Socialist Fightback Hosts Discussion to Promote Socialist Ideas and Political Education

Tensions Between Iran and US Fuel Conversation

Posters and pamphlets produced by Socialist Fightback showcase the group’s values. Photo Philippe Champagne

The Socialist Fightback organization held a panel on Jan. 23 urging attendees to start the conversation about ending imperialist wars.

Organized in response to ongoing tensions between the United States and Iran, Socialist Fightback encouraged participants to apply the lessons from the day’s discussion to their own lives.

“Our main thing is to give political education on what is going on and what needs to be done,” said Julien Arseneau, one of the organizers for Socialist Fightback. “We need to fight against U.S. imperialism and Canadian imperialism right here at home,” he added.

Arseneau kicked off the event with a presentation explaining the conflicts and tensions focused on Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and the United States. He discussed the history between the two and stressed the profits of war being made by ruling classes.

“The sense of belonging is lost. We don’t know who were are, we don’t know what we want. There is not a flag that we can all unite under.” —Banafsheh Cheraghi

Following the killing of Iranian General Qasem Soleimani by the Trump administration, Ukrainian airline flight 752 was shot down by Iranian missiles killing 176 people. The plane was accidentally shot down when it turned towards a military centre and was mistaken for a cruise missile.

Iranian streets erupted with demonstrators protesting the Iranian government following the accidental downing of the plane. Protesters, who chanted the enemy is living within, were met by aggression and violence from riot police.

“The sense of belonging is lost. We don’t know who were are, we don’t know what we want. There is not a flag that we can all unite under,” said sociology student Banafsheh Cheraghi, when expressing the lack of belonging Iranians feel under their current government.

The Socialist Fightback event left Cheraghi a little more hopeful. “In Canada, what I haven’t seen yet is people and students caring about anyone else but themselves. So I really wanted to come and see it with my own eyes and I’m really happy. It was really good to see all these people talking and caring.” said Cheraghi.

“What we’re trying to do is to show people, ultimately, that we can’t bring socialism to Iran, but we can build it here and create a perspective to oppose our ruling class,” said Socialist Fightback member Kathreen Mohkami.

“As internationalists we think it’s our job to do that with everything that arises, not because it’s out of a nationalist sentiment or to benefit from it, but because it’s for the sole purpose of showing all the workers in the world that we need to unite,” she said.