Sheffield solidarity

Laurie McCauley reports on a Hopi meeting at Sheffield University

Communist Students Sheffield hosted a meeting on 'Iran and the threat of war', attended by about 20 people, on November 22.

Ben Lewis of the CPGB spoke, stressing that, while US imperialism is the main enemy, the Iranian state is no friend of democracy. He pointed out that many in Iran were shocked at the STWC's apologetic attitude to the Tehran regime. By contrast Hopi and Communist Students are forthright in condemning the theocracy, which apparently makes us accessories to imperialism.

When the meeting was opened to contributions, Mike Martin said that we should take heart from the experience of the Vietnam Solidarity Campaign, which had started "with fewer people than are in this room". Daniel Randall of the Alliance for Workers' Liberty said that the fundamental problem of the anti-war movement had been its cross-class nature. He wanted to know why Ben Lewis had stressed work in the STWC rather than trying to create a separate political pole. He also wanted to know what Hopi was going to do practically to solidarise with Iranian activists. In response, comrade Lewis reported that, in appreciation of our efforts, the Iranian organisation Socialist Students has changed its name to Communist Students.

Sam Durk (SWP) said that talk of workers' struggle would "scare people off" and our approach should be to build a "broad" force. He nevertheless stated that, despite our differences, he disagreed with the exclusion of Hopi from the STWC. In his summing up, comrade Lewis welcomed Sam Durk's comments and said it was now incumbent upon him to challenge his organisation's leadership over their support for the exclusion of Hopi and CS.

The Sheffield Hopi steering committee is still being finalised, and interested comrades in the Sheffield area should get in touch with me at lauriemc@fastmail.fm. We will be sending a delegation down to the Hopi founding conference and looking to coordinate regular actions with other groups locally.