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Event Reports

July 24, 2008 - Forum
US Hands Off Iran! Don't Attack Iran!

Co-organized by
Mobilization Against War & Occupation (MAWO)
& Iranian Community Agaist War (ICAW)

North Vancouver, BC

Forum participants watch a slideshow of pictures of Iran

Forum MC Payvand Pejvack (at right), ICAW organizers and speakers Arash Yousef (center) and Ali Yerevani (at left)

The room was filled with interested participants discussing US threats toward Iran and what to do about it.

July 24 Forum Report

On July 24th, more than 50 people, many from the Iranian community, participated in a forum called ‘NO WAR ON IRAN!’ to discuss the current threats against Iran and its people, and roots and causes of an impending US-led attack. The forum, co-organized by Mobilization Against War and Occupation (MAWO) and the Iranian Community Against War (ICAW) was held in North Vancouver, which brought together a very diverse crowd and the forum was presented in both Farsi and English.

The evening began with a segment of a multi-media presentation entitled “Don’t Iraq Iran!” which gave a very real view of Iran today through a slideshow of pictures. The photos showed Iran’s infrastructure, culture, history and beautiful countryside and landscapes. For those who have never been to Iran or don’t know much about the country, it was a good opportunity to see what would be affected in a possible attack.

Following the movie, the MC and moderator, Payvand Pejvack, an organizer with Iranian Community against War (ICAW), gave an opening to the forum. She explained that the threats against Iran have been increasing through sanctions and that organizing events such as the forum are essential to strengthen the campaign against war on Iran.

The first speaker, Arash Yousef, an organizer with the Iranian Community against war, gave a personal perspective on an attack on his home country. He reflected on his recent trip to Iran and emphasized the importance of building awareness around the issue and how crucial it is for the Iranian community outside of Iran to unite in preventing an attack.

Following Arash was Ali Yerevani, who gave an analysis of the history of the US aggression against Iran and what it means today. Ali is an organizer with the Iranian community against war, the political editor for the Fire This Time newspaper and was a participant in the 1979 Iranian revolution. In his talk, Ali emphasized that the US cannot gain hegemony over the Middle East as long as Iran remains an independent country and that an attack extends further than affecting the Iranian people, but that an attack on Iran is key to imperialist strategy in the new era of war and occupation.

The presentation sparked a lively discussion among participants of the forum. With topics ranging from Iranian culture, possibilities and outcomes of an attack on Iran, the impacts of the aggression on Iranian youth, and the importance of building a movement that can prevent a US lead attack on Iran, the forum went well in to the evening. This forum was an important and positive step in expanding consistent antiwar organizing into North Vancouver, reaching out to the large Iranian community in the area. Both speakers and the moderator presented both in English and in Farsi, making it a more accessible and dynamic event for its participants. The need for forums such as this to continue will only grow and become more important as the US increases its aggression against Iran.