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SEPTEMBER 2009 “Fight for a Better World” ISSUE #1 NEDAYEH MARDOM THE AFGHAN-IRANIAN YOUTH PRESS The Iranian Revolution Marches On! by Arash Azizi Regime divisions deepen, people’s movement progresses Iran is going through its most vital days of the last 30 years. For the last 10 years, a deep hatred for the Islamic regime has been brewing among the people which has effectively led to a wide range of social movements and protests. However, it was in the aftermath of vote-rigging in the recent presidential elections that masses of people came out into the streets to collectively ignite the flames of the new Iranian Revolution. Though much else can be said about the uprisings of the past few months, two facts stand out; internal divisions in the Islamic regime are increasingly deepening, while revolutionary people’s uprisings continue defiantly amidst harsh repression. These two facts are inter-connected: the former causes the latter while helping it grow. And With 2009 being the bloodiest year after the occupation in 2001 with still four months to go, their anxiousness was quite relevant. After the August 20th vote, Taliban had control over major roads in both Qandahar and Helmand provinces and used this control as an opportunity to make road stops of every vehicle that crossed their path. In Afghanistan, the index finger is dipped in ink to avoid multiple votes, and this ink stays on the skin for up to two weeks, leaving those who voted as easy targets if caught by the Taliban. There have been many reports of the Taliban cutting off the finger of voters amongst other punishments to those who defied their demands for a boycott. It seems as though the elections, rather than helping, are detrimental to the development of “democracy” in Afghanistan. Months before the election even took place, citizens expressed disdain to the possibility of change, and had already placed Karzai as the winner due to fraud and foreign influence in the elections. Even with 117 election observers sent by the EU and hundreds more from NATO and the UN, along with several independent commissions to overlook the proceedings, the elections were in effect a failure to the Afghan people and to a democratic Afghanistan. With new results announcing Karzai in the lead, it looks as if the Winner Is...Western Imperialism Sham Afghan Elections Mired in Fraud by Shafiqullah Aziz As the process to elect a president of Afghanistan draws on, both the Afghan people and the international community are beginning to question the legitimacy of the polls. Thousands of complaints of fraud and violations in the pre and post election period mar the hopes of the international community for a successful election process. The Election Complaints Commission headed by UN appointed Canadian Grant Kippen is currently bogged down while looking into each allegation of fraud. Due to these factors, preliminary results of the election which should have been released on September 3rd, are now expected to be announced in a few weeks. Out of the 41 candidates at the start of the election, three remain in a prominent position. The current president Hamid Karzai and former foreign minister Dr. Abdullah Abdullah are seen to be in a tight race for the win while Ramazan Bashardost is trailing in a distant third place. Approximately 15.5 million Afghans registered to vote in this election, of which 38% were women. Even with this high number of registrations, the actual amount of voters that showed up to elect their candidate of choice was at a stifling low. With the Taliban movement calling for a complete boycott of the election, many citizens were uneasy in the run up to the August 20th vote. ...continued on pg 3 Afghanistan will not be seeing much change in the years to come. If one candidate does not have at least 50% of the vote, there will be a second round runoff; however there is no definite outcome at this point in time. One thing that is definite about this election process, or as the Taliban refer to it the “program of the crusaders”, is that no matter which candidate is elected, American and British Imperialism still reigns in this country. As long as there are forces in the nation of Afghanistan, be they American, British, Canadian, Pakistani, or Russian, it is clear that the Afghan people will never see peace and stability under occupation. INSIDE Founding Statements ............... pg 2 International Section ................................. pg 3 •Who is Moussavi? •Iranian Protests in Toronto •Iranian Chauvinism: Western Baluchistan Local Section .......... pg 4 •The Case of Zahir Ofuq •Poverty & Race in Toronto •Youth Protest Police Brutality Get Involved ............ pg 2

Nedayeh Mardom #1

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