Against the German-European collaboration with the Iranian regime

 

Alerta Antifascista
Alerta Antifascista


The Iranian regime takes advantage of German know-how in suppressing the uprising. The first oppositional students were executed in public. The Iranian intelligence is detaining more and more opponents of the regime. National TV is broadcasting tortured confessions. However, nothing will ever be the same in Iran. The regime is shaking, even though the pictures of angry demonstrators and burning police cars have disappeared for now.



Nationwide Antifa Action Day Iran: Attack the German-European collaboration with the Iranian regime!

The militias are always quickly on the spot when there are riots in Tehran these days. They drive fast E240 cars made by Mercedes-Benz. They use Tonfas made in a small town in Lower Saxony to smash young students’ kidneys. They protect themselves from their own teargas with masks made by the Dräger company in Lübeck. Siemens/Nokia-Networks has a handy new software tool for them; it can stop text messages from being sent via cell phones in order to prevent the opposition from coordinating. In case demonstrators show up anyway, the revolutionary guardsman releases the safety from his G3 rifle made by Heckler & Koch and aims at the crowd…

The Iranian regime takes advantage of German know-how in suppressing the uprising. The first oppositional students were executed in public. The Iranian intelligence is detaining more and more opponents of the regime. National TV is broadcasting tortured confessions. However, nothing will ever be the same in Iran. The regime is shaking, even though the pictures of angry demonstrators and burning police cars have disappeared for now.

Why should the antifascist Left over here care? For a number of reasons. If the opposition in Iran indeed was successful in seriously challenging the fundamentalist regime, they would weaken not only terrorist groups like Hamas and Hezbollah but political religious fundamentalism on a global scale itself. If the people in Iran overthrow the regime out of their own momentum, they would set an example and could push back the influence of Islamicist movements. Antifascists interested not only in fighting Nazis but in improving the conditions of possibility for a progressive transformation of society have a stake in that. The Iranian regime and political Islam more generally are right-wing extremist projects. Islamicism is, simply put, the wrong answer to the wrong circumstances. It’s a challenge for the radical Left if Islamicists are promoting an imagined community of religious zealots against the abstract individualism of global capitalism. It’s
people like us – hating the church and the state, loving freedom and indulgence instead, and fighting for a ‘community of free individuals’ (Marx) – who would first be persecuted under the rule of those zealots. We also have to criticize a wrong version of multiculturalism for its culturalizing and thus racist blind spots. Right-wing populists like FPÖ and ProKöln identify Islamicists with Muslims in an openly racist fashion as part of a politics of fear. We can only fight these racists when we simultaneously fight political Islamicism as a political phenomenon.

Solidarity…
When workers, youth and students are taking to the streets in Iran, our solidarity is with them. Even if most of them are not radical Leftists, their struggle for the division of powers, the separation of state and church, freedom of expression as well as free and fair elections is necessary. It might be appear not to go far enough from a radical perspective. Radical Leftists in Germany, however, do protest against tougher legislation on the right of assembly or against wiretap laws for good reasons. Liberal or bourgeois rights are often the basis on which more radical demands can even be articulated. That doesn’t mean that bourgeois conditions are generally a prerequisite for establishing a free society. In Iran, however, there is no space for radical emancipatory movements at the moment, with whom we could align ourselves. The only option for progressive forces is to join the current struggle and to convince the people of the right things.
That’s why it’s wrong to be afraid of having to choose between ‘anti-German’ and ‘anti-imperialist’ positions in order to show solidarity in Germany. You don’t need to position yourself within this inner-leftist quarrel so as to support the uprising in Iran. You don’t have to be ‘anti-German’ or subscribe to a certain version of social criticism. Even from a mere antimilitarist perspective, supporting the Iranian opposition is crucial. Weakening the regime that wants to turn Iran into a nuclear power will make a military confrontation in the Middle East less likely. The uprising shows itself on closer inspection as a revolt against war as well. All those seriously discussing a ‘military option’ against Iran have to consider this. A second war in the region after the war in Iraq not only would mean overwhelming suffering in Iran but also a devastating signal to the people on the ground.

…has to get practical: Pressuring Siemens, Mercedes and Dräger
It’s about time to take to the streets over here as well and express our support for the opposition movement in Iran. We should do what we can do. Let’s hit the Iranian regime and its friends where it hurts most – at their economic relations. Germany is the right place in this regard. Germany continues to be the most important trading partner in the West. Medicine and baby food are among the traded goods just as tasers for prison guards and uranium centrifuges for the nuclear program. There is a long list of profiteers. Siemens for example is still organizing courses in ‘gas chromatography’ in Tehran, a technology necessary for uranium-enrichment and for building the bomb. Online censorship technologies, used by the regime to suppress the protestors, were developed by Siemens/Nokia-Networks. Dräger from Lübeck, which is advertising with the slogan ‘Supporting you, wherever the action is’, is exporting gas masks to Iran that are then worn
by policemen and militias to demonstrations. Mercedes-Benz delivers police cars to the Iranian government. Heckler & Koch’s G3 rifles are used by Iranian forces in huge quantities. It’s not unlikely that Iranian protestors were shot with German guns.

Capital’s state
The list goes on because doing business with the Iranian dictatorship is profitable. This business is murderous but it’s not an evil perversion of an otherwise good system or a mere sign of corruption among greedy managers. It’s the normal case of a market economy, that is, the normal catastrophe. ‘You shall buy, when blood is running through the streets’, goes an old proverb. You can morally criticize German capitalists for accepting it at face value, but it doesn’t change the capitalist logic of self-expanding value, which moves the owner of the corner store as much as the producer of surveillance technology, Tonfas and other weaponry. They cannot escape this logic without perishing. This, however, doesn’t mean to sit still and wait but to turn precisely this screw of the capitalist value-machine, because the price for doing business with Iran is not fixed yet. Let’s drive it up! Creative protest against German exports to Iran and other
innovative means of price regulation can raise public awareness, damage corporate image, and destroy balance sheets. This would also mean to reject the great coalition’s ‘pragmatism’ in round terms. When Social and Christian Democrats follow a path of pragmatism, they do a bit of arms dealing, a bit of nuclear armament, a bit of dictatorship. There cannot be a bit of ‘critical dialogue’ as the protestors in the streets of Tehran cannot be killed ‘a bit’.

Moving targets
Calling for tougher general sanctions against Iran is less promising than direct action targeted against those companies that are actually benefiting from the dictatorship and from the current suppression of the protests. A civil embargo would largely make the Iranian people pay the price. Practical solidarity would mean to look twice and target the actual profiteers and corporate friends of the regime. We must aim for making clear which German companies are directly and indirectly supporting the oppressive apparatus in Iran.

Seize the summer slump…
On August 12, 2009, we will pressure the German profiteers and partners of the Iranian dictatorship in this sense. We’re going to show to the public which companies are partly responsible for the violent suppression of the Iranian protests. There is nothing firms like Siemens et cetera are afraid of as much as damaging their clean corporate image. Antifascist groups can contribute to this kind of project. Let’s send a signal…

… on August 12 in many German cities!

Mercedes, Siemens/Nokia, Dräger – in a place near you: Attack the German-European collaboration with the Iranian regime!

Solidarity with the Iranian opposition movement!

Get involved! Get active!

Direct actions are already planned for Frankfurt, Köln, Hannover, Göttingen,…

e-mail:: mail@autonome-antifa.com homepage:: http://antifateheran.blogsport.de/

add a comment on this article