When the new Iranian Revolution began a few weeks ago, the masses were shouting "Don't be afraid! We are all in this together!" Their revolution was immediately followed by massive protests by the Iranian diaspora and other supporters all over the world. Canada witnessed a similar wave with protests being held across the country, from Vancouver to Halifax. Fightback and IMT activists have participated in numerous demonstrations and events of solidarity in Toronto, Vancouver, Montreal, and Halifax. Fightback produced a leaflet in English and Farsi, explaining our position on the recent upheaval which was distributed at these events.
On Friday 3rd of July, Fightback supporters organized a panel discussion on the new Iranian Revolution that was dubbed by some Iranian activists as the first “foreign” event of solidarity, pointing to the fact that organizers were mostly non-Iranian Marxists and the first that supported the uprising of the Iranian masses. Alex Grant, editor of Fightback, was one of the speakers at the event, and was subsequently invited to speak at a solidarity rally in commemoration of the student uprisings of 1999 at Toronto’s Mel Lastman Square.
The event was opened by Fereydoon Farahi, a well-known Iranian-Canadian singer who sung an alternative socialist version of “O, Iran!”, a famous anthem.
Besides Alex, three other speakers participated in the panel discussion: Mohsen Ebrahimi, a member of the Worker-Communist Party of Iran’s political bureau; Soheila Dehmasi, representing the Iranian People Fedayee Guerillas who also helped Fightback to co-organize the event; and Cheri Di Novo, the NDP MPP for Parkdale-High Park.
Cheri spoke about how “encouraging” the recent Iranian events have been to her as a socialist and feminist, and someone who has fought “fundamentalism of all sorts”. She said that she thinks the impetus behind the protests is “good old revolutionary fervor and demand for social justice and equality”.
Soheila Dehmasi stressed the fact that the deprived and lower-class masses have been a main force of the protest, despite claims to the contrary.
Alex spoke about the fact that what we are seeing right now is the beginning of a genuine revolution in Iran. He also talked about the need of for the revolution going beyond street demonstrations toward a general strike in order for it to be successful.
Mohsen Ebrahimi mostly spoke about the role of his party, the WPI, and a 24-hour TV station that it maintains. He also stressed the need for international solidarity against the Islamic Republic. Discussion continued with questions from the floor.
All in all, it was a very good event which reaffirmed international solidarity for the Iranian Revolution. Fightback's name has become well known around the Farsi-speaking community in Canada and there is increased interest in genuine Marxist ideas.
Fightback will continue organizing, and participating in, solidarity events all over Canada in defence of the Iranian Revolution, all the way to its victory.
Alex Grant, part I at Toronto meeting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jM0BFtVYWL0
Alex Grant, part II at Toronto meeting: http://www.youtube..com/watch?v=tji1DqjejOc
Mohsen Ebrahimi at Toronto meeting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=18VjvL5hNgc
Mohsen Ebrahimi at Toronto meeting: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DDN7-pUZ40g
Alex Grant at Mel Lastman Square rally: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0PrdnhDgeM