by David Broder
Sunday 28th September saw the “Al Quds day demo”, an Islamist demonstration against the Israeli occupation of Jerusalem. The protests have taken place annually since a 1979 decree by Iranian Islamist cleric Ayatollah Khomeini during that country’s counter-revolution.
Counter demonstrations were organised not only by leftist critics of the Iranian regime (most prominently the Worker Communist Party of Iran) but also a separate protest which included Iranian monarchists and right-wing liberals; supporters of the Israeli government; and British fascists attacking the Al Quds demo not for its participants’ politics but out of racism.
The 300-strong Al Quds demonstration, supposedly in solidarity with Muslims in Palestine, was full of Hizbullah and Islamic Republic of Iran flags.
Islamic clerics led the Al Quds demonstration: only two people from the British left – both from George Galloway’s Respect Renewal – took part.
“We are all Hizbullah”: the slogan popularised by the Socialist Workers’ Party at a demonstration against the 2006 Israel-Lebanon war. Many demonstrators carried pictures of Hizbullah leader Hassan Nasrallah (back).
Young children corralled by their parents into participating in the demonstration: one wears a Hizbullah cap.
The Neturei Karta, an ultra-reactionary Jewish group who give cover for Holocaust-denying Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmedinejad.
The Worker-Communist Party of Iran, followers of the late Mansoor Hekmat, protest the repression meted out by the Islamist regime in Tehran.
Israeli flags waved by right wingers on one of the counter-demonstrations.
March for England, a fascist group, raised slogans such as “Terrorist bombers, off our streets!”, “Hang them, hang them”, and “White pride: no surrender!”.
After standing among March for England as they scuffled with the police in an attempt to attack the Al Quds marchers, right-wing Iranian dissident Potkin Azarmehr, recently quoted approvingly on the Principia Dialectica website and lauded by their members on the demonstration as a “democrat”, embraces an English fascist.
20 thoughts on “photo-report of al quds day demonstration”
Can you tell me more about that Azarmehr bloke?
He’s the most prominent member in the UK of the Confederation of Iranian Students, “one of the largest independent pro western student organizations that strives to promote freedom, democracy, and human rights in Iran.” http://www.cistudents.com/en/about-us/
If you click on his name in the post it takes you to his blog, which says his four principles are “democracy, secularism, nationalism and meritocracy” and he poses with (and praises) Richard Littlejohn. On the demo I saw him conversing with some fascists, dismissing the “leftists” present and co-ordinating their protest.
He has also put up a report on the demo in which he praises the situationist/anarchist magazine Principia Dialectica, much to my amusement – http://azarmehr.blogspot.com/2008/09/al-quds-counter-demo.html – since they are utterly pretentious and opposed to working-class self-organisation, which they see as a barrier to “abolishing work”. No surprise that they were unaware of the existence of trade unions in Iran. They say they’re for “democracy” and when I spoke to them at the demo they appeared to support reformists, despite being superficially situationist/anarchist.
How much can you lie in one post you anonymous scum bag?
I did my best to do a fine balancing act so there would be no confrontation between those at the counter demo? I can’t stop others from coming to the counter demo. I made it clear to the police that we can not have any racism or Nazi salutes. I also disapproved of the few who waved the Israeli flag, saying the waving of the Israeli falg by the three of you will just give us a bad name and in fact next year we will bring a Palestinian flag to make sure that everyone realises we want Palestinians and Israelis to live in peace.
I also made sure we were all occupied our own distinct sections, so as each group’s agenda is clear. Oh and hardly any of the Iranians there in our section were monarchists by the way. The Alliance of Students are supporters of Dr. Mossadeq and CIS is also not a monarchist group.
If you have rivalries with PD or don’t know enough about Iranian politics that you think the Sun and Lion flag represent monarchy then thats your problem you pile of shit.
From Potkin’s report:
“To our right were the SIOE and March for England supporters. I had received many warnings that the later were a right wing Nazi group, but I could find nothing on their website that remotely suggested this, and in fact they go out of their way to distance themselves from any racist association. Nevertheless I had my anxieties about two things, a confrontation between the different groups in the counter demo and any indication of racism which would have tarnished our aims and objectives and benefited the Islamic Republic supporters. As it turned out, none of this took place. The March for England supporters assured me they will not tolerate any racism amongst their ranks and even suggested to me that if we think their presence will in any way damage us, they are happy to go away. I asked them to stay and we all agreed to have our own distinct positions behind the railings.”
But what were the MfE slogans? – “Terrorist bombers, off our streets!”, “Hang them, hang them”, and “White pride: no surrender!”
I did not hear any of their slogans as I was not standing in their section, you seem to have either joined their ranks or made things up for yourself. The guy who is embracing me actually saved me from being arrested when I went to help Arash. He turned me around and told me to calm down and not get involved with the police. I think he has more working class honour than someone like you, who must have just been standing there waiting to snap a picture to defame me.
People like you make me sick, its not enough to say that you disagree with someone’s views, you have to somehow throw mud at them and say they are Nazis or something. How many of you were there? One, two? If it weren’t for me, those MfE would have kicked your heads in. Next time I will do it myself, so you learn a lesson and learn some respect and get your facts right.
Azarmehr’s own excuses are just digging him deeper and deeper…..
Shut up you tart Josfen(?). You don’t even have a leg to stand on to call me a Nazi, for me to have to come up with any excuses.
You seem to have a rivalry problem with PD and because they have praised me on their site before, you want to defame me in order to have a go at your rivals. How pathetic and disgraceful is that?
We have no interaction with, or rivalry with, Principia Dialectica. They are simply not in our part of the political universe and not in the workers’ movement.
I suggest you calm down and moderate your language.
Piss off! with “Moderate my language”, you better apologise to me right here for making up this load of bollocks for your own political purposes. You can’t debate, so you have to label people, you scum.
Regardless of one’s political bias and personal issues, I find it to be a grave act of self-disrespect for an organisation such as yours to engage in propaganda in order to further their own goals – in such a case, there is nothing different between you and the Islamic Regime in Iran.
The ‘March for England’ group approached us Iranians, who are not necessarily monarchists because we fly the true colours of the Persian flag, and the first thing they said was that they are not fascist, nor nazis. They said nothing in my presence to suggest they were liars. Furthermore, – “Terrorist bombers, off our streets!”, – I agree, and that’s not racist, it’s a matter of fact that the Islamist have created such an image for themselves – flying the hizbollah flag in the demo, a terrorist organisation who have violated the laws of international armed conflict, hiding behing civilians in battle… “White pride: no surrender!” – How could you have possibly heard such when you were standing on the other side of picadilly circus? I was closer to them and heard nothing of the sort.
It is an ironic shame that Potkin tried to talk the MfE people as far away from your lot in order to prevent any possible violent incidents. What all of you arrogant heros have failed to consider is the important factor – everyone in picadilly was united by standing against the Iranian government’s Islamic parade. IF MfE was racist then they would have had a good old time picking a fight with us as well, why would it matter to them?
Get your facts right.
Stop defaming personalities you have no clue about.
In todays Britain shouting “terrorist bombers off our streets” at a crowd of people with brown skin is obviously racist in inspiration. No question about it.
I think it’s worth mentioning that the biggest group present at the counter demo were Iranian student activists who were not simply right wing liberals, that’s an unfair and ambiguous statement.
Also it was not necessary to post that picture of Potkin being ’embraced’, especially if you want to keep the commune clean from lefty gossip as you intended to do. He is clearly not a fascist or pro-fascism as the first thing he said to the English nationalists were that “We don’t want fascists or nazis here”.
Josfen – Let’s invite all the ‘terrorist bombers “and ” Jahadi non-Muslim killers ” into Britain and give them british passport, Feed them, clothes them — give them social security, free housing, provide them with mosques and send their children to school and let them become London bombers. … that would satisfy your little brain wouldn’t it?
“We are all Hizbollah” made popular by the SWP? How’s that then when they’re clearly not SWP banners?
I am not anti-Hizbollah in the slightest incidentally – just pointing out your, perhaps deliberate, error.
John B: the SWP used the slogan “We are all Hizbullah” at the 2006 demo, and of course have also repeatedly met with Hizbullah representatives (like at the Cairo conference) and paraded the editor of a Hizbullah newspaper around Britain on Stop the War platforms.
Typical white bourgeoise kid who has become an international communist because he is embarassed about his inherited wealth.
White face Josfen wants to decide for us brown skin immigrants what is racist and what is not!
If someone thinks shouting ‘terrorist bombers off our streets’ is a racist remark and a reference to brown skins then HE HIMSELF is stereotyping brown skins as terrorists by assuming terrorists are brown skinned.
You boys at Commune really need to grow up. It was difficult for Potkin to contain the situation on the day, and a lot fell on his shoulders. I look foward to the day your organisation grows the balls to organise something as incendiary as this. As for the pathetic ‘slur’ that he is ‘right wing’ – when your balls do finally drop and daddy cancels the slush fund, we’ll see what colour your flag is then, won’t we.
Always – unity against the fascists; but I don’t remember seeing anyone selling your piece of shit offering to square up against the thugs, but your long on giving other people advice. Do yourself a favour – get back into bed and snuggle up with your favourite Trotsky novel with a nice coco. Thats about your level.
You really are delusional. You say “unity against the fascists”; yes, but it was Potkin’s ‘comrades’ that had the numbers to actually drive these scum off the demo, yet they didn’t. Nor did they even move away from them. By the end Potkin’s crowd and the March for England people were intermingling – hence the photo of him and the MfE leader embracing.
No one is claiming that Potkin is a fascist, just that he is an idiot.
Not right-wing? You know Potkin recently posted on his blog a picture of himself shaking hands with Richard Littlejohn, with a comment about how great this far right, homophobic, racist bigot is?
How would you characterise Potkin’s politics? You think because he is against the Islamic Republic he can’t be right-wing?!
“the SWP used the slogan “We are all Hizbullah” at the 2006 demo”
Wrong. Swing and a miss.
my friends and I as people who have always opposed war see no reason to align ourselves with people who live in the past. We are grateful for Azarmehr who managed to bring together all these different groups to shout for the cause of democracy and human rights.
People like you who think you are good and everyone else is bad have no appeal for us.
On that day Potkin Azarmehr had so much appeal for everyone and raised our spirits so much that I myself embraced him twice and so did many others there. It is everyone’s right as a human being to embrace another good human being. The likes of you want to even decide who can embrace who based on ideologies.
Here is also a picture of Potkin with Clare Short:
and here is me embracing him when I was released form the detention centre:
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