At least 15 protesters have been killed on Friday 25th February during a "Day of Rage" in Iraq. Iraqis across the country, joining their Arab brother and sisters, have organised themselves via social media to protest against corruption, lack of jobs and the lack of basic services in Iraq eight years after the invasion. Like in other Arab countries these protests have not been party political or sectarian. In fact many of the countries leading religious figures advised their followers to not join the protests. Iraqi PM Nouri al-Maliki, in echoes of Gaddafi blamed the demonstrations on both al-Qeada and Saddamists. The use of deadly force against the peaceful protests demonstrates the lie that the invasion and occupation that Australia participated in brought democracy to Iraq. To accentuate this point,Muntather al-Zaid, the journalist who threw a shoe at George Bush Jnr, was arrested by the Iraqi army at a press conference he was giving encouraging people to join the protests.
More information at Al jazeerah
The following excerpt for Al jazeerah's coverage demonstrates both the nature of these demonstrations and the undemocratic response of the Iraqi Government.
Ahmed Rushdi, head of the House of Iraq Expertise Foundation, tried to join the protests in Baghdad but was prevented from doing so by the army. "This is not a political protest, but a protest by the people of Iraq. We want social reform, jobs for young people and direct supervision because there is lots of corruption," Rushdi told Al Jazeera. "If [prime minister Nouri] al-Maliki does not listen, we will continue this protest. He told everyone that we are Saddamists, but that is not right. We are normal Iraqi people."
Last year Wikleaks U.S. cables revealed that under the U.S. occupation the Iraqi government has engaged in depraved acts of torture worthy of anything that Saddam's regime did. These protests only further reveal the lie that democracy has bloomed in Iraq due to the bloody U.S. led and Australian occupation.
May the people of Iraq unite with the other revolutionaries of the Arab world and through solidarity across sectarian lines bring the democracy that the people of Iraq deserve.