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Lessons from February 11th of 2010

By • Feb 23rd, 2010 • Category: Commentaries, Headline

Sixteenth Message of the Communist Workers of Iran –
The outcome of February 11th ceremony of the 31st year anniversary of the Revolution was unpleasant and disappointing for many “leaders”. The main reason given was “the participation of a large crowed in the pro regime demonstration”. But the fact shown by the Google’s satellite images of the Azadi Square shows that the combined pro government and the reformist supporters was no more than 50,000, while the anti government demonstrations in Tehran and other cities was at least hundreds of thousands. Also, Iranian society is fragmented in a way that the defeat of some groups is the victory of others. So, instead of presenting a broad and general analysis, let us pay attention to this demonstration’s outcome for different political groupings and see how successful each of these groups has been in reaching their tactical goals. Only through such perspective can we discover how victorious they have been, and if there are grounds for disappointments.

To begin with, let us consider the military-security wing of regime’s claim of victory. Did they really reach the goals that they set for themselves and announced through their media?
We were all witnesses to the fearful acts of this wing after experiencing a shameful defeat on Dec. 27th demonstration, the famous “Red Ashura”. During the two months period from that day The Police and Revolutionary Guards and the Security Ministry used all their might and power to prevent opposition forces presence in the February 11th. There was not a single day in which a number of human rights activists, writers, journalists and students, who had usually acted as the sources of news and political groups’ mediums to harmonize their actions, were not being arrested in large numbers all over the country. There was not a single week that the clergies of Friday Ritual Prayers, across the country, did not threaten the activists and the people prohibiting them from participating in anti government demonstrations, alleging their animosity towards god, threatening them with incarceration and execution. There was not a week during which some political prisoners were not executed or moved to solitary confinements. Every day a military or security spokesman would terrorize people with threats of armed suppression of the demonstrations. They mobilized hundreds of bus loads of Basijis from all over the country to bring them to Tehran’s Azadi Square as shown by Google Earth pictures. The regime’s intention of upholding a “fifty millions” strong ceremony was announced few days prior to that day. All of these efforts was to discourage the people from organizing their own ceremonies and demonstrations in opposition to the Islamic Republic’ rule and the military–security government of president Ahmadinejhad.
However, based on the regime’s formal reports and that of the foreign reporters, as well as the reports of the independent sources backed by the video clips showed a presence of no more than fifty thousand people in Azadi Square, which forced the government cut short the formal ceremony from a daylong celebrations to only an hour and half of boring speeches by the officials. So, what is definite is the fact that the regime’s military-security wing did not reach any of its goals and desires and definitely it was the losing side.

But can the defeat of the military-security wing be counted as the victory for reformist leaders and their “green movement”? The answer to this question is both yes, and no.
Considering the content of the messages, call ups and interviews of the leaders of the “green movement” they had two goals announced.
Their first goal was to demonstrate that they possess so much support and influence among the people, that under the existing threats, they can muster so much power to steal the official ceremony for their own benefits and “paint Azadi Square green with their flags.” They were sure that the number of their supporters was greater than that of the other wing’s participants. But they were not aware that such tactic is in contradiction with their own strategy of no confrontations and non violence. The pro government supporters who were brought from all over the country had occupied all the necessary spots for a successful propaganda plan. The Bassiji groups were positioned in the midst of the crowed to prevent any shows of the green symbols and, they were ready to violently act against anyone who wanted to show off a green sign. So it was clear that if the supporters of the reformists wanted to carry out a nonviolent strategy and show their submission to the Islamic Republic laws, they would be unable to carry out the tactic of “painting the Square with green flags and symbols.” And that’s what happened! With their inability to show their green signs, they were used as mere numbers for the government show of “Victory”. The reformists’ justification of the tactical mistake of “The Trojan Horse” and blaming their small puppies such as “Ibrahim Nabavi” for introducing this tactic is an attempt to cover up the defeat of their “non-violence” and “legal” strategies. This goes to prove that such a line is useless when confronting a military dictatorship, even if one’s goals are feeble reforms in distribution of power amongst the inner circles of the regime. And such attempts are destined for defeat. When we look over the calls made by the reformist group and individuals we can see that all of them had suggested the same tactic of participating in the regime’s demonstration. Shakoori Rad, a reformist leader, confesses this defeat in an interview he had with Norwooz website by saying: “Green movement was not successful in showing political force to the government during the February 11th demonstration. The greens had announced they were going to show up with their green symbols. Although they were present all over the place but they were unable to use their green symbols and this caused the government supporters to count them in as their own supporters and, in their official propaganda they were presented as supporters of the status quo.” So, regardless of all their justifications, the reason of the “green movement’s” failure in their primary goal was due to their strategic delusion presuming that a cannibal regime can ever be reformed from within.
However, after the victory of the revolutionary people on Red Ashura in street battles against the suppressive forces of the regime, the reformist were just as afraid as the military – security wing and more concerned for their loss of leadership over the people to the revolutionary forces. From that day, they began signaling the government for reconciliation. The call of participation of their supporters in government planned ceremony was thrown in the deal as a good will gesture. After all, essentially, the “green movement” leaders are part of this regime and they find themselves much closer to the regime’s cannibals than to the revolutionary and “Structure Breaking” people. Based on their calls of co participation in the formal ceremony, we must admit that they were relatively successful. They managed to place masses of people, whom albeit all concessions and betrayals of the reformist leaders still have not discovered their hidden agenda, right next to the Islamic Republic supporting forces.

On the other side, it could only be said that the revolutionary people were the true winners on February 11th. They managed to have their own demonstrations in several spots in Tehran and some other cities despite all threats of the regime and, showed to the other Iranians and people of the world that they are longing for the fall of the Islamic Republic and, as long as this regime is still in power they will be using every single opportunity to show their dissent. They were also able to show the fact that the regime no longer has the power to force them back in to absolute asphyxia. It can be said that the sum of the numbers of participants in numerous independent demonstrations of people was much higher than the combination of both of the regime wings supporters who were around Azadi Square.
But unfortunately, February 11th commemoration cannot be marked as a great leap forward in tactics, people’s growth in consciousness in forms of the contents of their slogans, or the sheer numbers of participants.
Well, perhaps we have gotten used to high expectations during the last eight months and, in each and every gathering we expect a fantastic progress as an spontaneous element that does not need its own endurance and hard work. Like some of our Anarchist revolutionaries who satisfy themselves with the consideration of the absence of centralized leadership in these demonstrations as success in itself. Such activists do not present any clear program for this movement’s progress. Since, if they did, that might be assumed by others as attempts to obtain “centralized leadership!” They simply bow to the spontaneous movement and, rationalize “Harmonious Nucleuses” as immature and circumstantial as they are. At a time when the respect and credibility of the reformists is vanishing among the majority of the people and becoming more isolated on daily basis, they refuse to take a stand against the “Green Movement” and its symbolism. They do not try to inform their followers on how the reformist leaders are abusing such symbolism to wash the lines of demarcations. That is while the people themselves are putting this symbolism away and, getting into a deeper understanding of the revolutionary process and their goal of Democracy. The only criticism that the Anarchists have in regards to February 11th is that the “centralized” reformist leaders made a mistake of choosing the “Trojan Horse” tactic.

But the fact of the matter is the lack of influence of the experienced revolutionary left elements, due to their skimpy numbers and impact on the people’s struggle, is the main reason behind the slow and staggering development in revolutionary process.

Comrades! Communist revolutionaries!
The beginning of people’s street struggles on 06/13/2009 was due to the defeat of reformists’ parliamentarianism. On that day, the “Harmonious Nucleuses” that until then had been mobilizing their friends and neighbors under the direct supervision of election campaigners defied the reformist leaders. Despite those leaders’ suggestions of non action to the election cheating, they brought the people to the streets for direct action. In less than 3 days, millions of people protested through demonstrations that the reformists had forbidden and, forced the reformist leaders to linger behind. During these eight months the people’s struggle has developed through dialectical interactions between people and the reformist leaders and seen its ups and downs. Unfortunately we have to admit that the revolutionary informed elements and forces and, communists in particular failed to be efficient in having a positive effect upon the people. And for that, there were a number of reasons:
First of all, the non communist forces that want to overthrow the Islamic regime do not have any revolutionary alternative to attract people toward a premeditated and definite struggle.
Second, the forces that are known as “communists” among the masses are unfortunately the Tudeh Party and, the (people’s fedaee) Majority. One faction of Tudeh Party, in collaboration with “legal Marxists”, in practice, support the military-security wing of the regime through a reactionary analysis of “lack of social movement” and, tagging the street struggle as “pro American.” The other wing of Tudeh Party, along with the (people’s fedaee) “Majority”, “Pro Democracy Coalition” and “Republican Coalition” by becoming “greener than greens” are unconditionally supporting the reformist leaders. This has caused the attractive trend of communism of past few years to come to a halt. People are turning away from such communists and their “Communism”. Perhaps now, some of the decent workers’ activists recall our warning about staying away from this type of left and, regret their past mistakes, even though remorse does not solve the destructive effects of “Unity in Action” and “Coalitions” of the past decade.
Thirdly, as we said earlier, under the influence of rightwing anarchism, a group of intellectuals and youth who still believe in communism are tailing the masses and staying away from presenting any resolution.
Fourth, the organized forces in exile, which after months of confusion, have finally acknowledged the existence of the revolutionary trend are using their mass media tribunes for propagating their own organizations. But, by not being capable to complete it with organizational work, they are only producing followers for the forces on the scene, mentioned above. An example of this is the Bus Drivers Union activists. Now that they have decided to get involved in political struggle, are acting along the “green movement.”

And finally, we have to admit that we do not have the necessary force to have a direct impact on these struggles. In addition, we have also been hit at different levels that we cannot substitute for a long time. Also, our active workers’ nucleuses are not enough to have direct effects in the escalating workers movement. The number of the old supporters of the Tudeh Party and Majority Trade Unionists are much higher than ours and as we can see, even if they bring masses of workers into the political arena they will be under the green reformist banner.
Our only effect has been through our public propaganda where, through our scientific analysis and correct predictions have been exposing reactionary thoughts and slowly directing some activists towards the revolutionary strategy and tactics. So far, we have managed to prove the existence of a revolutionary process and, through attracting a few workers activist groups, alongside our comrades in the movement, to lead a small sector of the working class to affirm the necessity of an all out revolution for the establishment of the Republic of Peoples’ Assemblies as an alternative State.

But if the revolutionary communists intend to be influential, not only in general with long term slogans, but also in daily and ongoing tactics, they ought to clear themselves from all revisionist, opportunist and right anarchist influences and confront the people’s spontaneous struggles and their lack of knowledge of their class positions in this revolutionary process. And we suggest to our anarchist comrades not to count every confrontation with the revolutionary people’s ignorance as an attempt to manipulate leadership. No political line is more anarchist than the genuine revolutionary communism. The establishment of the Republic of Peoples’ Assemblies is the only practical blow to centralized government and, developing the spontaneous “Harmonious Nucleuses” of struggle into local and workplace Councils is the most definite, efficient step in leading the people and workers toward overthrowing the centralized system of capitalism.

Now that the regime forces, both the reactionaries and the reformists, are all becoming isolated between the masses, and they have no resolutions to get out of these crises, join us in order to harmonize our tactics and strategies to become the most efficient force in people’s struggles.

Forward with forming Local and Factory Councils!
Forward toward the Revolution!
Forward toward establishment of the Republic of Peoples’ Assemblies

Communist Workers of Iran
February 11th of 2010


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