iran goes on strike

Iran will go on a 3-day strike during a holiday that is usually ignored.

Monday is the start of an unusual three-day Islamic holiday called Itikaf. Sometimes translated as “seclusion” or “retreat,” Itikaf is a time when particularly pious Muslims cloister themselves inside homes or mosques for a period of intense prayer and deep spiritual reflection. It is a practice that the Iranian regime has long encouraged the country’s citizens, particularly the youth, to take part in, usually without much success.

But this year, supporters of Mir Hossein Mousavi, the reformist challenger to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, are planning to take up the government’s appeal for religious observance. Mousavi’s Web site has called on Iranians to use the state-sanctioned holiday to launch a three-day, nationwide strike and boycott of businesses and banks in hopes of re-sparking the popular demonstrations that brought the country to a halt two weeks ago.

Socialism 2009 in San Francisco

This weekend I attended the Socialism 2009 conference put on by the International Socialist Organization in San Francisco. It was an amazing event with talks on topics including racism, sexism, immigrant issues, history, the middle east, the prison system, the environment, science, media, unions, and socialism, Marxism, and revolutionary politics. I highly recommend attending next year in either San Francisco or Chicago, and maybe even New York since it was so successful this year in those two locations. Here are some pictures from the weekend. Also, check out my flickr

Talk on Prop 8 is Going Down: Winning Gay Marriage in California

Sherry Wolf speaking on Prop 8 is Going Down: Winning Gay Marriage in California

Prop 8 is Going Down: Winning Gay Marriage in California

John Pilger speaking on Empire and Obama: Power, Illusion, and America's Last Taboo

Main Auditorium at the Women's Building in San Francisco, Ca

Mark Steel's birthday cake

Richard Brown of the San Francisco 8 speaking for Oscar Grant, San Francisco 8 and the History of Political Repression in America

The record spins during the after party

Panel on Will Socialism Eliminate Sexism?

Final Rally: The Return of Socialism

Reform clerics say Iran's presidential vote invalid

A group of reform clerics came forward disputing a statement from the Guardian Council calling Mahmoud Ahmadinejad the winner of the presidential election.

The pro-reform clerics group said in a statement that the top legislative body, the Guardian Council, no longer had the right "to judge in this case."

In a statement to the press, the Assembly of Qom Seminary Scholars and Researchers said some members of the Guardian Council had "lost their impartial image in the eyes of the public."

I don't know the significance of this. It is important that any clerics are contradicting the Supreme Leader's words, but I'll have to figure out what implications this has in Iran's government.

Meanwhile it's been reported that a handful of protesters have been executed. Prisoners have also been raped. As the government is loosing their grip they use more drastic tactics.