Hands Off The People of Iran Conference


Hands Off The People of Iran Conference
by yasmine

We would like to invite you to attend our annual conference on December 13, in north London.
  • Please inform us as soon as possible if you are attending - and anybody else from your locality. It would help us enormously in terms of planning the event 
  • There will be a creche: please let us know by December 6 if you want to make use of it and how old your child/your children are
  • The cost for the conference is £10 (£5 unemployed) - this includes next year's membership of Hopi
  • The deadline for amendments is Wednesday, December 10, 6pm. Please send them to office@hopoi.info
Find below and attached more information on the agenda and the motions. Attached also the report of the latest meeting of the Hopi steering commitee, which took place on November 22.
In solidarity, Tina Becker Hands Off the People of Iran www.hopoi.org


10am: registration opens for 11am start

Welcome and officers report

Mark Fischer

The political situation, war and imperialism

Political opening: Torab Saleth

Motion 1 and 2


2pm: Trade unions

Political openings by Dave Vincent (PCS) and Yassamine Mather (Hopi steering committee)

Motion 3

Launch of 'Stop the Sanctions' campaign

Political openings (speakers to be confirmed)

Motion 4

Students in Iran

Political openings (speakers to be confirmed)

Finance report

Mark Fischer/Tina Becker

Elections of new steering committee

Motion 4 and 5

End: 6pm



Please send any amendments to motions to office@hopoi.info by December 10, 6pm

Motion 1

Submitted by majority of steering committee

The political situation, war and imperialism

1.  Conference notes:

1:1 That despite the election promises of the new administration in the USA and various pronouncements by its allies, the threat of yet another US-led war in the Middle East has not gone away. On the surface, it seems that a direct military attack on Iran by the US is now less likely. However, the new US regime is set on increasing the economic warfare on Iran by tightening the already destructive sanctions. Also, the current global economic crisis is likely to make world imperialism even more belligerent, thus increasing the threat.

1:2 That even if the latest economic crisis of the world capitalist system may temporarily divert the attention of imperialists, the colonialist state of Israel is increasingly voicing its readiness to do its US master’s biddings and drag the whole region into a devastating war.

1:3 That the ‘soft war' on Iran, which is already well underway in the form of so-called UN sanctions, is drastically bolstered by Barack Obama's proposed new raft of sanctions against companies exporting refined petrol to Iran.

1:4 That the programme of sanctions imposed so far has on the one hand strengthened the theocratic dictatorship in Iran whilst on the other hand has drastically worsened the situation of the vast majority of Iranian people. Whilst inflation and unemployment have more than doubled over the last 2 years, the Iranian regime's expenditure on its apparatus of repression has quadrupled. 

1:5 That the Iranian regime has used the sanctions and the threat of an external war both to cover up its collusion with the imperialist occupation of Afghanistan and Iraq and its horrendous repression against workers, students, women and national and religious minorities inside Iran.  

1:6 That the refusal of the 2007 conference of the Stop the War Coalition to allow the affiliation of HOPI reflects its unwillingness to countenance criticism of the Islamic government of Iran and as a result undermines the unity and effectiveness of the anti war movement.

1:7 That the decline in anti-war mobilisations has reached alarming levels. The failure to organise effective solidarity with the Iranian peoples has created the danger that the democratic struggles of the Iranian peoples are hijacked by US imperialist propaganda.

2.  Conference resolves:

2:1 To continue a principled campaign against imperialist sanctions and military interventions in Iran whilst defending the just struggles of workers, students, women and national and religious minorities against the barbaric capitalist theocracy in Iran.

2:2 To continue exposing imperialist-sponsored “solidarity” with the people of Iran whilst opposing the machinations of the Iranian regime in transforming the anti-war movement into its own ally.

2:3 To increase its efforts in organising effective solidarity with the all the progressive struggles of the Iranian people for socialism and democracy.

2:4 To further this end by seeking affiliation to the Stop the War Coalition and encouraging all supporters to join its ranks.


Motion 2

Submitted by Mike Martin, Hopi Sheffield

Hopi and the anti-war movement

Conference notes that the "official" anti-war movement in Britain is virtually defunct. The original mass anti-war sentiment over the Iraq invasion was dissipated and there has been little public opposition to the widening war in Afghanistan and Pakistan. The threat to Iran remains as serious as ever.

Conference resolves that Hopi should take on political responsibility for building an anti-war movement on a principled basis. Hopi will consult with potential allies with the aim of creating an ad hoc body to plan for a major anti-war event in the spring of 2009.


Motion 3

Submitted by Hopi Manchester

Trade Union and General Solidarity Work

Over the last year HOPI has played a significant role in drawing attention to the repression of students in Iran following the student protests at the end of 2007. We have held press conferences, issued press releases and organised meeting for students who have had to flee the country – helping to develop links with student organisations in Iran as well as publicise the repression here. 

In the coming year we should attempt to ensure HOPI develops its contacts and support in the British labour movement, building on the affiliations of the PCS, ASLEF and the Labour Representation Committee. We should involve ourselves, wherever possible, at a rank and file level in the various campaigns in solidarity with workers under attack in Iran – for example in the T&G/ITF campaigns in support of transport workers, in the NUJ in support of Iranian journalists/newspapers and their right to publish criticism of the regime. 

We should do this in the context of HOPI policies - both condemning imperialist intervention against the Iranian government (and its use of State Department finance for "oppositionists") but supporting those imprisoned or tortured by the regime. We give no rights to the Islamic regime to decide who is "a Zionist" or "puppet of imperialism".


Motion 4

Submitted by Hopi Manchester

Sanctions and Soft War

Conference Believes

1) UN-imposed sanctions on Iran are an economic stranglehold on the Iranian people

2) The global economic crisis is exacerbating the situation for the Iranian working class, causing widespread poverty

3) Sanctions, a form of "soft war", are used by the Iranian regime to crack down further on workers' organisations and radical secular forces

Conference Resolves

1) To mandate the elected Steering Committee to form a "Stop the Sanctions" campaign, raising awareness of the impact the sanctions have on the Iranian people and fighting for them to be lifted


Motion 5


Submitted by 11 Hopi members

Meetings of the Hopi steering committee

Conference Believes

1) That over the past year, steering committee meetings have been irregular, poorly advertised and London-centric

2) Minutes of the steering committee are not distributed to the Hopi membership

Conference Further Believes

1) This makes it difficult for Hopi's broad base of supporters to get involved in building the campaign

2) It does not make the steering committee fully accountable to Hopi members

Conference Resolves

1) To mandate the steering committee to advertise its meetings a month in advance, giving Hopi members who wish to attend plenty of time to make travel, childcare and other arrangements.

2) To ensure minutes of the steering committee meetings are promptly sent out to the general email list. If steering members are concerned about protecting their anonymity, their names can be removed from the minutes.

3) At least two steering committee meetings each year should be held outside of London.


Motion 6

Submitted by Stuart King

Meetings of the steering committee

Over the last year the HOPI Steering Committee has not met as regularly as hoped and its meetings have sometimes been called at short notice making it difficult for members, especially outside London, to plan and attend.
We need to recognise that many members of HOPI are also active in other political campaigns, TU work and political organisations and that this often makes it difficult to plan for full attendance at SC meetings. We also recognise the fact that as meetings have been always held in London (because 80% of the SC are based there) this creates difficulties for comrades who have to travel long distances.
We should plan for the SC to meet 6 times over next year. With minutes or decisions posted on the website and the date and place of the next meeting fixed at the end of the meeting. The SC should try and arrange for at least one of these meetings to take place outside London ie in the north, possibly around a HOPI event organised in that city. The SC should have an “officers group” that can meet as necessary between NC meetings


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