Policies

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

For a Middle East Free of Nuclear Weapons and other WMDs
(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

These must be verified by effective democratic, mass based inspection and supervision.

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.

Sanctions are a form of war
(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;

b) This continuity provides a green light to Israel to continue its stand-off with the Tehran regime. A ‘unilateral’ Israeli strike cannot be excluded;
c) Existing sanctions – correctly identified by Hopi as an existing form of ‘soft war’ on the country – have been revamped and added to by the new administration.

The imposition of new sanctions under Barack Obamas presidency has compounded an already dire economic situation:

– The Iran Sanctions Enabling Act (IRSA) of 2009 allows local and state governments and their pension funds to divest from foreign companies or US subsidiaries with investments of more than $20 million in Iran’s energy sector.
– The Iran Petroleum Sanctions Act (IRPSA) of 2009 imposes sanctions on companies who are involved in exporting refined petroleum products to Iran or who are expanding Iran’s capacity to produce its own refined products. Similar sanctions are likely to be imposed by France, the United Kingdom and Germany.
– In the South Pars oilfields, almost 6,000 contract workers are threatened with job losses, as whole fields are abandoned following news that Total, Repsol and Shell are pulling out.
– In Iran, oil workers are concerned about taking industrial action, because it might coincide with the imposition of new US sanctions, which will cause further hardship for ordinary Iranians during the winter.

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.

3. Sanctions are often used in conjunction with a campaign for ‘regime change from above’ against the interests of the majority of the population. They are a disaster for the cause of democracy. Sanctions disorganise the working class as people squander their fighting energies on day-to-day struggles to simply survive. Sanctions dramatically degrade the ability of the working people to struggle collectively on their own account, to radically refashion society in their own image, to organise and fight.
4. The case of Iraq shows that democracy cannot be delivered from above. The horror in Iraq is not just a result of the 2003 invasion and the attempts to deliver US-style democracy with bombs. Prior to it, the 1990 UN-imposed sanctions on the Saddam regime caused the death of up to a million Iraqis. The once strong democratic movements in Iraq were crippled by two enemies: the dictator Saddam and the sanctions imposed on their country.
Conference instructs the next steering committee to:
– oppose existing and new sanctions against Iran and to continue direct international working class solidarity with the aim of building the fighting capacity of the movement in Iran.
– campaign against those in the movement who do view sanctions as a ‘peaceful’ method to deal with the clerical regime. In truth, sanctions are an integral part of a covert war on Iran being pursued particularly by Israel and the US.

Day of solidarity with Iranian workers
(proposed by Ben Lewis, London)

Conference notes:

1. The sanctions programme on Iran that continues to hit the Iranian working class materially, reduces their fighting energies and hinders their struggles to become the hegemonic force for genuine change in Iran.
2. The militancy of Iranian workers that has been at the core of the protests against the Iranian regime following the election crisis. The actions of Pars Wagon hunger strikers, Vahed bus workers and oil workers who have taken political strike action.
3. The billions of dollars spent by US ‘regime change from above’ plans – including cynical attempts to win over the workers’ movement, making the need for a proletarian internationalist solidarity even more urgent.
4. That protest actions against the Iranian regime organised by bodies like the International Transport Federation and the International Trade Union Confederation fail to mention imperialism, sanctions and the threat of war. This is no accident. In reality, these organisations consciously dovetail the US’s plans for ‘regime change from above’. But real change can only come from below – in Iran as well as the imperialist countries.
Conference further notes that:
1. A necessary aspect of campaigning against sanctions is to provide positive material and ideological solidarity for our brothers and sisters in Iran – solidarity that is implacably opposed to any imperialist intervention and that sows no illusions in this or that faction of the ruling theocracy
To this end, conference resolves to:
1. Organise a ‘Day of Action for Iranian Workers’ in February 2010, following on from the success of the solidarity day jointly organised by Hopi and the Labour Representation Committee on August 1, which raised over £1000
2. Draft an appeal to all our supporters nationally and internationally to be drawn into organising this event, raising the banner of principled international solidarity and aiming to raise at least £2000 for strike funds, organising materials and other necessities for workers taking brave action in extremely precarious circumstances

No to state murders
(proposed by Charlie Pottins, London)

Hopi notes reports that since Iran’s post-election crisis the regime has cracked down with particular harshness on national minorities, as instanced by the use of the death penalty against Kurdish militants. We demand an end to this state murder and repression, which is the rulers’ way of holding power by force. We affirm that the best way to counter foreign exploitation of conflicts, win the confidence of minorities, and unite the working people, and unite the working people, is to support the principles of equality and self-determination.
HOPI rejects the absurd attempt by Zionists and Western propagandists to compare the Islamicist regime with Hitler fascism. In rejecting offers of “rescue” by Israel, Iran’s Jewish community, the biggest in the Middle East outside the Zionist State, has undermined the propaganda and to some extent obstructed the drive to all-out war.
At the same time, we condemn the regime’s hosting of a Holocaust revisionist conference, by which Ahmadinejad has given succour to antisemites and neo-Nazis who aim to attack Jews and, incidentally, Muslims, in many lands. In this and other ways the Islamicist regime has discredited itself and any claims it had to be progressive in its international alignments and policies, including its use of Lebanese and Palestinian groups, and its intervention in Iraq. While not condemning those who, in desparate need, have accepted Iranian help and solidarity to which they are entitled, we will scrutinise the Islamicist regime’s international operations, and warn against those here who, whether from misguided idealism or material motives, seek to prettify the regime and uncritically endorse its “anti-imperialist” credentials.

These motions were agreed at our launch conference on December 8 2007

Relations with the Stop the War Coalition
Hopi priorities 2008
The Iranian Student Movement
Support Iranian workers
Support women’s movements in Iran

Relations with the Stop the War Coalition

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.

Hopi priorities 2008

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.

The Iranian Student Movement

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

Support Iranian workers

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.

Support women’s movements in Iran

  1. Expose the suppression of women by the Islamic regime
  2. Build active support for Iranian women’s movements against all misogynist and patriarchal legislation and practises
  3. Demand the immediate and unconditional release of women arrested for raising those demands
  4. Condemn all misogynist laws
  5. Condemn compulsory veiling and gender apartheid
  6. Oppose Islamic sharia law
  7. 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

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