Our Day, Our Time
Since the 1953 CIA orchestrated coup and overthrow of the democratically elected Prime Minister, Mohammad Mossadegh, who had raised eyebrows in London and Washington by nationalizing Iran’s oil, and the return of the Shah, things had been quiet on the streets of Iran, for quite some time. So much so, in fact, that Iran was called an island of stability, among restive nations of the Middle East. Having the full support of the Empire, the Shah was feeling invincible. Thanks to the CIA, his infamous and brutal secret police, Savak, was well trained and equipped with the most effective methods and tools of torture, and quite successful in spreading fear and preventing dissent. That’s exactly what US corporations needed and wanted: a “friendly” and cooperating dictator, with the final say on all matters, who puts his own wealth and power above his people’s needs and takes his orders from US corporate headquarters in Washington, aka the US government. Poverty in this oil rich country was rampant (not saying it’s good now), and US corporations were practically running the country, just as they do their own.
In 1971, desperate for a movement, a group of Marxists-Leninists secretly got together and formed the Organization of Iranian People’s Fadayee Guerrillas (OIPFG). Fadayee in Farsi means he who sacrifices himself. The thinking was that people were no doubt suffering, but, were too afraid to take to the streets. There was no way to do any kind of political education. What was needed, they concluded, was a “spark”, by a group of people, willing to stand up to the power and face the Goliath (more like Godzilla). These brave young men and women knew the odds were stacked against them. The CIA-trained secret police was everywhere. The military was armed to its teeth with heavy weapons from the Superpower, and they took no chances and no prisoners – except to torture them before killing them. The other day, I listed on my FB page, the names of 53 of those incredibly brave women, who would put the toughest of the “tough guy” to shame with their heroics. They, along with their male comrades, started a John brown style battle with security forces that became part of modern day Iranian legend. Regardless of what one may think of the wisdom or efficacy of armed struggle against such a brutal dictatorship that was assisted by the most viscous Empire mankind has ever seen, one cannot but be in utter awe and jaw dropping admiration at the heroics of these young men and women.
Eight years later, millions and millions of Iranian people, filled every street and every square of the country, turning the streets and squares into a sea of people, marching and calling the names of those young men and women, as if to say “we heard your call. You didn’t die in vain”. All that the government and corporate officials, including the CIA, could think of was how to get the hell out of there.
Happy May Day my friends! This is our day! This is our time!