May 6, 2022
Dear IEC activists and supporters,
“Be realistic, demand the impossible.” That was the spirit of rebel students in 1968 France. Our struggle today to free the frontline fighters for a better world imprisoned in Iran’s theocratic dungeons is necessary, realistic and possible through mobilizing ever broader numbers of people globally. The courage and determination of Iran’s political prisoners show the potential for creating a global outcry for their freedom that can’t be ignored by the regime of superstition and terror in Iran.
The spirit of resistance inspired by the struggle to free political prisoners in Iran is beautifully captured in the international song Bella Now sung in Persian, Spanish and English. The video opens with these words: "Inspired by the struggle to free all political prisoners in the Islamic Republic of Iran and Afghanistan, Bella Now is dedicated to the fight against all oppression all over the world."
World renowned author Ariel Dorfman urged participation in the International Emergency Campaign (IEC) by saying “I am convinced – from personal experience – that the prisoners themselves are given strength to survive and persevere, they are listening. They know others, faraway, care what happens to them, and we should not let them down.” Full statement here.
In continuing this most urgent fight to “not let them down”, there are ambitious plans for the coming weeks that require your active participation to significantly impact the public square.
For the IEC team and volunteers,
Dolly Veale, IEC
First, mark your calendar for an exciting international roundtable on Friday June 10 (2-4PM EST) in partnership with DePauw University’s "Fighting the Power: Global Movements for Social Justice" summer-session course. The theme will be “Solidarity with Iran’s Political Prisoners, Heroism for Our Time”. Confirmed speakers are Professor Shahrzad Mojab of Toronto University in Canada; Director Hadi Ghaemi of Center for Human Rights in Iran; Satar Rahmani of the International Alliance in Support of Workers in Iran; author and journalist Larry Everest of the IEC and contributing writer with revcom.us; and Mariam Claren, daughter of political prisoner Nahid Taghavi and initiator of #freeNahid campaign. There are plans for simultaneous radio broadcasting of this unique panel of speakers from four different countries all united in the global struggle.
This amazing panel will be preceded by a 2 days in the classroom — a student discussion on June 8 joined by IEC and Burn the Cage activists, and on June 9, a screening of Nasrin followed by student discussion with the filmmakers Jeff Kaufman and Marcia Ross. These three full days dedicated to freeing Iran’s political prisoners, and especially the livestream on June 10 , can involve many students and hopefully many academics around the country and the world, and spread the International Emergency Campaign far and wide.
Today marks the start of fundraising to publish the Emergency Appeal as a 2-page color spread in Ms. Magazine's Summer edition, along with a series of digital ads. We will need to raise $9K by June 15. In two weeks last summer, we raised $14K+ to print the Appeal in The New York Review of Books. Together, and with your generous contributions, we can meet this new challenge. Placing the IEC ads in Ms. can bring the example of Iran’s many courageous political prisoners to further inspire all those engaged in the ferocious battle for women’s right to abortion in the US.
The IEC’s Emergency Appeal sets the correct moral and political terms with its powerful content and demands, its wide embrace of justice-seeking people, and the breadth and prominence of our Appeal’s many global signers – from 40 countries.
Critically and uniquely, we call on people in the U.S. and globally to stand against the Islamic Republic’s vile repression of the political dissidents in Iran, while also opposing U.S. threats or aggression on Iran. The IEC has crossed borders and forged an international community of people from all walks of life and cultures fighting for Iran’s political prisoners.
Friday, May 20, 6:30-8:30PM (PST): Sensible Cinema of the First Unitarian Universalist Society of San Francisco (UUSF) is hosting a community screening of the documentary film Nasrin, followed by Q&A with IEC and other activists. This event will be on site at the UUSF (1187 Franklin Street) and also accessible via Zoom.
We are aiming for these events to be synergetic – one building on the others in furthering momentum for this campaign.
What you can do: 1) donate generously and ask others you know to do so; 2) sign and spread the Appeal and this plan; 3) volunteer your time and talent – social media, outreach, translation, help research relevant news inside Iran; 4) promote and attend the above events.
Latest sightings: Volunteers take IEC demands to: Berlin May Day march; Stockholm, Sweden trial of Hamid Nouri; San Francisco, CA May Day labor unions rally.