Anne Mc Shane reports from the Hopi Ireland demo in the capital
More than 40 people joined the Hands Off the People of Iran protest in central Dublin on June 27. We brought the struggle in Iran to Central Bank Plaza with striking images of the demonstrations in Tehran on prominent display.
The Gay Pride march streamed past our demo and we leafleted the marchers, receiving a very warm response. The situation for gay people in Iran is a very serious and often life-threatening one. Many marchers identified with their plight and were glad to show their support.
Speakers at our rally included Cillian Gillespie from the Socialist Party and Fariba, an Iranian political activist. Comrade Gillespie made clear his organisation’s commitment to the working class in Iran. He stressed the need for organisation against the Islamic state and also his total opposition to any intervention from imperialism.
A statement from independent left councillor Cieran Perry, who had to leave early, was read out. It pointed out that the Iranian state is supported by the International Monetary Fund, which also props up the Irish state – itself hell-bent on attacking the working class. His loyalties lay with the working class struggling in both Iran and Ireland. He believed that the protests in Iran had gone beyond a simple reaction to a rigged election and now the very foundations of the state are being questioned.
Fariba spoke of the bravery and tenacity of the demonstrators. She called for the immediate unconditional release of all prisoners and for a stop to the arrests and killings. She wanted people to be aware of how important even small acts of solidarity are.
We finished our protest by chanting slogans in support of the striking workers and the struggle for mass democracy. We shouted, “Down with the Islamic regime” and “Solidarity with the movement”. We also made clear our absolute opposition to imperialist intervention – we do not want another Iraq. We want solidarity from the working class in Ireland, not from the Irish government.
A large number of people signed up to get involved in the campaign. In particular a number of Iranians came forward. This has given a great boost to the Dublin branch of Hopi. We now plan to organise other meetings and stalls in the capital as well as in Cork, where we have a launch meeting on July 2. We hope that people in other parts of the country will come forward to help, especially as we have had very good coverage on local radio stations.