Iraqi people were inspired the revolutions around the Arab world and announced their own day of rage on 25th February. The main demonstration centred on Tahrir Square in Baghdad but there were similar protests all over the country. @ArabPeople wrote:
#Iraq just started and it will surprise the entire #Arab world. No other revolt that started in 17+ locations. It's just the beginning.
WE WILL NOT ACCEPT PROMISES AFTER TODAY
- We are fed up with political bids, we are fed up with honeyed promises, we are fed up with prosthetic decisions that some officials use to throw dust in the eyes of the people.
- Empty promises will not satisfy the hungry, and the cheap bids will not put clothes on the naked, and the shinny slogans will not quench the thirst of liver behooves.
- Silence is no longer a choice for any of us, so we will no be silenced after today…
-So how long will the Iraqis be divided into two classes, one that eats the beef, and the other eats the leaf!!
- And how long will a group of people receive multiple salaries, each salary covers a whole tribe, and the other people can’t get a single penny from the wealth of their homeland!!
- And how long will a group will receive warmth from the fire caused by the process of burning the public funds while others are dying because of the cold at the night of winter!!
- And how long will some enjoy the iced water in the heat of summer time while the others quench their thirst with the sewage water!!
AS GOD IS OUR WITNESS.. WE WILL NEVER BE SILENCED
IQ4C published the plan of the Baghdad demonstration with a picture:
and tweeted after:
Tired with beating ate today,it was good training to express my freedom in peace, I am a peaceful man, then a civilian # iraq # iq4c # feb25
Sunshine reports from Mosul where her cousins took part in the demonstrations. She repeated some amazing pictures of the protests and named the event:
today is called “the Friday of anger” and this revolution is named al nakheel's revolution “the palms revolutions “.
The greatest thing is , people's intension is not to make coias or destroy…
Another pleasing thing is, people prayed “Friday's prayer” together in Al Tahreer in Baghdad , Sunnis and Shiites together and they shouted ” we're brothers Sunnis and Shiites and we're not going to sell this country”, the same thing happened in Sulaymania when Kurds and Arabs prayed together .. the citizens are united, it is the government that try to separate us and extend cultic , but it's not going to happen, no matter how tricky and pity plans they make..
I pray for a new hopeful future, and today I am proud of Iraqis, I know how great people we have here, and how much the Iraqis endured not only through the last 7 years, but since Saddam took control ..
Warnings from the powers that be
The Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri al-Maliki, blamed Saddamists and al-Qaida for organizing the protests and Iraqi Shi'a religious leaders told people not to demonstrate. Healing Iraq commented ( here and here):
Maliki's scare tactics won't work with Iraqis anymore and only serve to undermine his credibility. Iraqis are fed up with cronyism, corruption …
Typical reaction from the clerical establishment which wants to see Iraq's Shia remain under its thumb in order to keep their coffers full. These anti-corruption protests sweeping the country from Sulaimaniya to Basrah are a huge threat to those who are impeding progress in the ‘democratic’ Iraq.
Abbas Hawazin added:
The course of conduct [the Iraqi government] has employed in approaching these demonstrations was EXACTLY like the one all the surrounding tyrannies employed: anxiety borne out of a deep-seated uncertainty in its own legitimacy, the too-late scramble to make promises, the questioning of the protests’ background and intentions using old bogey-men … I am SOLIDLY against this government now.
Kassakhoon believes that these demonstration are only the beginning:
The demos also showed how the government is weak and terrified from the people when pushed thousands of security forces to seal off the roads, mainly the bridge that leads to the already heavily fortified Green Zone when erected tall concrete blast walls.
None of the government officials dared to show up before the demonstrators, but instead they only talked to State-run TV …
It is right that today's protests ended on the ground, but they are still live inside the protesters. What we witnessed today was only a small ice ball that just started to roll and it will get bigger day after day.
In contrast to Maliki accusing the protestors of being supporters of Saddam, Layla Anwar the nearest thing among Iraqi bloggers to a Saddamist took a somewhat different view of the protests:
Protest my ass. Where were you when the tanks rolled in ? where were you when the sectarian Shiites and their turbaned mullahs swayed you with a couple of hundred dollars for a finger dipped in purple ink for a “democratic” vote…
Where were you when we escaped in droves, living the lives of dogs in exile…where were you when the militias you praised and danced for decimated us all? Where the fuck were you?
Where were you when you let another sectarian whore from Iran take power again, for a second tenure and you sat and talked of national reconciliation and ballot boxes ?!
Where were you when the Iraqi Resistance was struggling against the invader ALONE ?
Demanding better living conditions from puppets is IDIOCY. Hundreds of foreign companies are making a living off your backs, bringing in their own staff and leaving you, so called educated class working as blue collars in your own country…
So where were you ? …
Give me a break you hypocrites.
Iraq is my biggest love and you are my biggest disappointment.
Go protest as much as you like, I will not lend you my voice. I've been a lone voice for the past 5 years and suffered the worst abuse in your name. Go protest all you like.