from volunteers at Revolution Books NYC
In New York City this past week, there were a number of important protests and a significant program at Revolution Books standing with the people and political prisoners of Iran, and condemning the Islamic Republic of Iran (IRI), its mass murdering president Ebrahim Raisi, and its murder of 22-year-old Mahsa Amini for violating Iran’s barbaric anti-woman hijab laws.
Supporters of the Communist Party of Iran (Marxist-Leninist-Maoist) (CPI (MLM)), the Burn the Cage/Free the Birds movement, the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners (IEC), and Revolution Books and the revcoms took out the message that we stand in internationalist solidarity with the people of Iran.
Wednesday’s protest at the UN, where Raisi was addressing the General Assembly, drew hundreds of people from the Iranian diaspora, from many different political trends. The IEC and Burn the Cage led a speak-out of some 40 to 50 people and then a spirited march. People also distributed hundreds of copies of a color flyer of the Farsi translations of some of Bob Avakian’s key works which had been produced by supporters of the CPI (MLM).
At Columbia University, an editor/staffer at the university’s newspaper, the Spectator, heard about our efforts and invited Larry Everest to submit an opinion piece. It appeared on Wednesday morning with the title: “Forget foreign intervention: We the people must stand in internationalist solidarity with the Iranian people.”
On Wednesday evening, after a day of protest, a moving event took place at Revolution Books, featuring speeches by Carl Dix, Larry Everest, and former Iranian political prisoner Anahita Rahmani, along with video clips, solidarity statements and an engaged discussion. Some 40 to 45 people came including a group of Iranians from the diaspora as well as members of the Harlem community.
Larry Everest, a contributor to revcom.us and spokesperson for the IEC, exposed the crimes of the IRI, the resistance of the Iran people, and U.S. imperialism’s role in Iran, including how it’s helped strengthen the reactionary Islamic fundamentalists now brutally oppressing Iran’s people. He also highlighted the courage of Iran’s political prisoners, the urgency of freeing them, and why spreading the IEC’s Emergency Appeal is key to doing so.
Anahita Rahmani then gave a moving presentation about her eight years as a political prisoner in Iran, including the nightmare of daily whippings and being told each night is your last.
Carl Dix, a longtime revolutionary and follower of BA, gave a stirring call for internationalist solidarity with the people of Iran and why we are in a rare time when revolution is more possible. He also dug into the crucial importance of Bob Avakian’s work and leadership, exposed the attacks against him, and called on people to vigorously defend him.
The discussion was lively and revolutionary, with a lot of back-and-forth, in English and Farsi, about the rapidly developing situation in Iran, the potential for revolution, the importance—and limits—of spontaneous mass rebellions, the need for communist leadership based on BA’s new communism and the importance of the existence of the CPI (MLM), which bases itself on BA’s new communism, and the urgency of expanding the ranks of the revolution.