Revolution #169, June 28, 2009

Correspondence from readers

Demonstrators in L.A., San Diego support people's rebellion in Iran

We have been going out to the Iranian demonstrations at the Los Angeles Federal Building at nights and on the weekends.  On a week night, there have been up to 700 people, and on the weekends 2,000 have been demonstrating.  We’ve been taking out issue #168, the Manifesto (Communism: The Beginning of a New Stage—a Manifesto by the RCP,USA), and the CPI(MLM) statement, “You Wanted a Fight? Let’s Fight.”  Our table included several works by Bob Avakian—Bringing Forward Another Way, Away With All Gods: Unchaining the Mind and Radically Changing the World, and Communism and Jeffersonian Democracy—as well as the Constitution of the Revolutionary Communist Party, USA.

We’ve noticed a change in the mood of the demonstrators over the past week.  At the beginning, there were different trends involved in the demonstrations, including supporters of the Shah.  People were facing off against each other and street fights broke out.  At that time, most of the signs read, “Where is my vote?”  This past weekend the dynamics of the demonstrations began to change.  People were calling for unity and support for those who were out in the streets in Iran.  There were very few people with the “Where is my vote?” sign, even though many were still wearing green.  The biggest shift in the mood is that there are now many signs calling for an end to the theocracy.   One sign had all the theocratic contenders with an “X” across their faces.

In a demonstration during the morning on the weekend, there were almost no Iranian flags at all, but at the evening demonstration, there were about 50 flags.  We asked people about the flags and were told that “we don’t support the Shah or monarchy of any kind—this flag represents 2,500 years of history.  We resent that the mullahs have changed our flag.”  A couple youth had t-shirts with RDAI—Revolutionary Democratic Army of Iran.  One was carrying the flag.  He said that they do not support the Shah but want to see a democracy, bring down the government, and get rid of the mullahs.  There were a handful of people who said we need a revolution, but how that would come about was a big question.

There were still a few Shah supporters in the evening demonstration, and most were older.  These people were putting forward that the communists were responsible for the mullahs getting into power.

In San Diego, there was a significant demonstration of up to 500 people at the Federal Building.  The majority of people were young immigrants.  A significant section of the people at this demonstration was in opposition to both the IRI and any intervention by the U.S.  Some know of the role of the U.S. in overthrowing Mossadegh and putting the Shah in power, and many spoke about Mousavi’s role as Prime Minister in the murder of thousands of revolutionaries.

The signs in San Diego read, “My vote didn’t count,” and many people were wearing green.   A few had IRI flags and were chanting “Praise Allah” on one corner.   To this, people on the opposite corner replied in Farsi and English, “Death to the IRI.”   Some people had the old Iranian flag but were not Shah supporters.  It was definitely contentious.    

We had conversations with many people in L.A. and San Diego.  Here is a sample of what they were telling us.

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