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DECEMBER 2009 ISSUE #2 NEDAYEH MARDOM THE AFGHAN-IRANIAN YOUTH PRESS Karzai Declared President by Navid Lal Runoff Elections Cancelled as Abdullah Withdraws Candidacy Hamid Karzai, arguably the most out of favour candidate of the recent elections, has been declared president. Of course, it is practically impossible for any unpopular political figure to win in a fair and truly democratic election. Undeniably, the Afghan elections were a sham. It is clear that this fact could not be disputed, even by the western powers, when the puppet government seceded to demands for a runoff election. The purpose of the runoff was to have a final vote on the two leading candidates and to remove any doubts about the validity of the process. However, as with the initial election, the runoff proved to be completely illegitimate. The initial election produced results from polls, showing Karzai and Dr. Abdullah as the two leading candidates. Afghanistan’s Independent Election Commission (IEC), which was comprised mostly by associates of Karzai, produced polling results stating that Karzai received 54.6% and Abdullah received 27.8% of the votes. The number of votes attained by Karzai was highly disputed due to substantial widespread fraud and the United Nations’ Electoral Complains Commission (ECC) took action. Ultimately, after the ECC’s audit, Karzai ended up with 49.7% of the legitimate votes, and Abdullah with 30.6%. In an attempt to brush off November 4th Uprisings; “Death to the Dictatorship” by Farshad Azadian Iranian People See Through the “Anti-imperialist” Rhetoric of the Islamic Regime On November 4th 2009, a day officially sanctioned for celebration of the 1979 US embassy occupation, mass demonstrations swept through cities across Iran. That the movement in Iran has not died down may have surprised some commentators, but it showed quite clearly that the revolutionary movement continues to move forward, with increased militancy and the continued political development of the masses. Marches were seen across Tehran, Shiraz, Rasht, Mashhad, Isfahan, Ahvaz, Tabriz, Arak, Yasooj, Tafresh and Shahre Kord among others, clashing with police and basij paramilitary forces. Many were injured, arrested and the state’s repressive apparatus went to great lengths to prevent communication and even movement within Tehran itself. These efforts did little to prevent the protests, where people burned pictures of Khamenei and chanted “Death to Khamenei”, demonstrating the popular intention of the movement to bring down the Islamic Regime. Many have argued that the goal of the movement is not, or perhaps should not be, a revolution. This view, which is relatively common here in Toronto, suggests that the road forward is through reforms and non-violent protests. These same reformists, just months ago, would never has considered the possibility of the militant street protests we saw today. Even the Western Corporate media, such as the Washington Post, has suggested that the situation in Iran is a revolutionary one, and that people have gone beyond Moussavi. The “reformist” camp of the Islamic regime, who are in opposition to Ahmadinejad, represent another wing of the same murderous ruling elite. They have, over the last months, begun to lose the confidence of a growing number of people who are becoming radicalized by the inaction of these reformists. We are seeing left-leaning students play a growing and more central role in the movement, with workers entering the political arena with more force. Just as rightwing forces decry, or sometimes live in denial of, the increased militancy of the Iranian people, some who call themselves leftists have also criticized the movement in Iran. This group has declared the Islamic Regime as anti-imperialist, and has accused the people’s uprisings of being US-backed. To the contrary, both American Imperialism and the Iranian Capitalist class are united in their fear of the revolutionary movement of the Iranian people. Workers are also playing a growing role in standing up to the Islamic regime. While working class Iranians have played a significant part in the protests from the beginning, the use of collective the tarnished image of the election and to avoid a runoff, American diplomats such as John Kerry rushed in to wager a power sharing deal between Karzai and Abdullah. This effort aimed to end the election with what they called a “legitimate outcome”. Fortunately, Abdullah did not accept any power sharing deals and demanded a runoff election. Abdullah also demanded the resignation of three of the IEC officials who appeared to have close ties with the Karzai party. ...continued on pg 2 and organized means of struggle is becoming more significant. The recent Haft Tapeh sugar cane cutters strike, which ended in victory, saw many of its union leaders arrested by the regime. The pipe workers in Ahvaz not only went on strike, but also joined the mass demonstrations. Oil workers have also entered the arena, with a recent protest fighting to get back unpaid wages. These developments are quite significant given the key role that workers must play in the oncoming revolution. Encouragingly, the Iranian Left is actively agitating for a general worker strike in Iran. We look to the future with great optimism. Forward with the Iranian Revolution! INSIDE Founding Statements ............... pg 2 We will not forget ........ PG 2 American Hegemony ... PG 2 Divide and Conquer ..... PG 3 Ontario Workers ......... PG 3 Malalai Joya ............... PG 4 Workers in Iran ............ PG 4 Hichkas ..................... PG 4 Get Involved ............ pg 2

Nedayeh Mardom #2

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