by yasmine

Box 54631, London N16 8YE


416 922

Immediate release


Delegates to the May 21-23
conference of the Public and Commercial Services Union (PCS) voted
overwhelmingly to affiliate to Hands Off the People of Iran. The PCS
is the first national union to support Hopi, which fights:

  • Against imperialist war on

  • For the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US/UK troops
    from Iraq and all the Gulf region

  • Against any imperialist intervention. The immediate and
    unconditional end to sanctions on Iran.

  • Against the theocratic regime! For solidarity with the working
    class, women’s and students’ movements against the theocratic regime.

Yassamine Mather, member of the Hopi Steering Committee and
Iranian exile, said:

“This is important step forward for Hopi could not be more
timely, coming as it does when leaked news over the weekend suggests
that Bush has been secretly briefing key US senators on plans to
launch airstrikes against Iran with the next two months.

When a major union of the size and reputation of PCS takes such an
explicity stand against imperialist sabre-rattling, a powerful
message is sent out to the war-mongerers”.

The motion supporting Hopi was opposed by just 50 or so of the
1,200 delegates, although it was opposed by leading PCS member, Jon
Gamble. Writing in the Morning Star (May 27), he denounced the
“con trick” played on the conference and charged that by “raising
the issue of the nature of the islamic regime in Iran” Hopi thus
“seeks to split this movement on sectarian lines” and “provides
a left cover for liberal apologists for war”.

In a statement released on its website (reproduced below), Hopi
firmly rejected these charges as “lies and slander” and offered
to debate opponents such as John Gamble to clarify its real politics.



1. The Public
and Commercial Services Union (PCS) is the fifth largest trade union
in the UK, with over 300,000 members.

2. Hopi was established
in December of last year and includes amongst its supporters
Derek Wall, male principal speaker,
Green Party, Peter Tatchell, Yasmin Alibhai-Brown,
Naomi Klein,
Michael Mansfield QC,
John Pilger,
Peggy Seeger (singer,
songwriter and activist),
Bill Bailey (actor
and comedian) and
Noam Chomsky.

3. Hopi was barred from
affiliating to the Stop the War Coalition in October 2007 because -
it was claimed - we were “
entirely hostile to the
Coalition, its policies and its work” (see
for material on this controversy). The dispute was also covered in
the Independent - see

MAY 27

“Watch Out For Dodgy Splitters

It is frustrating to sit and watch a train crash go on in front of
you and be unable to act.

Recently, the PCS conference voted to affiliate to an organisation
purporting to defend the people of Iran from attack by the US and its
allies - the so-called Hands Off the People of Iran (Hopi) campaign.
What most delegates didn't know is that this organisation is not
primarily concerned with opposing US maniacal military adventures,
but rather splitting the Stop the War movement in Britain. In reality
it is a front for the misnamed CPGB micro-sect.

The Stop the War Coalition has successfully united millions of
people to oppose the invasions and occupations of Afghanistan and
Iraq. By raising the issue of the nature of the islamic regime in
Iran, Hopi seeks to split this movement on sectarian lines. This
would only delight Bush and Brown and the whole warmongering lobby.
Hopi provides a left cover for liberal apologists for war, the likes
of Nick Cohen and Christopher Hitchens, in the liberal defence of

It was unfortunate that the main left force in PCS, Left Unity,
were duped into supporting this affiliation, apparently to avoid
having a debate around affiliation to John McDonnell's Labour
Representation Committee - surely a bizarre sense of priorities.
Sadly, Morning Star supporters went unheard in the debate, which left
the SWP isolated and slandered as apologists for the Iranian regime
in opposing this affiliation.

As Mark Twain once said, a lie can go around the world before the
truth has tied its boot laces. PCS branches need to question their
conference delegates about this con trick as a matter of urgency."

Jon Gamble

PSC NSOC (personal capacity)


“Lies and slander

Jon Gamble's letter on the Public and
Commercial Services Union affiliating to Hands Off the People Of Iran
(Hopi) is grossly inaccurate and disingenuous. He claims that Hopi is
not "primarily concerned with opposing US maniacal military
adventures". Yet our main demands are: No to imperialist war!
For the immediate and unconditional withdrawal of US/UK troops from
Iraq and all the Gulf region! The immediate and unconditional end to
sanctions on Iran! (

Clutching at straws, he then proceeds
to attack us for our apparent attempts to split "the Stop the
War movement in Britain." Those with a slightly longer memory
will remember how Hopi actually sought affiliation to the Stop the
War Coalition last year but were refused on the most spurious of
grounds. Sadly, the anti-war movement was split. But not through our

Whereas the stooges and apologists of
the Iranian regime like Abbas Eddalat and Somaye Zadeh are welcomed
with open arms into the coalition, Iranian socialists and their
comrades are not welcome.

He claims that Hopi is a front for the
"misnamed CPGB micro-sect". This will come as news to the
substantial working class and socialist organisations from Iran who
form the core of Hopi's support alongside Green Party comrade Peter
Tatchell and the leader of the Labour Left, John Mc.Donnell. Comrade
Gamble is inconsistent anyway: the CPGB is an official affiliate of
the Stop the War Coalition. Yet organisations that are damned as its
fronts are disqualified! Where is the logic?

Hopi is clear that the main enemy is
imperialism. The theocratic regime of Iran – which implements a
neo-liberal capitalist agenda against its working people – is also
an enemy. We can walk and chew gum. We can oppose any imperialist
intervention and support democratic, secular and socialist
movements fighting to overthrow the theocracy and thereby create a
genuinely anti-imperialist Iran. This is not "sectarian".
This is not Nick Cohen 'lite' politics. This is genuine

That the PCS has taken a lead in the
fight for genuine politics of solidarity is to be welcomed. Some
comrades ought to follow the principled lead of PCS delegates and
recognise Hopi as a legitimate and valuable part of the anti-war
movement. This was no "con trick" but a decision made by
comrades who, unlike Jon, have a sense of their internationalist duty
in the struggle against war and oppression. If the PCS wish to
discuss the politics of Hopi and the issues involved then we are more
than happy to speak to them at every level of the union and also
debate our opponents.

Ben Lewis, Communist Party of Great

Yassamine Mather, Workers Left Unity

Tami Peterson, Labour Representation
Committee (personal capacity)


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thank you

by MRX1 (not verified) on

Mrs Cheguvara. we feel much better now that UK union's are against war in Iran and the whole region next to the gulf with no Name! I suspect the Unions have no problem trading with IRI though. god forbid that!