The reopening of universities, the current climate in society and the extensive protests we’ve seen were good enough reasons to prompt an interview with leftist student activists who have gained a breadth of valuable experience over the past few years. The purpose of this discussion is to gain a more accurate understanding of this movement through its activists who have not previously expressed their views about the past and future of this movement.
- Q. Given the aforementioned background, please give us some information about the formation and growth of the left movement at university. Tell us how it took shape and what strengthens this movement.
Of course we grew from students’ desperation and disappointment in the reformists and discouragement from their student leaders. Therefore, I’m upholding the radical left philosophy (though not all its actions) and what it later called Students For Freedom and Equality. At that time we had a correct understanding of our position and I still maintain what I believed and analyzed back then. If we chose university as our place of activity it was not because we had no place in society at large or that we doubted the growth of the student movement. University was the only place to give birth to a practical left. When the independent working class movement has to start from scratch, certainly its most aware parts; the leftist students and labour activists have to be its vanguard. Just like Marx in his time had hopes in professional workers and the English union.
Finally, in 2007 we suffered from severe repression of the student movement. We can’t deny our weak organizational tactics, but each organization would take us forward to some point. You can’t expect to achieve the goal of socialist revolution with one group or organization. While other student activists were confused we permeated students’ hearts and chanted for independent student organization. Now, in universities the left has propounded discussion, and leftist students are active and dynamic. The radical left was able to change the student’s demands.
- Q. What do you think of the crisis of 7 December 2007? Although a long time has passed…but considering that period and the post crisis that led to the arrest of many students. We witnessed comments and criticism from some people, organizations and parties. How do you explain the crisis as one of the movement’s activists? What caused the suppression of 7 December 2007?
- Q. After the 7 December suppression many believed this movement would not have the ability to re-unite the students at university, others stating that the movement had failed. What do you make of such criticism?
- Q. Based on what you have said, you believe one of the factors of this movement’s failure at least with this name, is the unrealistic growth and the infiltration of members of the right. So it isn’t so wrong to say that there have been mistakes made by this student movement and therefore many of the criticisms are not so irrelevant.
- Q. Other student organizations with a leftist vision, though not “radical left” were active at university. What is your opinion on these groups’ activities? Please share any criticism or positive comments with regard to their activities.
- Q. Considering events taking place in Iran so rapidly, can you be optimistic on the role of the left in society, and are you doing anything to advance it? Are the leftist students at university able to play a role in these developments?