Raymond Lotta June 20 at Free Toomaj protest at Iranian UN Mission

Global Movement News

June 22, 2024

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Below is the text of the talk given by Raymond Lotta, spokesperson for Revolution Books New York City and revcom.us correspondent, at the "Free Toomaj Salehi" protest in front of the Iranian Mission to the UN in NYC. This march and rally was held in conjunction with events called by different groups worldwide on and around June 20, the International Day to Free Political Prisoners in Iran, three of them called by the IEC in the US.

I want to welcome everyone here, and I also want to let everyone who is going to see the documentation of this people all over the world — and the prisoners in Iran who are going to hear about this — to let them know that we are with them!

Why are we here? We are here today because we stand with the rebel artist Toomaj who has risked all for a whole new world. Why are we here today: because we stand with the courageous political prisoners of Iran who are going up against a repressive and draconian regime that rules through world-class torture [and] repression. We stand with these political prisoners of Iran! We are here today because the struggle of Iranian political prisoners is OUR struggle. If you can't stand injustice,  if you can't stand suffering perpetrated by the oppressive regimes of this world imperialist system, then you need to stand with Toomaj and the political prisoners of Iran.

Everyone listen it up because I am now issuing a challenge.  I am issuing a challenge to the representatives of the IRI. the Islamic Republic of Iran.  I am issuing a challenge to them — upstairs in their mission — to come downstairs,  to come outside, and to face the women the LGBTQ  people that are here,  the artists and the activists that are here. Come downstairs and make your case.

Make your case for why you rule through execution, crushing dissent and basic human rights.  Make your unmakeable case. [crowd responds: “They can't do it!  Come Down! Come Down!”] Come outside, you reprehensible Representatives of the Islamic Republic of Iran! Come down make your unmakeable case for why you are crushing dissent and the humanity of all that live in Iran.

I want to make it very clear that, while we oppose this oppressive regime, we stand against any all attempts by us imperialism to attack, to meddle and to strangle the people of Iran through sanctions that have already  cost the lives of thousands upon thousands of people. That's right!

Look, we live in, and we face a world imperialist system, a system of exploitation and oppression.  Our choices are not between Western imperialism and its apartheid outpost Israel or dark ages Islamic —or any —fundamentalism. A whole other way, a whole new world is possible through an all the way Revolution. And what we do, how we take up this fight to free the political prisoners in Iran, how energetically we take this up and spread this message — that has everything to do [with] and will contribute powerfully to the cause of emancipating all of humanity.

Free Toomaj Now! Free Toomaj Now! Free all Iran's political prisoners all Iran's political prisoners!

Thank you.

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