Saturday, March 04, 2006

if Americans were not responsible for human rights abuses, she was not interested.

Harry's Place links an eye witness account of what happens when Iranian Democracy Activists meet the Stop the War Coalition,

When Rostami claimed that the Iranian women had more rights and family protection after the revolution than before, it was just too much for the Iranians in the room. There was an uproar of protest at her nonsense, especially from the Iranian women.

Another Iranian walked up to the panel and placed pictures of Islamic Republic crimes before each panel speaker. The chairperson with the headband, showed no sympathy and turned the pictures over, but another Iranian in the audience walked up to the panel, turned over the page and showed her the pictures again. The chairperson of the panel then tried to look away from the pictures of human rights abuse in Iran. I sort of sensed she felt if Americans were not responsible for human rights abuses, she was not interested.

I was innocently writing down my questions, thinking soon we will be given time to question the panel. I was perusing which questions I should ask. Some of which were:

- "You have the privilege of protesting and marching against nuclear power in this country, do the Iranian people have this right too?

- You mentioned you are siding with the Muslims who felt offended by the cartoons, what about the Sufis in Iran who had their shrine completely raised to the ground recently and their members, including women and children who were beaten and maimed. Do you not think they were insulted too?

- You say you value your freedom of speech, are you not worried about Muslim extremists taking that freedom away?"

But as I was pondering over these questions, Elaheh Rostami finished and the chair declared the meeting was over. What? No time to question all this nonsense that was spluttered out at this poor English public? The Iranians were furious. Even I, normally a placid person, couldn't stop myself from going to the panel and shouting: "You talk about freedom of speech. You have a meeting about Iran and yet you don't let the Iranians in this room speak?" I roared at the panel.

By this time SWP activists were calling for more reinforcement on their mobiles. Elaheh Rostami finally had to be escorted out of the room surrounded by a ring of SWP activists, while Iranians were shouting "Shame on You, Shame on You" at her.


John Ruberry said...

Good post, and good to have you back. You were quiet for a while

Bill Baar said...

Thanks John,,, Sometimes other stuff gets in the way of blogging. I see DePaul is still a mess...