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From the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners Now (IEC)

Iran’s Political Prisoners Are Revolting! Let’s Support and Join Them! editors’ note: We received the following "Message to A Night of Cultural Revolt to Free Toomaj Salehi and all Iran's Political Prisoners" and "Taking the campaign for the life and freedom of political prisoners in Iran out to people in Bogota, Colombia" from the International Emergency Campaign to Free Iran’s Political Prisoners Now (IEC).

Message to A Night of Cultural Revolt to Free Toomaj Salehi and all Iran's Political Prisoners

Below is a message sent to A Night of Cultural Revolt to Free Toomaj Salehi and all Iran’s Political Prisoners that was held Saturday, February 24, at the Starry Plough Pub in Berkeley, California. The program focused on celebrating the spirit of resistance, manifested so powerfully in Toomaj’s music and lyrics. It was a lively program with twelve poets and spoken word artists, videos of Toomaj and other performers from Iran and around the world, statements of solidarity, music, singing, and food provided. It closed with dancing in the spirit of people in Iran dancing in the streets as a form of mass protest. Stay tuned for pictures and further report.

The following statement by Dolly Veale, co-initiator of the IEC, was read.


Greetings Berkeley! I wish I could be with you at this night of righteous cultural revolt to free Iran’s political prisoners and Toomaj Salehi. But I am stuck in La-La Land and have to send this heartfelt message instead.

Human rights groups have reported over 800 executions in Iran in 2023. That’s 2-3 people each day, every day. Members of ethnic minorities such as Kurdish, Baluch, Arab peoples are targeted. For example, Baluch people are 5% of the population but account for about 20% of those executed. 

The Lives of Iran’s Political Prisoners Hang in the Balance – We Must Act Now. The IEC Emergency Appeal of March 2021 sounded the alarm about mass arrests of political dissidents, the torture of solitary confinements, forced confessions, sham trials and executions. We also highlight their heroism such as the 10 political prisoners who recently initiated weekly hunger strikes called "Black Tuesdays" to protest Iran’s death sentences. 

Our Emergency Appeal preceded the historic Women, Life, Freedom uprising that was provoked by the state murder of a Kurdish woman, Mahsa Jina Amini, over her “improper hijab.” The uprising saw throngs of women dancing joyfully in the flames of burning hijabs, cheered on by crowds of men. From his rap song “Battlefield,” Toomaj boldly stood amidst the furious rebellion serenading the peoples’ bravery and calling for things to go further, including to liberate women. 

As oppressors do, Iran’s fascist misogynist mullahs seek revenge for the 2022 uprising, openly saying they want to teach people a lesson with repression, including the execution of several protesters.  Tonight we are standing shoulder to shoulder, to show love across the vast sky and oceans, to be with our sisters and brothers in Iran who have stood up. 

Toomaj has shown the world his fearless and selfless heart and humanity. As an artist, he has used his platform to raise people’s sights to a better future and said to Iran’s theocratic capitalist rulers “you are the enemy of humanity, that makes you my enemy.” We can surely relate to that, living as we do in the belly of this shithole imperialist empire.

So why Toomaj? Let me ask you this: how many artists, especially rappers, do you know who have risked career, even life and limb under torture to fight against an oppressive and exploitive regime? Instead, what we have here is the self-absorbed Snoop Dogg kissing the ass of fascist Trump for his own gain.

And how many rappers do you know who have put it all on the line to really fight women’s oppression and for their liberation? Instead, we are fed a culture where artists are focused on money, money, money and me, me, me, often promoting the patriarchy and misogyny.  Toomaj is in prison for daring lyrics including for women to be treated as equals, as full human beings. What if his example caught on and there were thousands of Toomajs all over the world? What if the global fight to free him succeeds and he can be back on the streets spreading the good word of revolution in Iran? 

Although I’m not fully sure of Toomaj’s views on revolution, I do know and support the Communist Party of Iran, Marxist-Leninist-Maoist who base themselves on Bob Avakian’s innovation of the new communism to making revolution in Iran.  And I do know the good word of revolution may be coming to your neighborhood sooner than you think! It likely will not be televised but it is currently on YouTube every Thursday evening—on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show, and also at the website that I contribute to,

We live in a truly rare time where GAZA is the new 4 letter word and the sickening horrors of this system are all too clear for those who refuse to look away. What is NOT obvious is the revolutionary crisis this may give rise to right here in this shithole country of Amerikkka, as those who rule over us in the U.S. are at each other’s throats. All this promises to come to a head in the 2024 elections, if not before. To get the good news, pull up  @BobAvakianOfficial on your phone tonight. It is THAT urgent. I urge you to go to these sites and to get with THIS revolution—to scientifically know the world so we can change it to emancipate all humanity.

The ethnic cleansing of Gaza has torn the fig leaf called democracy off the blood-soaked dictatorship of the U.S. imperialists who are 110% backing its genocidal attack dog Zionist Israel. Too many so-called leftists in this country refuse to support Iran’s resisters and revolutionaries like Toomaj due to the hallucination that because Iran opposes the U.S. so “the enemy of my enemy is my friend.” Conversely, you have too many Iranians who support Israel and the US using the mirror opposite but same faulty logic. All this is not only immoral but defies history and current reality—in Gaza, in Iran and right here in the U.S. And it is Iran’s political prisoners, including 2023 brave Nobel Peace Prize winner Narges Mohammadi, who are speaking out and thus giving political leadership in supporting the people of Gaza.

Nine Iranian prisoners letter on Gaza


Top row, L-R: Arash Johari, Reza Shahabi, Keyvan Mohtadi, Mehran Raouf.  Bottom, L-R: Fouad Fathi, Omid Mosyer, Mazyar Seyednejad, Anisha Asadollahi, Golrokh Iraee.  Read the letter.     Photo: Composite from social media recreated by IEC

Some of us organizing this campaign could not have done so with a correct internationalist orientation without Bob Avakian’s crucial analysis that “What we see in contention here with Jihad [Islamic fundamentalism] on the one hand and McWorld/McCrusade [increasingly globalized western imperialism] on the other hand, are historically outmoded strata among colonized and oppressed humanity up against historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system. These two reactionary poles reinforce each other, even while opposing each other. If you side with either of these "outmodeds," you end up strengthening both. While this is a very important formulation and is crucial to understanding much of the dynamics driving things in the world in this period, at the same time we do have to be clear about which of these "historically outmodeds" has done the greater damage and poses the greater threat to humanity: It is the historically outmoded ruling strata of the imperialist system, and in particular the U.S. imperialists.”

This is the eve of International Women’s Day. I ask that all of you here make it count, by taking a big step into the revolution on March 8, 2024 and to join dancing in the streets with The Revcom Corps for the Emancipation of Humanity, “Battle Cry to Break the Chains.” Iran’s women political prisoners and many women at large are also calling us to stand up, stand with them, and fight for a better future.

In conclusion, renowned author and playwright Ariel Dorfman said, in signing our Emergency Appeal, that he knew from personal experience that “…the prisoners themselves are given strength to survive and persevere, they are listening. They know others, faraway, care what happens to them, and we should not let them down.” This predicted impact of what WE do has actually been verified by statements from former political prisoner Somayeh Kargar and by Toomaj himself. 

We are determined not to let them down.  Free Toomaj! Free All Iran’s political prisoners NOW! No U.S. war threats or moves on Iran!


Dolly Veale, February 24, 2024, Los Angeles, California

Taking the campaign for the life and freedom of political prisoners in Iran out to people in Bogota, Colombia, from IG/@comrevco

En el concierto en apoyo al pueblo palestino realizado el 23 de febrero en la Plaza Bolívar en Bogotá, un grupo de comrevs y simpatizantes de la campaña por la vida y la libertad de los presos políticos en Irán distribuyeron volantes, conversaron con varios asistentes y llevaron grandes pancartas contra el genocidio israelí del pueblo palestino y en la defensa de los presos políticos en Irán. Tras una intervención en el escenario, se realizó la quema de las banderas de Israel y EEUU

At the concert in support of the Palestinian people held on February 23 at Plaza Bolivar in Bogota, a group of revcoms and supporters of the campaign for the life and freedom of political prisoners in Iran distributed flyers, talked with several attendees and carried large banners against the Israeli genocide of the Palestinian people and in defense of the political prisoners in Iran. After an intervention on the stage, the burning of the flags of Israel and the USA took place.

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From the genocide in Gaza, to the growing threat of world war between nuclear powers, to escalating environmental devastation… the capitalist-imperialist system ruling over us is a horror for billions around the world and is tearing up the fabric of life on earth. Now the all-out battle within the U.S. ruling class, between fascist Republicans and war criminal Democrats, is coming to a head—likely during, or before, the coming elections—ripping society apart unlike anything since the Civil War. 

Bob Avakian (BA), revolutionary leader and author of the new communism, has developed a strategy to prepare for and make revolution. He’s scientifically analyzed that this is a rare time when an actual revolution has become more possible, and has laid out the sweeping vision, solid foundation and concrete blueprint for “what comes next,” in the Constitution for the New Socialist Republic in North America

The website follows and applies that leadership and is essential to all this. We post new materials from BA and curate his whole body of work. We apply the science he’s developed to analyze and expose every key event in society, every week. posts BA’s timely leadership for the revcoms (revolutionary communists), including his social media posts which break this down for people every week and sometimes more. We act as a guiding and connecting hub for the growing revcom movement nationwide: not just showing what’s being done, but going into what’s right and what’s wrong and rapidly learning—and recruiting new people into what has to be a rapidly growing force.

Put it this way: there will be no revolution unless this website not only “keeps going” but goes up to a whole different level!

So what should you give to make 2024 our year—a year of revolution? 
Everything you possibly can! 
DONATE NOW to and get with BA and the revcoms!    

Your donations contribute to:

  • Promotion of BA on social media and the Bob Avakian Interviews on The RNL—Revolution, Nothing Less!—Show 
  • Strengthen as an accessible, secure, robust website able to rise to the challenge of meeting the extraordinary demands of navigating the storms and preparing for revolution in this pivotal, unprecedented year
  • Fund revcoms to travel to national “hotspots,” where extreme contradictions are pulling apart the fabric of this country and creating the possibility of wrenching an actual revolution out of this intensifying situation
  • Expand the reach and coverage of
  • Printing and distribution of key Revcom materials including the Declaration and Proclamation