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Saturday, September 30, 2006

Women's rights activists manhandled by Stop the War Coalition organisers in the demonstration in Manchester

On Saturday 23rd of September, during the Labour Party's conference, a demonstration against war was held in Manchester. Tens of thousands of people gathered on the streets of Manchester to protest against the war, to condemn the US/UK policies towards Iraq and Iran and to demand withdrawal of the troop from Iraq.

During the demonstration a few flags of the Islamic regime of Iran were raised. The flag which represents a regime that has tortured and imprisoned millions of people in Iran; has executed tens of thousands of people during its 27 years of power; has assassinated the opposition abroad and has imprisoned many students and workers just because they defended their very basic rights. The flag which represents a regime that is suppressing people in Iran on a daily basis, stones women to death and executes homosexuals; the flag which represents the regime of gender apartheid, the regime which has been committing crime against humanity for 27 years. Yes, these are just some examples of what the flag of the Islamic regime represents!

How would you feel if you see a flag of such a criminal regime in a humanitarian demonstration? How would you feel if you are tortured and your friends got raped and executed by the same regime? Wouldn't you protest against the attendance of this flag?

For all the above reason I did protest. I was carrying the picture of a woman who was due to be executed in Iran and I protested against the attendance of the flags of the Islamic regime of Iran; I got manhandled by the organizers of Stop the War Coalition because simply they couldn't tolerate criticizing the Islamic terrorism; because they have decided to close their eyes on such a brutal crime.

I have been a women rights activist all my life, I was imprisoned by the Islamic regime of Iran for three and a half years at the age of 16, I was tortured and many of my friends got executed by a regime whose flag was raised in the demonstration in Manchester and yet I was manhandled by the Stop the War Coalition and specifically one of the organizers by the name of Ghada Razuki. Stop the War Coalition organizers also manhandled my colleague, Reza Moradi, who was also opposing the attendance of the flag of the criminal Islamic regime of Iran. Please see the following link which is from the demonstration in Manchester and was sent to me by a journalist by clicking here.

During the last few years, thousands of people have been participating in the demonstrations against the war, people who care about humanity and want to put an end to the war and slaughtering of people. However, unfortunately time after time their intentions and causes got hijacked by the Stop the War Coalition. Stop the War Coalition has always legitimized the criminal and misogynist acts of the Islamic regime and Islamic groups under the cover of anti-American slogans. How can Stop the War Coalition close its eyes on the situation of millions of women who are the victim of stoning, honor killing and suppression under the Islamic laws?

Take a few minutes and try to remember all the demonstrations organized by Stop the War Coalition, have you ever seen a speaker in these demonstrations talking about the dire situation of people under the Islamic laws? Have you ever asked yourself why? Some may say because we have to fight the US first; but how can one ignore the fact that the Islamic regimes and the Islamic groups are killing, torturing, abusing and suppressing millions of people, specially women and children, in Iran, Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and all the other countries ruled by the Islamic and Sharia law? Even now that you are reading this piece of writing, Kobra Rahmanpour, Nazanin Fatehi, Fateme Haghighatpajoo and several women like them are awaiting execution. Perhaps this is not a crime from the Stop the War Coalition's point of view!

To stop terrorism we must be against poles of terrorism, the US terrorism and the Islamist terrorism; being against one should not lead us to support the other one. No one must be allowed to legitimize and promote killing people including the Stop the War Coalition. Stop the War Coalition's act of manhandling women's rights activists in the demonstration in Manchester is disgraceful and outrageous and must be condemned by all the freedom loving people because their act is an insult to all the people who care about humanity and fight for human being's dignity.

Please send letters to Stop the War Coalition to object the way they acted in the demonstration on 23rd of September in Manchester.

Shiva Mahbobi

Maryam Namazie


Anonymous said...

I noticed that the people who carried out what is legally an "assault" are also leading members of the Socialist Workers Party and RESPECT.

One was a man called Ron Sanchek, who was also a teacher at Chorlton High School but was sacked - this was ensued by a court case.

Anonymous said...

To be manhandled by the stop-selected-wars people, what a non-surprise. I myself was threatened with death at an stw meeting when I handed out sheets giving too much info about Islam (quran excerpts etc). Advised to not look back as this was a small city ...

Next meeting was advertised as "all welcome" to discuss the causes of terrorism. And yet Saint Salma Yaqoob herself walked past unconcerned as I was being barred by her bouncers Mark Oley and the poshly-dressed Muslim guy (I don't remember names but works in pharma-promotion ie. drug-pushing). They said my presence would be divisive. On the contrary it was their presence that was divisive preventing their misinformation being challenged.

Personally I don't rate the stw or the swp/disRespect as anything to get hot about. Even if they did have 50,000 at manchester sept 06, that's a great climbdown from the claimed 40 times as many they had on an earlier march. And that's even just after the heavy propaganda over Islamically-conquered Lebanon.

Indeed, I've heard that Mark Oley has since left to join the LibDems. And Saint Salma got eaten alive on commentis[pretendedtobe]free.

Anonymous said...

I feel for your situation, but I noticed that you condemned Israel; a people who are simply fighting for survival. These organisations that you protest with have no real care for human life, they are terrorist supporters. Until you spend the time to learn about Israel you will never stand for humanity.

Best wishes.