former is an integral part and a vital step towards the latter.
(proposed by Yassamine Mather, Glasgow)
We are not privy to the discussion and divisions over Iran in the upper echelons of the US military and political establishment. We cannot therefore gauge the precise impact the election of Obama has made to the balance of forces in that ongoing debate. However, we do observe that:
a) Broadly, the aggressive thrust of US policy towards Iran remains in place, despite the placatory noises Obama has occasionally made. This includes a military option, possibly of quite devastating force, as the hawkish secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, has warned;
The imposition of new sanctions under Barack Obamas presidency has compounded an already dire economic situation:
Conference believes that:
1. Sanctions hurt ordinary people, not the rich and powerful.
2. They increase the power of the reactionary regime. The sanctions – and the ongoing threat of a military attack – have actually helped the theocratic regime whip the people into line.
Day of solidarity with Iranian workers
(proposed by Ben Lewis, London)
No to state murders
(proposed by Charlie Pottins, London)
These motions were agreed at our launch conference on December 8 2007
1. Conference notes that:
1.1 The justifications advanced by the officers of the StWC for the rejection of Hopi’s affiliation were transparently untrue and contradictory.
1.2 The decision has proved very controversial in the ranks of the coalition and many activists have defied their leadership to support Hopi.
2. Conference believes that:
2.1 The exclusion is deeply regrettable. It sends out the message that an anti-war campaign which is also critical of the theocratic regime has no place in the coalition.
2.2 That the StWC has brought discredit on the movement with this disgraceful exclusion.
3. Conference resolves to:
3.1 Urge affiliates of StWC to raise this issue and to support any moves to overturn the decision.
3.2 Encourage individual members of supporters of Hopi to become/remain members of StWC, to support its activities and to raise the exclusion in appropriate coalition forums.
In 2008, Hands Off the People of Iran will prioritise:
1. Building a national network of autonomous, self-activated Hopi branches that can respond quickly to international political developments.
2. Increasing its profile and practical work in the trade union and wider working class movement with the aim of forging practical links of solidarity and support between activists in Britain and Iran. In particular, we will encourage people to support the work of the registered charity Workers Fund (Iran).
3. Continue to support the progressive movements of the peoples of Iran against the Islamic Republic regime.
4. Fighting to win a commitment from unions in this country – at a local and national level – to greet any attack on Iran with protest strikes and walkouts.
5. Campaigning against the imposition of sanctions on Iran as an act of ‘soft war’.
6. Building links with international campaigns and organisations that fight for similar goals.
1. Conference notes that:
1.1 The student movement in Iran has mobilised huge support around radical slogans such as “No to war! Death to the Dictator!” “Hands Off The People Of Iran” “Socialism or Barbarism” and “Freedom and Equality.”
1.2 The radicalism and militancy of the student movement has in no way been dampened by the regime’s threats, intimidation and arrests of student activists.
1.3 Although 45 leading activists were arrested in the run-up to the recent Student’s Day Demonstrations at Tehran University, around 700 protesters defiantly marched against war and repression in Iran
1.4 HOPI student supporters are in close contact with radical students in Iran.
2. Conference believes that:
2.1 HOPI supporters should look to campaign for the immediate release of the imprisoned students and help to build active solidarity with the Iranian students’ struggles.
3. Conference resolves to:
3.1 Organise a HOPI speaking tour across British universities to build the HOPI campaign and to raise awareness of this and other radical anti-war movements in Iran
3.2 Hold regular fund-raising activities for students in Iran
3.3 Where possible, look to co-ordinate action and protests with Iranian students – especially on International Women’s Day and Student’s Day (December 4)
3.4 Mobilise for the immediate release of the students activists arrested in December 2007
Conference notes that in the last few months, thousands of Iranian workers have been involved in protests, strikes and demonstrations against the neo-liberal economic policies of Iran’s Islamic Republic regime. Many workers and activists are currently in prison, others face trial and persecution.
Conference therefore instructs the elected steering committee to do its utmost to:
1. Expose the devastation caused by the neo liberal economic policies of the Iranian regime including privatisations, imposition of ‘blank contracts’, mass unemployment, systematic non-payment of wages etc.
2. Build active support for the ‘model’ HOPI resolution to British trade unions, which opposes imperialist war while emphasising the need for active rank and file solidarity with Iranian workers, including their struggle for independent workers’ organisations.
3. Support the efforts of Workers Fund Iran to provide financial support for Iranian workers.
4. Demand the immediate and unconditional release of workers arrested for their trade union or political activities, including Mahmoud Salehi, Mansour Ossanlou, Ebrahim Madadi and Mohsen Hakimi.
-> It was agreed that parts of this motion should be incorporated into the Hopi trade union model resolution.
- Expose the suppression of women by the Islamic regime
- Build active support for Iranian women’s movements against all misogynist and patriarchal legislation and practises
- Demand the immediate and unconditional release of women arrested for raising those demands
- Condemn all misogynist laws
- Condemn compulsory veiling and gender apartheid
- Oppose Islamic sharia law
- Linking with women campaigns in Iran and other women’s liberation movements
-> This was agreed in principle, will be remitted to steering committee for better formulation