Wednesday, June 24, 2009
Various statements of solidarity with the protesters are being circulated. The NPA are pledging to join protests to show solidarity with the people and travailleurs of Iran. On the anti-imperialism front, I would draw attention to this statement by Venezuelan socialists. There also is an intervention by Slavoj Zizek, which has been circulated by Iranian academics, and is published here. I don't need to restate my scepticism about Zizek's broader politics, nor do I agree with every last word or emphasis. However, I do think it makes some very important points, perhaps the most important of which is that anyone on the left who doesn't see an emancipatory dimension in the protests is politically defunct. The bloodless lack of enthusiasm for what is manifestly a democratic movement in some of the commentary reflects not anti-imperialist sensibilities so much as political timidity. The key here is universality: these protesters are no different from those who have been beaten or killed in Genoa, in London, in LA, in Athens, and everywhere that the state is challenged by a democratic movement and responds in this way. Their case for solidarity is not diminished by the fact that they live in a society that has been threatened by imperialism. On the contrary, it means we ought to redouble our efforts.