Thursday, June 25, 2009

Open letter of support to the demonstrators in Iran!

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T
his morning Ayatollah Ali Khamenei demanded an end to the massive and forceful demonstrations protesting the controversial result of last week's election. He argued that to make concessions to popular demands and 'illegal' pressure would amount to a form of 'dictatorship', and he warned the protestors that they,
rather than the police, would be held responsible for any further violence.

Khamenei's argument sounds familiar to anyone interested in the politics of collective action, since it appears to draw on the logic used by state authorities to oppose most of the great popular mobilisations of modern times, from 1789 in France to 1979 in Iran itself. These mobilisations took shape through a struggle to assert the principle that sovereignty rests with the people themselves, rather than with the state or its representatives. 'No government can justly claim authority', as South Africa's ANC militants put it in their Freedom Charter of 1955, 'unless it is based on the will of all the people.'

Needless to say it is up to the people of Iran to determine their own political course. Foreign observers inspired by the courage of those demonstrating in Iran this past week are nevertheless entitled to point out that a government which claims to represent the will of its people can only do so if it respects the most basic preconditions for the determination of such a will: the freedom of the people to assemble, unhindered, as an inclusive collective force; the capacity of the people, without restrictions on debate or access to information, to deliberate, decide and implement a shared course of action.

Years of foreign-sponsored 'democracy promotion' in various parts of the world have helped to spread a well-founded scepticism about civic movements which claim some sort of direct democratic legitimacy. But the principle itself remains as clear as ever: only the people themselves can determine the value of such claims. We the undersigned call on the government of Iran to take no action that might discourage such determination.

Peter Hallward

Middlesex University, UK.

Alberto Toscano

Goldsmiths College, UK.

This letter is also signed by:

Alenka Zupancic, Institute of Philosophy of the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts

Alexander Garcia Duttmann, Goldsmiths College

Etienne Balibar, Paris X, Nanterre, and University of California, Irvine

Eyal Weizman, Director, Centre for Research Architecture, Dept. of Visual Cultures

Goldsmiths, University of London

Judith Butler, University of California, Berkeley

Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor (retired), MIT, Cambridge MA USA

Philip Pettit, University Center for Human Values, Princeton University

Rada Ivekovic, Prof., Collège international de philosophie, Paris.

Slavoj Žižek, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia and the European Graduate School

Also signed by the following academics:

Adam Bieniek, PhD, Jagiellonian University, Chair of Arab Studies, Institute of Oriental Philology , Cracow, Poland

Agnieszka Zuk, University of Nancy

Aleksander Glogowski, PhD, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Ali Banuazizi, Professor of Political Science and Director, Program in Islamic Civilization and Societies, Boston College

Ali Rezaei, Dept. of Sociology, University of Calgary, Canada
Nader Hashemi,Assistant Professor of Middle East and Islamic Politics
Josef Korbel School of International Studies, University of Denver

Arang Keshavarzian, Associate Professor of Middle Eastern and Islamic Studies, New York University

Asia Bochenska, Department of Kurdish Studies, Jagiellonian University, Cracow, Poland

Beata Kowalska, Jagiellonian University, Poland

Dan Sperber, Institut Jean Nicod, CRNS, Paris

Eric B. Ross, Visiting Professor of Anthropology and International Development Studies, The George Washington University, Washington, D.C.

Farideh Farhi, Department of Political Science, University of Hawai'i at Manoa

Farifteh Tavakoli-Borazjani, Freie Universität Berlin, Institut für Iranistik

Farzin Vahdat, Vassar College, New York

Hossein Ziai, Jahangir and Eleanor Amuzegar Chair in Iranian Studies, Director of Iranian Studies, UCLA Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, Los Angeles, CA

Isabelle Dolezalek, Freie Universität Berlin

Jadwiga Pstrusińska, Head of Department of Interdisciplinary Eurasiatic Research, Institute of Oriental Philology, Jagiellonian University, Cracow

Jean-Paul Martinon, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, UK

Joanna Bochenska

Jolan Bogdan, Department of Visual Cultures, Goldsmiths College, UK

Juan R. I. Cole, Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History, University of Michigan

Kazem Alamdari, California State University, Los Angeles
Nayereh Tohidi, Professor, California State University, Northridge

Linda Herrera, Institute of Social Studies (The Hague)
Asef Bayat, University of Leiden

Lynn Schibeci, Dept of History, the University of New Mexico (retired), Albuquerque, New Mexico

Mark Gasiorowski, Political Science and International Studies, Louisiana State University

Martin Steinseifer, Universität Giessen

Martin van Bruinessen, Chair of Comparative Study of Contemporary Muslim Societies, Department of Theology and Religious Studies, Utrecht University

Martina Tissberger, Freie Universität Berlin, Department of Educational Sciences and Psychology

Michael McIntyre, International Studies, DePaul University, Chicago

Mohamad Tavakoli-Targhi, Professor of History and Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations, University of Toronto

Norma Claire Moruzzi, University of Illinois at Chicago, Political Science, History, Gender and Women's Studies

Scott Hibbard, DePaul University, Chicago

Seyla Benhabib, Seyla Benhabib, Eugene Meyer Professor of Political Science and Philosophy, Yale University, New Haven
Jesse Lemisch, Professor Emeritus, History, John Jay College of Criminal Justice, City University of New York, USA

Stephen Engelmann, University of Illinois at Chicago

Talal Asad, Graduate Center, City University of New York

Van Bluemel, Emeritus Professor of Physics at Worcester Polytechnic Institute, in Worcester, MA

Vera Beyer, Kunsthistorisches Institut der Freien Universität Berlin

Dr Riaz Ahmed,Department of Applied Chemistry,University of Karachi, Karachi

24 comments:

Anonymous said...

Peter Broge
Law student
Copenhagen University

Nancy said...

Keep fighting the good fight, Saeed. I'll be watching and praying! Writing letters too, if it helps!

Anonymous said...

check this out saeed: http://www.goftaniha.org/2009/06/blog-post_4044.html

lebanon hezbollah within the militia in mousavi's setad the day they attacked.
this is invasion.

Riaz Ahmed said...

add my name to the signatories to statement supporting protests in Iran

Dr Riaz Ahmed,Department of Applied Chemistry,University of Karachi, Karachi

Anonymous said...

Are you the same Chomsky who said a few months ago that the current government of Iran has the right to develop nuclear power? What you are saying now makes sense to me, what you said back then sounded very short-sighted and naive for someone as old and as educated as you sir.

Anonymous said...

I have translated what Peter Hallward wrote:
Esta mañana el Ayatolá Ali Khamenei exigió el fin de las demostraciones de lucha protestando el resultado controversial de las elecciones de la semana pasada. El argumenta que para hacer concesiones a las demandas populares y la presión “ilegal” podrían formar una especie de “dictadura” y el advirtió a los manifestantes que ellos, mas que la policía, serian responsables que la violencia futura.
El argumento de Khamenei suena familiar a cualquiera que esté interesado en las políticas de acción colectiva, pues aparentemente la saca de la lógica usada por autoridades para oponerse a las grandes movilizaciones de los tiempos modernos desde 1789 en Francia hasta 1979 en el propio Iran. Estas movilizaciones tomaron forma a través de la lucha por dejar asentado que la soberanía reside en el propio pueblo, mas que en el Estado o sus representantes. “Ningún gobierno puede simplemente declarar su autoridad” como escribieron los militantes del ANC de Sur Africa en su Declaración de Libertad de 1955, “ a menos que esté basada en la voluntad de todo el pueblo”.
Es innecesario decir que es el propio pueblo de Irán quien determine el curso de su política. Los observadores extranjeros inspirados en el coraje de aquellos manifestantes en Irán esta pasada semana, son por otro lado libres de señalar que un gobierno que declara representar la voluntad de estas personas, puede hacerlo solo si respeta las mas básicas condiciones para la determinación de tal voluntad: la libertad del pueblo para reunirse sin impedimentos como una fuerza colectivo incluyente; la capacidad del pueblo al acceso al debate o la información sin restricciones, para deliberar, decidir e implementar el curso de una acción consensuada.
Años de “promoción de la democracia” patrocinada por extranjeros en varias partes del mundo ha ayudado a extender un escepticismo bien fundado acerca de los movimientos cívicos que declaran algún tipo de legitimidad democrática. Pero el principio se mantiene tan claro como siempre: solo el pueblo mismo puede determinar el valor de dicha declaración.
Nosotros lo abajo firmantes hacemos un llamado al gobierno de Irán a no tomar ninguna acción que desaliente tal determinación.

Entdinglichung said...

there is also a call for solidarity with the protests in Iran by some participants of the demonstration against the visit of the shah of the 2nd June 1967 in Berlin (during the manifestation, a student was killed by the German police and several participants of the demonstrants were injured after being attacked with clubs by SAVAK goons) ... a rough translation by myself:

"On 2nd June 1967 thousands demonstrated in front of the German Opera in Berlin against the visit of the Shah in the Federal Republic of Germany and in West Berlin. They showed solidarity with the struggle of the Iranian people for freedom and democracy. The same solidarity is demanded of us today, when despite massive repression in Iran, hundreds of thousands are on the street to demand democracy and human rights. We ask the participants of the demonstration on 2nd June 1967 to join this initiative for a call for solidarity."

signed by:

Bommi Baumann, Tilman Fichter, Sigrid Fronius, Hartmut Häussermann, Friederike Hausmann, Ulrich Hausmann, Frank Herterich, Ruth Ursel Henning, Niels Kadritzke, Ulf Kadritzke, Detlef Michel, Bahman Nirumand, Helke Sander, Peter Schneider, Susanne Schunter-Kleemann, Christian Semler, Christian Ströbele, Ulrich Ströhle, Jürgen Treulieb

http://www.taz.de/1/politik/deutschland/artikel/1/68er-unterstuetzen-iranischen-protest/

Susz said...

Här finns info om vilka som samarbetar med diktaturen i Iran-och möjliggör övervakning av folket klicka på länkarna


Bojkotta Nokia och Siemes finska och tyska bolags svarta sida!

http://www.idg.se/2.1085/1.236657

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB124562668777335653.html



http://www.avaaz.org/en/iran_stop_the_crackdown

hungry said...

Sign me onto the open letter.

arawn eibhlyn
Berea, Kentucky
USA

Алексей said...

I'm not sure this letter is anything but a publicity stunt for the leftists since it's absolutely soacked with leftist references (ANS) and propaganda phrases akin to those used by all communist governments when they were crushing dissent: "inclusive collective force", "shared course of action", "will of all the people". Anyone who survived communist hell holes will tell you that it's exactly what you'll hear when they crush your freedoms. And the "you have ligitimate concerns that they're just foreign tools" ending makes it all sound as a friendly advice.

Anai Rhoads said...

Please add my name to this open letter -

Anai Rhoads, Human Rights Journalist
Washington, D.C.

Anonymous said...

i am with the protesters in iran-they have been lied to & put down for long enough-also their bravery is breathtaking. i, an american don't think i could be that brave,thank god i don't have to & have the freedom to protest & did in 60's & 70's-peace to the people of iran & i pray for your freedom,we are not your enemies....

Mr Sweden said...

In my city in Sweden we have the picture of Neda everywhere in the streets. I really mean like 1000's of posters of Neda.
And later this week we will have a big protest action to suport the protesters in Iran.
The Swidish policeforce will of couse be there TO PROTECT THE PROTESTERS, if that would be necessary, which I doubt.

Roby from Italy said...

This letter rapresents exactly what I'm thinking.
Great.

Anonymous said...

You may add my name to your open letter of support for the demonstrators in Iran, please:

Kathy Epling, poet and bookseller
Northern California, USA

Jabbar Fazeli, MD said...

Medica blackout means that all this is not getting to the ordinary people who don't have facebook or even a tweeter acount.
In 1979, faced with similary media blackout, Khomeini used audio tapes to connect with ordinary Iranians.
We need to consider mass distributing DVDs to inform the public and counter the state propaganda.
Let hope that this it and we can finally see a free Iran in our life time.

vib said...

bybl
italian engineer
from Rome

Anonymous said...

Giovanni Di Blasi
Law Student
Università di Palermo (Italy)

Alec said...

>> He argued that to make concessions to popular demands and 'illegal' pressure would amount to a form of 'dictatorship', [...]

Spot the obvious mistake!

>> Khamenei's argument sounds familiar to anyone interested in the politics of collective action, since it appears to draw on the logic used by state authorities to oppose most of the great popular mobilisations of modern times, from 1789 in France to 1979 in Iran itself.

I would go further than that and suggest that this *is* the contination of the 1979 Revolution, which was subverted by the Islamic Republic; just as 1789 was subverted by the Terror. Or how the February 1917 Revolution in Russia was then hijacked by events in October/November. Or how Strasserites and other former Nazis took over East Germany in 1945. Or what came to pass after the Romanian Revolution in 1989 is perhaps more accurately described as an internal coup. And on, and on.

I share Алексей's cynicism. I have yet to peruse all the names but whenever I see Chomsky mentioned, I think... what's he playing at?

ENTDINGLICHUNG >> there is also a call for solidarity with the protests in Iran by some participants of the demonstration against the visit of the shah of the 2nd June 1967 in Berlin (during the manifestation, a student was killed by the German police and several participants of the demonstrants were injured after being attacked with clubs by SAVAK goons).

You're referring to Benno Ohnesorg. It's been revealed that his killer was a Stasi agent.

Alec said...

This is Chomsky on past events in Iran: taken from Pirates and Emperors, Old and New (rev. ed., Pluto Press, 2002), p112.

>> Iran remained ‘moderate’ until the fall of the Shah in 1979 while compiling one of the worst human rights records in the world, as Amnesty International and other human rights groups regularly documented, not affecting the classification of the Shah as a ‘moderate’ or the applause for him among US elites.

Nuh-huh. Taken from the scrupulously referenced 200 Chomsky Lies by Paul Bogdanor.

http://www.paulbogdanor.com/200chomskylies.pdf

>> Amnesty International accused the Shah of carrying out 300 political executions. He was not remotely comparable to the world’s worst human rights abusers. During the same period, Macias Nguema murdered 50,000 in Equatorial Guinea, Idi Amin massacred 300,000 in Uganda and Pol Pot slaughtered as many as 2 million in Cambodia.

Chomsky's writings on Cambodia are attested. Give me a bit and I'll find similar apologia for Nguema and Idi Amin.

Whenever I see something by him, I think, how is he lying?

Ellie said...

it sounds as if the Iranian people are being kept hostage of this cruel regime.

Sarajevo said...

I am a Bosnian and by having read his articles about war in Balkan,his support to Milosevic, and what other says here about him.I can freely say Chomsky is certainly doesn't belong here.

It looks to me that he is showing solidarity with regimes/governing classes which are in conflict with US/EU governing class.Also, it looks to me that he is rather promoting himself and own private war with ruling class of society which lives in.No amount of diplomas,written books,knowledge may offset his lack of empathy and compassion for exploited and oppressed classes and ordinary people.

I wish every luck for Iranian people and even more to Iraqi people mired in occupation and sectarian horror caused by UK and US.

Alec said...

Sarajevo, although I would argue that the madness which Iraqis have experienced over the past six years is more accurately described as not being *prevented* by the Coalition (the sickness was there before), I agree with you about Chomsky. His attempt to describe Srebrenica as a launching-pad for guerillas really was the pits.

Bogdanor's webpage shows to me a man who, right from the beginning, always was a opportunistic nihilist (but not one adverse to squirrelling away money in trust funds and offshore accounts).

نترس، نترس Natars, Natars said...

===
نترس، نترس
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WomWxuufwGc
Khatami's call for harsh penalties and even death for those who are found to have defied the Islamic system "is certainly an attempt (تاکتیک/سعی)to instill fear in people," said Ann Harrison, an Iran researcher at Amnesty.

 
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