March 28, 2006

London policing 2

Reza Mortadi, a 29 year old Iranian, has been summonsed by the Police and charged following complaints made at the "March for Free Expression." Mr Mortadi had displayed some of the Danish cartoons. Here is Reza at the rally. Here is Maryam Namazie's speech.

Update: here is a picture of the Police speaking to Mr Moradi (from Yahoo! News).


Andrew Apostolou (indignant pyjamas).

Posted by Andrew Apostolou at March 28, 2006 05:15 AM

Well, I feel safer. Don't you feel safer? Not to mention virtuously respectful of differences. Free speech is so, so impolite....

Posted by: bk at March 28, 2006 12:28 PM

Moslems who preach murdering of "infidels" get a free pass, whilst the rest of us get shaken down for daring to mention it.

Posted by: Jenny at March 29, 2006 09:25 AM

I suspect the police will now be free to deal with Islamist protestors in the same manner now that they have a "hey, we do it to everybody" excuse.

Posted by: Aaron at March 29, 2006 06:05 PM

Only if the police get complaints about the Islamist protestors.

Where can I get a complaint form?

Posted by: rosignol at March 29, 2006 10:55 PM


This is a bit of a conundrum for me.

If you look at the sign Mr. Mortadi is holding, ('Reza at the rally.'), read past the lines saying "Long Live Unconditional freedom of belief, expression, [illegible], press [?], demonstrationstrike [sic], Unconditional freedom of organization and of formation of political parties." and check out the second line from the bottom.

The one that says "Communist Youth Organization".

I despise communists.

Historically, Communists are not famous for respecting or supporting 'Unconditional freedom of belief, expression, etc...'. Especially the "Unconditional freedom of organization and of formation of political parties" bit. In fact, they're famous for exactly the opposite behavior- stomping freedom of belief, expression, and the press into the ground, and explicitly banning non-communist political parties.

In my experience, people who support communists tend to be either profoundly ignorant of history and spectacularly naive, or actively malignant.

But I also don't like it when governments try to suppress free expression, even when I have a very low opinion of the people doing the expressing.

And then there's the idea being expressed- basically, that we should not let a bunch of reactionary religious zealots tell us what we may or may not discuss in our own countries.

I like this idea. A lot. But if I do something on Mr. Mortadi's behalf, I'm supporting a communist, if I do nothing, I am objectively pro-reactionary religious zealots.

What is a sane person to do? All I see here are options of varying degrees of bad-ness.

Posted by: rosignol at March 30, 2006 01:33 AM

Okay, I've read her speech... and the "about me" box on her blog states:

Maryam Namazie is a producer of TV International English, a member of the Central Council of the Organisation for Women's Liberation and Director of the Worker-communist Party of Iran's International Relations Committee. She is also co-editor of WPI Briefing.

She stated in her speech "* People are arrested and summoned to court for carrying placards or flyers with the Mohammad caricatures on them", but the only case I know of where this has happened was Reza Mortadi, who was summoned on account of doing so at the protest where she gave the speech.

Reza Mortadi was carrying a sign with "Communist Youth Organization" on it. Maryam Namazie is Director of the Worker-communist Party.

Either she's prescient, or he's a provocateur. I leave it to the readers here to decide which is more likely.

Posted by: rosignol at March 30, 2006 07:30 AM

"The one that says "Communist Youth Organization". I despise communists."

"This is a bit of a conundrum for me."

I disagree. While I don't like communists either (heck, I grew up in West-Berlin, surrounded by them lot), I am glad to see that at least some on the left speak up against Islamist power!

Posted by: Andrew Brehm at March 30, 2006 07:55 AM

Now the bobbies are just going to fine this guy and make him pick up the trash, but the fact that his 8 by 10 color glossy photo is plastered all over the internet is going to be a problem for him. Every jihadi on the group W bench will be looking for him.

Posted by: jj mollo at March 30, 2006 12:14 PM

Officer "Obie" strikes again!!

Posted by: Garry P. at March 31, 2006 03:22 AM

Isn't it passing strange that communists in the US are protesting our policies against the Iranian regime (among other things) while the communists in Iran (well from Iran) apparently are protesting against the Iranian regime.

It appears that the communists living under Islamic regimes that the US opposes also oppose those regimes while the communists living under the US regime support those Islamic regimes.

I say it's spinach and the hell with it.

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