June 11th, 2011
Last week, the non-violent protest movement in Iraq reached a critical point. June 7 marked the self-imposed deadline for Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki to rid the various government departments of corruption and correct their incompetence. You see, a major criticism from the growing movement of tens of thousands across Iraq is that rampant corruption is preventing the provision of basic services like regular electricity.
Well, June 7 has come and gone, and conditions have not changed. This has bolstered the growing peace movement that has taken over the nation, and demonstrators are demanding Maliki’s resignation.
You can follow the latest developments in this movement on Facebook here.
Ali Issa has been in contact with some of the leaders of this growing peaceful protest movement in Iraq. Check out his interview from May 25th with Uday al-Zaidi, a leader of ‘The Popular Movement to Save Iraq’ and brother of famed shoe-thrower, Muntadhar al-Zaidi.
Demonstrations continued across Iraq in today’s weekly Friday protest.
Today, protest activities were reported taking place in Basra, Fallujah, Diwaniya, Tella’afer, Mosul, Nassiriya, and Tahrir Square in Baghdad. There was a demonstration outside the Iraq embassy in London as well. Inside Iraq, many of the protests were met with crackdowns from government security forces, resulting in numerous arrests. In one case, eyewitnesses reported that security forces fired live ammunition at protesters.
Crowds were chanting anti-Maliki slogans including the following translated chants:
“FRIDAY AFTER FRIDAY AND WE WILL GET MALIKI OUT!”
“GET OUT MALIKI, WE DON’T WANT YOU!”
“BROTHERS SUNNA AND SHIA’A, THIS COUNTRY WE WILL NOT SELL!”
“LIAR! NOURI AL MALIKI IS A LIAR!”