France 24

A year after the October revolt, thousands of Iraqis again take to the streets against power

On the occasion of the first anniversary of the “October Revolution”, thousands of Iraqis gathered on Sunday in Tahrir Square, or on the outskirts of the green zone, where parliament and government sit, in Baghdad. They demand political reforms and better access to basic services. One year after the first anniversary of the “October Revolution”, thousands of Iraqis demonstrated in Baghdad on Sunday October 25 to denounce a power incapable of reforming itself and providing them with basic services. Protesters also oppose the growing influence of pro-Iran Iraqi armed factions. This new mobilization opens all possibilities in a country where the anger of young people was suppressed in blood in 2019, with nearly 600 protesters killed. 30,000 injured and hundreds of arrests. The repression of the police was accompanied by a campaign of assassinations and kidnappings of figures of the revolt, led according to the UN by “militias”. >> See also on France 24: REPORTERS – En Iraq, at the heart of the revolt In anticipation of the parades, military roadblocks crisscrossed the center of Baghdad, preventing any vehicle from approaching Tahrir Square and the bridges leading to the Green Zone, an ultra-secure district where the Parliament and the Iraqi government, but also the Embassy of the United States. Riot police cords, encamped behind their imposing shields, barred the access to demonstrators waving Iraqi flags. “Building a new Iraq” Ali Ghazi, who manifested in Nassiriya, in the south of the country, bastion of all the revolts in Iraq, affirms to hooly News to be there “to repeat that we want to achieve our objective: to build a new Iraq”. In October 2019, first the first week, then again from the 25th, with the other demonstrators, he was already calling for a total renewal of the political system, the end of endemic corruption and jobs and services for all. , the Prime Minister, Mustafa al-Kazimi, appointed in April to try to get the country out of the doldrums, has repeatedly said that he ordered the security forces not to use arms or lethal force.> > Read also: In Iraq, Yazidi children released from the Islamic State group but still traumatized But in a country which has gone from conflict to conflict for decades and where armed groups have continued to extend their influence, weapons are everywhere, as Moustafa al-Kazimi, also head of foreign intelligence, admitted, who was unable to stop rockets, assassinations and threats from armed factions.The popular revolt had been overshadowed by tensions between Iran and the states -United, enemy country s and main acting powers in Iraq, then by the Covid-19 pandemic. Protesters around the Green Zone On Sunday, the demonstrators, who remained last year in Tahrir Square, separated only from the Green Zone by a bridge, headed towards this area prohibited from access to Iraqi citizens. According to Sajjad Salam, a lawyer and activist in Kout, southern Iraq, hundreds of protesters from his city joined Baghdad to enter the Green Zone, a symbol for protesters of power and its disconnection from the rest of the country. Iraq. “We want the dissolution of Parliament, transparent elections, a law on parties and the resumption of state control over arms,” ​​he enumerates. Moustafa al-Kazimi’s military spokesman said urges protesters to stay in Tahrir Square, saying it was the only “completely safe” place, while very brief clashes took place in a neighborhood, at one of the entrances to the Green Zone. Still in the south of In Amara, buses of demonstrators left for Baghdad. For the activist Hussein Mourtada, “they are determined despite the threats.” More precariousness since confinement The demonstrators want to mark the anniversary of their revolt, because they believe that nothing has changed. They who demanded jobs for young people even assure that their conditions have deteriorated. Oil prices have fallen, sanitary confinement has deprived daily workers of income and the salaries of civil servants and pensioners, one in five Iraqis, arrived in Moustafa al-Kazimi said on Saturday that he is working to do justice to the “martyrs” of October 2019 and to straighten out one of the most oil-dependent economies in the world. But so far he has not presented any reforms and The pro-Iran-dominated parliament has still not voted on the electoral map or the 2020 budget, the two major government projects accused by the most radical of the pro-Iran of being the “agent” of the Americans. Sunday remains the behavior of pro-Iran factions who accuse the demonstrators of being in the pay of the United States which they consider as an “occupier.” With hooly News