Middle East

The US-led invasion of Iraq began 20 years ago. Since then, the country has been torn apart by war, sectarianism, and fundamentalism. To end the horror and barbarism of imperialism, we must fight for revolution and overthrow capitalism.

Outrage is overtaking grief in Turkey as millions of survivors have been left to fend for themselves since the 6 February earthquake that struck the country and neighbouring Syria.

A sharp internecine struggle has erupted within the Israeli ruling class. Benjamin ‘Bibi’ Netanyahu has only been back in office a couple of months, and he is determined to ram a raft of judicial reforms through Israel’s Knesset (parliament). In doing so, he has enraged the majority of the big capitalists, who have taken the unusual step of backing the mobilisation of enormous crowds on the streets. When the ruling class descends into open conflict like this, it carries, for them, the danger of dropping the façade that in ‘normal’ times conceals the real machinations of their rule. The present conflict is no exception.

Early on the morning of Monday 6 February, a devastating earthquake shook the Middle East, ripping the Earth apart and reducing buildings to rubble. The magnitude 7.8 quake, with its epicentre just to the west of Gaziantep in Turkey’s Anatollian region, is the strongest to hit the country in modern times. With the strength of 130 atomic bombs, it was felt as far away as Greenland.

A new wave of youth protests coupled with student and bazaari strikes in Iran began on 5 December, and were planned to continue until 7 December. The protests, which have so far reached 83 towns and cities, were initially called by revolutionary students, but the call was echoed by workers’ organisations.

Over two months since the beginning of the revolutionary uprising of Iranian youth, following an ebb under heavy repression, a new round of protests took place between 16-19 November, which show the whip of counter-revolution driving the movement forward. For final victory to be achieved, there must be mass, organised participation by the working class!

The editorial board of the IMT’s Arabic website, marxy.com, is very proud to announce the publication of the Arabic translation of Bolshevism: The Road to Revolution, by Alan Woods, editor of marxist.com. The book is a masterful account of the history of the Bolshevik Party, rich with lessons about how, over years of patient work, it came to lead the Russian masses to power in 1917. Read on for information about an Arabic-language launch event this Sunday, and the author’s preface (in English), which discusses the legacy of the 2011 Arab Revolution.

26 October marked 40 days since the murder of the Iranian-Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini, by the regime’s morality police. Being the final day of the traditional Shia mourning period, it was met with massive protests, becoming a new highpoint of the movement, with protests in nearly every major city. In many Kurdish towns, a general strike broke out; across the country, bazaari strikes were held in support of the movement; and in Tehran Metro conductors went on strike in support of the revolutionary youth. 

It is over a month now since the outbreak of the youth uprising in Iran, sparked by the regime’s murder of a young Kurdish woman, Mahsa Amini. With near constant clashes between security forces and youth in every major city, in addition to waves of bazaar strikes and a series of industrial strikes, the situation has the potential of turning into a revolutionary mass movement. Since last week, a campaign for a general strike has been spreading, along with calls for the formation of revolutionary resistance committees.

The movement of Iranian revolutionary youth – which began with the murder of Mahsa Amini on 16 September by the regime – has spread to broader layers of the masses, including important sections of workers. The task is now posed of overthrowing the Islamic Republic and the decrepit capitalist system upon which it stands. But to lead the Iranian Revolution to victory, the advanced guard of Iranian workers and youth must absorb the lessons of the past – of Iran’s rich revolutionary history. To that end, the editorial board of In Defence of Marxism would like to bring to our readers’ attention articles that we believe excellently condense the lessons of this history.

The following is a model leaflet, produced by the International Marxist Tendency, to be distributed at events and demonstrations held in solidarity with the revolutionary youth movement in Iran. It presents our position on how this inspiring movement should advance. Down with the mullahs' regime! Down with imperialism! Down with capitalism!

As the nationwide protest movement in Iran enters its fourth week, the efforts of the regime to suppress it only appear to have had the effect of further agitating the masses and of drawing in new layers. The youth on the streets and in the university campuses have now been joined by thousands of school students and bazaar merchants, as well as important layers of the working class. Most importantly, a series of strikes have started in the oil and petrochemical sector, the heart of the Iranian economy.