Battleship Potkin

March 3, 2010 at 9:13 am (1)

Yesterday award-winning Iranian-born blogger Potkin Azarmehr and I went to the House Of Commons to protest at a public meeting, organised by Stop The War Coalition, where  Respect MP George Galloway (pictured, with Azarmehr opposite) was to speak.

The meeting set out to defend the rights of protestors at last year’s Gaza marches in London who have been given harsh sentences by UK courts. With the backdrop of months of violence in Iran against peaceful demonstrators, we thought it would be apt to highlight Mr Galloway’s silence about human rights abuses in Iran, well documented by Amnesty, Human Rights Watch and for that matter, YouTube.

Mr Galloway’s links with Press TV are well known — an organisation that is a mouthpiece for the Islamic Republic.

My fearless companion didn’t waste time before heckling Mr Galloway and I chipped in too although I was very nervous knowing that we were in the Commons and there were police everywhere.

Mr Galloway, pointing to Azarmehr, said this man wants do arrest me and warned him not to (the Open Democracy piece ‘Arrest Galloway’ was actually penned by me). “I wouldn’t if I were you,” I think were his words.

I was surprised and impressed by Azarmehr’s boldness. When Mr Galloway told him the chair next to him was taken he said: “It’s as close as I can get to the Supreme Leader.”

I really wanted to be in the back row but here we were in the front– what a dude.

Here’s us as Mr Galloway starts proceedings. I really used to like George Galloway. But after seeing him cosy up to Islamic fundamentalists over the years, well it’s been disappointing. Oh, and have you seen him shaking hands with Uday Hussein in 1999 and saying: “Your Excellency.. we are with you till the end”.

Here’s us being led out by police. There were cheers (for Mr Galloway). I was sat down and an officer said: “Right, we tell you what happens from here.” We were taken to a room, searched, checked, and then released without charge. The officers were very courteous throughout and at Azarmehr’s suggestion, Google’d us and were impressed to find a clip of him on Newsnight.

Who knows, maybe one day Stop The War Coalition will opt to see Mr Galloway and Islamist fundamentalism to the door instead two humble bloggers.

Thanks to Polona Florijančič for pics.



  1. shahab mosavat said,

    “Let me begin by expressing my heartfelt thanks to Potkin, and the others, who are out there for us.

    As a former colleague of Galloway’s at Press TV, I can tell you that the man’s hubris knows no bounds.
    His convictions are those of a stalk of wheat bending to the will of the wind; he is a pebble tossed by the current of the sea.

    When he visited Tehran in July 2008 to celebrate the First Anniversary of Press TV’s launch, from his gushing tributes, you might have imagined him to be a lifelong acolyte of the brutal mullahs; fascists whose money helps to fund a number of Palestinian slush funds, not unfamiliar to Mr Galloway, and his former wife Amineh Abu-Zayyad.

    Instead this is the same beast, who fawned on Saddam, when that suited his agenda.
    “Sir, I salute your courage, your strength, your indefatigability, and I want you to know that we are with you, hatta al-nasr, hatta al-nasr, hatta al-Quds [until victory, until victory, until Jerusalem].”

    And after that to Khamene’i’s brutal torturers:
    “All the papers seem to imply that you get executed in Iran for being gay. That’s not true. [He (Iranian asylum-seeker Mehdi Kazemi’s boyfriend) was executed for] committing sex crimes, uh, against young men.”
    Of course under the current dispensation all homosexual acts are illegal, and considered sex crimes in Iran.

    How is it conducive to the national interests of the UK for Mr Galloway, a sitting Member of the House of Commons to make such strident representations on behalf of the barbarian regime in Tehran; a regime, which systematically hunts down, and assassinates it enemies both at home, and abroad?

    How does he justify taking the Iranian Shilling through Press TV? And having displaced through a hateful campaign Oona King, his predecessor as MP for Bethnal Green & Bow should he not accept that his primary concern rests with serving the interests of his deserving constituents?

    Instead Galloway spends most of his time preening himself and his ego in one studio after another.

    Galloway is that worst of political creatures, a frustrated Soviet. The following is among the choicest words to tumble out of that orifice Galloway keeps beneath his nose:
    “I think the disappearance of the Soviet Union is the biggest catastrophe of my life.”
    I would beg to differ. The biggest catastrophe of his life stares back at him in the mirror when he shaves. Perhaps Potkin, that is why he has given up on it altogether.

    It is time he puts up or shuts up. He has nothing of value to add to the debate in the Middle East, and he should expect further direct action.”

  2. teacher said,

    Pathetic. Galloway is a scum bag. This piece would have read a lot better without all the grammatical typos, and misspelling of ‘Polona’…

  3. Paul said,

    G man. You’re nuts but i really admire you. I I were a politicized Iranian activist, author, blogger, son of famous satirist, enemy of the ruling Iranian regime and often outspoken critic of blair’s wartime record, Britain’s policy in the middle east, Blair specifically, that knobhead galloway and any one of another dozen or so things that marks you out as an interesting individual to the establishment – I’D ALSO WANT TO WEAR A CAMOUFLAGED COMBAT JACKET-TO A PUBLIC MEETING AT THE HOUSE OF COMMONS !!

  4. Arash said,

    Well done to both of you.


  5. Kaaveh said,

    shahab mosavat , when you used to work for PressTV and whenever I was watching your show (4 Corners), I was thinking to myself, what made a fine man like you, to become a mouthpiece for the Islamic Regime. Now I’m really happy that you have made your choice based on your conscious.

    I wish you all the best, and I want to let Potkin that I think he is a patriot.

  6. zkharya said,

    I think GG longs to be shahid filastin. Not to end up on the barb of a liberal Iranian dissident.

    GG really looks like a sinister smiling Joe Stalin, doesn’t he?

    While I applaud Potkin et al., that blonde is a bit tasty.

  7. jesus said,

    Well Done. Really Good we all feel good about it. You are a G star

  8. teacher said,

    bullshit, you violated the very principle of freedom of expression and democracy by heckling and stopping another from speaking! You both proved to have no respect for democracy nor its process, otherwise you would have not been disruptful.

    This is the problem with thugs like you two, if you don’t like the person or what is being said you will silence them, rather than to serve to educate the masses in an integral and dignified way.

    For as long as Iranians silence a view they disagree with they will live under a dictatorship, for you are all dictators within. Go back to school, learn about true democracy and the respect for the rights of freedom of expression, and stop trying to be funny like daddy, your jokes suck.

    You both disgrace Iranians.

    • peyvand said,

      Teacher, for the record Galloway silenced us using the very police he was complaining about, not the other way around.

  9. Pejman Akbarzadeh said,

    Thanks Peyvand, Thanks Potkin.

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