Iran

A snap solidarity action organised by a network of Iranians brought more than 100 people together in Parramatta on January 6 to declare their support for those protesting in Iran.

Mansour Razaghi from the Committee for the Defence of the Iranian People (Sydney) told the rally that those protesting were workers, teachers, women, students, nurses and many others who are fed up with high unemployment, extremism and religious tyranny.

Newtown firefighters have once again set a fine example of international people-to-people solidarity by posting "Peace be with them" in Farsi on their noticeboard.

They are showing solidarity with 20 or more firefighters in Tehran, Iran, who sacrificed their lives fighting a fire in the 17-story Plasco building on January 20. The high rise was built in the early 1960s and was the tallest building at the time of its construction.

I came across members of the Iranian community who had come to thank Newtown firefighters for their solidarity.

A rally was held in Melbourne on January 16 to support refugees protesting in Wickham Point detention centre near Darwin and Manus Island detention centre in Papua New Guinea.

Many of the asylum seekers are on a hunger strike and it is feared that a 33-year-old Iranian asylum seeker may have only days to live.

The man, known as “Martin”, was on hunger strike for 53 days until December 21. He resumed the hunger strike on December 27, and has entered a critical stage. He may have already suffered permanent organ damage.

When refugees are being killed and injured by thugs hired by the Australian government to run its offshore refugee detention camp in Manus Island, PNG; when Australia's foreign minister Julie Bishop pressures Cambodia (one of the poorest countries in the world) to take asylum seekers off Australia (one of the world's richest countries) surely it is time to say: NOT IN OUR NAME!

And this is what thousands of people did over the weekend of February 22-23 in more than 750 vigils, called by internet campaigning network GetUp.

Venezuelan President Hugo Chavez has criticised the US State Department’s “absurd” decision to threaten Latin American countries with sanctions should they engage in trade with Iran.

Chavez made the comments on the state VTV channel after State Department spokesperson Victoria Nuland warned Latin American countries they would be liable to US sanctions if they were to use Iranian banks or purchase Iranian oil.

Activist Centre, 3/29 Macquarie St, Parramatta
Spiralling poverty, deprivation, price rises and chronic unemployment are behind the latest round of anti-government protests in Iran that began in late December. Speakers: Rupen Savoulian from Socialist Alliance will present some historical context about previous anti-dictatorship struggles; Ronahi Qandil, a Kurdish activist, will speak about the current situation. Ronahi was jailed by the Iranian government when she was 17.

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