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Hands Off Iran Protest Outside US Embassy


inminds
7 February 2012

As the US and Israel push Europe for more draconian sanctions, murder Iranian scientists, send warships to the Persian Gulf, and threaten a nuclear strike on Iran, hundreds of Londoners demonstrated outside the US Embassy in Grosvenor Square on 28th January 2012. The protest was organised by the Stop the War Coalition and called for no Western intervention in Iran and Syria.




Many hundreds of people turning up on a cold London day to protest outside the US Embassy



Symbols: The eagle, perched on the US Embassy, represents US imperialism. Its challenged by the flag of Hizbullah which represents resistance.

Jeremy Corbyn, Chair of Stop the War Coalition, explained that Stop the War was "calling for no intervention in the Middle East, appalled at the build up for war in the region, appalled that this country has billions to spend on wars in Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya and now apparently Iran, but not enough to maintain our health service, our education service, or deal with the problems of homelessness or youth unemployment.."

There was a great line up of speakers starting with Tony Benn, President of Stop the War Coalition. He pointed to the hypocrisy: "There are many ways you could look at this, one way is that here are nuclear states, America the most powerful nuclear weapons country in the world, France with nuclear weapons, Britain with nuclear weapons, Israel with nuclear weapons, planning to attack Iran for developing nuclear energy, for which there is no proof that it will lead, or is intended to lead to nuclear weapons.."



Shirin Shafaie talked of the double standards

Similarly Shirin Shafaie, an academic at SOAS, and Kate Hudson, the chair of the Campaign for Nuclear Disarmament (CND) spoke of the double standards.

Sarah Colborne from the PSC raised the issue of about Western hypocrisy. The war mongers claims that these wars are to defend democracy yet the West has done its utmost to punish the Palestinian people with genocidal sanctions for their democratic choice of voting Hamas in to power. Israel continues to lock up its Members of Parliament including the Speaker of the Parliament with total impunity.

Linsey German, the convenor of the Stop the War Coalition made it clear that this war about "spreading the power of US imperialism", that those supporting intervention were wrong, the Iranian government was a matter for the Iranian people "we here in the West have one duty - to oppose our own regime and that is what we are doing".

Sabah Jawad, of Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation, talked of western hypocrisy with their continued support of the Arab dictatorships, supported the Shah of Iran, supporting Saddam Hussein and still supporting the Saudi regime and the Qatari regime. He said if the Iranians right now reverted back to the policies of the dictator Shah the Americans would once again consider them as their allies. He suggested US plans were to hijack the Arab spring and true democracy in the middle-east.



Andrew Murry, of Unite the Union, said "this war, if we do not stop it, will not be about stopping the spreading of nuclear weapons. As others have said it they were interested in doing that they would start by addressing Israel's possession of nuclear weapons. Its about protecting the dictatorships of Saudi Arabia and Bahrain oppressing their own people, defying the Arab spring and propping up those dictatorships. The reason is absolutely simple and its absolutely clear and it was spelt out recently in an article by a man who was till a few months ago was the Pentagons own advisor on Iran policy, and he said Iran cannot be allowed to develop nuclear weapons, even if it wants to, which is contested of course. It cannot be allowed to adopt nuclear weapons because it would mean the United States of America would lose its freedom of manoeuvre and freedom to act at will in the middle-east. Well the United States and Britain should not have freedom to manoeuvre and freedom to act in the middle-east, that has brought nothing but bloodshed and terror to millions of people in the Middle-East, and it is up to us, our movement to stop the freedom of manoeuvre of our governments in the middle-east.."

Kevin Ovenden, of Viva Palestina, called for unity in the movement and against sectarianism, but warned that there were some people who were not really of the movement and wished to destroy it. He said with determination we can break Britain from the war machine and truly stand with the people of the Middle-East.

British actor Roger Lloyd Pack, of 'Only Fools & Horses' fame, could not understand how anyone could support this war after having gone through the disastrous war on Iraq. He read out a poem from the first World War "Strange Meeting".



Abbas Edalat, from the Campaign Against Sanctions & Military Intervention in Iran (CASMII), said in his riveting speech that "US Imperialism, supported by its allies in Europe have conducted a multi-pronged policy of warfare against the people of Iran and against the Islamic Republic of Iran. An economic warfare which is leading to an oil embargo, covert military operations, assassination of Iranian scientists, a bombing campaign, supporting terrorist activities of PJAK, MKO and Jundallah. The are all geared to a regime change in Iran because the US wants to reverse the course of the Iranian revolution which brought down its main ally in the Middle-East, which was the late Shah of Iran." He stressed that "The Iranian people will never surrender their rights for a peaceful nuclear technology, they will never surrender their rights to the war mongers of America and Israel!". He talked of Imam Hussein saying that "for the majority of Iranians who emulate Imam Hussein, the grandson of Prophet Muhammad, who knew he was going to be martyred, but he still rose up against oppression, they will emulate him and they will resist any kind of aggression against Iran to the very last blood that they have!". He said "The US, supported by Israel, they have no shame in telling lies and distorting the truth. Only yesterday the US defence officials told the Wall Street Journal that the United States is considering to use tactical nuclear weapons against the military and nuclear sites in Iran. They have no shame in using nuclear weapons after first using them in Hiroshima and Nagasaki."



Top: Iranian speaker Abbas Etalat was
attacked on the podium with a placard
when he spoke of how Iranians had kicked
US imperialism out of Iran with an
Islamic Revolution and would fight to
their last drop of blood to defend
Iran against the US empire!
Bottom: On what could be the eve of war
on Iran, a banner asking to "Free Iran"
waving at the door of the US embassy
was allowed in a rally to 'Stop the War'!

The event was however marred by disruptions from a handful of expatriate Iranians who opposed the Islamic revolution which freed Iran from the yoke of American imperialism. They stood on the footsteps of the American Embassy, the representative of US imperialism in the UK, with banners begging for Iran to be freed. Such a message outside the doors of US empire can only be interpreted as a call for intervention in Iran - a call for a US / Israeli attack to 'free' Iran - another Operation Enduring Freedom, another genocidal war. Yet incredulously they were allowed to be part of the 'Stop the War' rally. It was only when they tried to physically attack the speakers with their placards and peace activists in the crowd had to intervene that the Stop the War Coalition stewards finally took action and had them removed from the rally (taken to the back by the police).

When the Iranian people under the leadership of Imam Khomeini brought about the Islamic Revolution, many of the Shah's men, having plundered the country's wealth, fled with him and settled in the West with their stolen loot. For many years they worked hand in hand with the Israel lobby, especially in the US, to instigate an overthrow of the Iranian government and the return of the monarchy to Iran. When the so-called 'green movement' emerged in Iran, these people having finally realised that the Iranian people will never again allow the tyranny of monarchy to rule over them, they reinvented themselves as the UK 'green movement'. Recently they have formed alliances and held joint demonstrations with zionists and other racist groups like the EDL against the annual Al Quds Day event. Only their name has changed, the agenda remains the same - eradicate the Islamic Republic by any means. Doesn't matter if it involves seeking patronage of the zionist lobby, the neocons, or the islamophobes and racists.

Perhaps they should learn the lessons of the MKO, who for decades have been bankrolled by the US government along with European patrons and middle-eastern dictators, they even built up an army equipped with the latest tanks and missiles but what did it get them? Nothing. The Iranian people sacrificed a generation to defend their Islamic Revolution, and they will continue to do so. Yes there is always a healthy debate of how to best fulfil the aims of the revolution and in that debate many parties and fraction have emerge in Iran but ultimately the people have judged them by the yardstick of Islam and the revolution it inspired.

Video of all the speeches from the rally is provided below.


Abbas Etalat, CASMII





Abbas Etalat, CASMII



Abbas Etalat, CASMII


Leading the chanting..

'no justice, no peace
US out the Middle East..

1 2 3 4 we dont want another war
5 6 7 8 stop the killing stop the hate'

John Rees, Stop the War Coalition





John Rees, Stop the War Coalition



John Rees, Stop the War Coalition

Shirin Shafaie, SOAS





Shirin Shafaie, SOAS



Shirin Shafaie, SOAS


Kevin Ovenden, Viva Palestina





Kevin Ovenden, Viva Palestina



Kevin Ovenden, Viva Palestina


Chris Nineham, Stop the War Coalition




Joseph Healy, Green Party





Joseph Healy, Green Party


Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation





Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation



Sabah Jawad, Iraqi Democrats Against Occupation


Jeremy Corbyn, MP





Jeremy Corbyn, MP


Andrew Murray, Unite the Union





Andrew Murray, Unite the Union


Roger Lloyd Pack, British Actor





Roger Lloyd Pack, British Actor



Roger Lloyd Pack, British Actor


Kate Hudson, CND





Kate Hudson, CND


Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition





Lindsey German, Stop the War Coalition


Tony Benn with Roger Lloyd Pack

Shadia Edwards-Dashti, Student Stop the War





Shadia Edwards-Dashti, Student Stop the War



Shadia Edwards-Dashti, Student Stop the War


Tony Benn, Stop the War Coalition





Tony Benn, Stop the War Coalition



Tony Benn, Stop the War Coalition


John McDonnell MP





John McDonnell MP


Sarah Colborne, PSC





Sarah Colborne, PSC



Source: www.inminds.co.uk


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