Iraq Protests

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Flint
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Aug 9 2015 02:51
Iraq Protests

5 days ago, there was a night protest in Basra against corruption, Abadi government, capitalism, etc... Someone with the WCPI said it (and others) was spontaneous.

Description from a WCPI member:

Quote:
This demonstration just young people and in some city's our FWCUI members activities organised together As political organization no one showed but we as Federation of Workers councils and union in Iraq strongly support them They are calling for seperate religion with state at many places and they call to end the corruption system we are working on it very heard now to get involved in the moment but still not easy without strong worker's party.

They have been spreading. Tonight, this was a protest in Baghdad .

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 02:36

Commentary from WCPI member:

Quote:
This demonstration just young people and in some city's our FWCUI members activities organised together As political organization no one showed but we as Federation of Workers councils and union in Iraq strongly support them They are calling for seperate religion with state at many places and they call to end the corruption system we are working on it very heard now to get involved in the moment but still not easy without strong worker's party.
Flint
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Aug 9 2015 06:45

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/weve-had-enough-baghdad-protests-challenge-iraqs-abadi/2015/08/07/a129caca-3d21-11e5-a312-1a6452ac77d2_story.html

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 06:45

"Iraqi prime minister has eliminated the positions of the vice president and deputy prime minister - State TV" source

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 06:49

Several pictures of the protests

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 06:53
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The demonstrators, many of them secular Iraqis, have blamed the services crisis on corruption and incompetence across the political class.

Nabil Jassem, an organiser of the latest protest in Baghdad, said their demands include improving electricity service and finding a new means of combating corruption.

“If anyone thinks this demonstration is targeting a minister or a certain official, I want to correct this and say it is against everyone who was responsible for the energy file from 2003 until now,”

Abadi took office nearly a year ago promising tough action against corrupt practices that had come to symbolise the tenure of his predecessor, Nuri al-Maliki. Observers argue that while graft may be less open than it once was, the mechanisms of corruption remain in place.

In an attempt to assuage protesters, Abadi has imposed programmed electricity cuts on state institutions and top officials but Sistani said more was needed. Sistani, who is revered by millions of Iraqis, said Abadi had to do more to fight corruption...

Abadi reacted immediately and promised to follow Sistani’s advice. “I declare my total commitment to the directions of the religious Marjaiya [Shia religious leadership], which has voiced the concerns and aspirations of the Iraqi people,” he said in a statement. He said he would draft a plan to fight graft and invited other political parties to contribute.

Thousands of Iraqis protest against corruption and power cuts: Demonstrators gather in Tahrir Square, Baghdad and Nasiriyah, chanting ‘all of you together to the court, all of you are thieves’ as anger boils over

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 07:06
google translation wrote:
Baghdad - Eastern August 4: blown crisis of the collapse of the electricity system a new wave of protests massive emerged on Tuesday and included citizens and employees of different ministries is the Ministry of Electricity in Baghdad and central and southern governorates. After about a week to protest the Department of Transportation employees not getting paid out hundreds of the Ministry of Industry staff morning in a demonstration in front of the Finance Ministry building in central Baghdad to demand their salaries, while deliberately protesters to cut through the Muhammad al-Qasim rapid near the ministry. Correspondents said the protesters threatened to start open-ended sit and escalate protests if the ministry did not respond to their demands. Several hundred of the Ministry of Industry staff, in earlier times in central Baghdad and other provinces, to protest the non-payment of salaries
August 4, 2015

A wave of protests erupted electricity and other sectors, Worker Communist Party of Iraq

"protests against the corrupt ruling elite, throughout central and south eastern Iraq."

Babil, Iraq. Against corruption.

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 07:11

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 07:42

Meanwhile in the KRG...

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As we approach the end of the mandate of Barzani and no solution in sight, the main Kurdish factions have entered a phase of intensive negotiations.
Turkish airstrikes against the Kurdish PKK guerrillas in Iraqi Kurdistan have pressured the president of this region, Massoud Barzani, whose political future remains uncertain for two weeks from the end of his term. Aged 68, the leader of the Kurdistan Democratic Party (KDP) chairs the autonomous region of northern Iraq for ten years. His last term, extended for two years in 2013, will end on 19 August. Desiring to remain in power, Massoud Barzani claims to be a key element in the fight against jihadist Islamic State Group (EI), but other Iraqi Kurdish parties do not seem willing to leave the way open. "The KDP has asked us to extend the mandate of the president again but we rejected this request and we now need to find a solution," said Imad Ahmed, a member of the political bureau of the Patriotic Union of Kurdistan (PUK). Historic rival KDP, PUK underperformed the new party Gorran (Change), which has six more seats in the regional parliament. With Islamist groups, these parties control a total of 59 of the 111 seats in this body to elect the president. "In a stable democracy, they would vote for the end of the mandate of Barzani but we are not in this case," says Kirk Sowell, a political analyst based in Jordan and author of the newsletter "Inside Iraqi Politics "(At the heart of Iraqi politics). Massoud Barzani and his clan still hold key positions within the government that allow them to control among other intelligence services and the mainstream media.
Quote:
In this context, the campaign launched air strikes by Ankara against Kurdish rebel Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) last month Barzani placed in an uncomfortable position. Illegal in Turkey, the PKK operates long from the mountains of Iraqi Kurdistan but the recent rising tensions led Barzani to advise them to seek bases elsewhere. "These strikes come at a very bad time. Barzani is in an impossible position because ordinary Kurds all support the PKK and it can not be perceived as being against the party "M.Sowell judge. Meanwhile, the regional government and the KDP are inextricably linked to Turkey which has invested billions of dollars into the region. Iraqi Kurdistan also depends on the Turks to export its oil - virtually its only source of income - the port of Ceyhan. "The region as an economic colony of Turkey," said M.Sowell. Although internal rivals Barzani have tried to take advantage of its contradictions, the analyst Michael Knights of the Washington Institute think tank, said that the Kurdish parties are able to separate the different discussion topics.
Quote:
"The clash between Turkey and the PKK has been used by the PUK to criticize the Barzani clan but only tactically and opportunistic," he adds. The PUK and calls for consensus to settle the succession to the presidency in order not to add extra tension in a period of crisis. "Because of the PDK's stubborn refusal to answer our requests, it may not be a consensus," however warns the spokesman Gorran party Abdelrazak Ali. He added: "I think that when the mandate of Barzani will end, it will enter a phase of interim president until the Constitution is amended or that an early election would lead to his replacement."

The president of Iraqi Kurdistan under pressure

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 07:48

Lots of videos of the protests in Iraq

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 13:09
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The Kurdistan Parliament’s Speaker will take over the region’s presidency after Masoud Barzani’s current term ends on August 20, a Kurdish MP said on Friday.

Parliament Speaker to replace Barzani in case of political stalemate

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Soapy
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Aug 9 2015 17:37

Glad to see this.

Just my own thoughts for discussion's sake:

Hope for more developments/think any major protest movement in the region will have to organize themselves very cohesively to be able to resist repression. The US will certainly react to any liberal/leftist (and communist) protest movement with brutal force, as it did successfully in Bahrain and Egypt and in Iraq itself in 1991 (when the US encouraged a rebellion against Saddam and then allowed it to be brutally crushed, a bitter memory for the whole country according to Robert Fisk). A successful democratic movement in Iraq would be a sort of fiendish nightmare for the US foreign policy establishment as it would be naturally prone to Iranian influence. Plus the US didnt invade the goddamn country in 2003 to see it end up less compliant than it was!

If the movement sustains itself I think that military organization will be extremely important in order to avoid the shortfalls of the other Arab Spring uprisings (most notably Syria whose liberal/human rights oriented elements were effortlessly eliminated within the first few months). Again I have no control over the situation so any of my opinions are just pure mental wanking, still interesting to talk about?

redsdisease
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Aug 9 2015 17:57

I don't have anything to contribute, but I appreciate the updates Flint.

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 23:19

Baghdad 2 days ago, slogans are against shia and sunni sectarianism and for a secular state.

Baghdad: "Secularism, secularism - no to Sunni no to Shia"

A last video comes from the Kurdistan Secular Center facebook. Their general webpage is here

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Aug 9 2015 23:13

Nothing to add but would like to add my thanks to Flint for the updates! Very interesting development..

Flint
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Aug 9 2015 23:42
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Read Barzani's statement. Explicitly describes a constitutional crisis. Calls parliamentary majoritarianism a "coup-like mechanism".

Barzani also claims that the parliament's speaker, Gorran's Yousif Mohammed, has "lost all neutrality and credibility."

Barzani also says that 1st vote on amending the presidency law shows that the threat of provoking chaos and divide Kurdistan again is real.

Barzani says the "coup-like mechanism" of a majority vote "will not be accepted." Without consensus deal, early (unspecified) elections.

Issues w the call to early elex: impossible; type of elections are unspecified, though statement indicates Barzani means general election.

Barzani lacks absolute veto power. And on Aug 20 the parliamentary speaker becomes interim president automatically by operation of law law.

President lacks power to call early gen elex. So Kurdistan's body politic faces potential legitimacy crises over presidency and parliament.

Anyway, this has the makings of a serious mess, and the presidency expires in nine days.

Barzani's statement about Presidential expiration, Patrick Osgood, Kurdistan Bureau Chief, Iraq Oil Report.

Also,

Quote:
The Kurdistan Workers' Party (PKK) does not intend to make further attacks on the pipeline carrying oil from Iraq to Turkey's Ceyhan port.That was the message delivered by Zagros Hiwa, spokesperson for the PKK, who spoke to Iraq Oil Report in a series of phone and email interviews over the past week."I can assure everyone that HPG is not hostile against anything related to interests of our people in southern Kurdistan [Iraqi Kurdistan], and such attacks will not repeat," Hiwa said.

PKK does not intend to make further attacks on the pipeline carrying oil from Iraq to Turkey's Ceyhan port., Iraq Oil Report

Flint
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Aug 10 2015 03:12
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Free Iraq, Free Iran / Middle East From The Bloody Islam & Capitalism !!

"No Shiites, no Sunnis, secular society"
"Our religious system of plunder"
"Civility counter-terror and anti-dictatorship
"The anti-corruption and the murder of civility"

These are some of the slogans today in Baghdad was the accumulation of half a million people people.

Friday at 5 o'clock local boght badazohr about half a million people come from the hands of the rulers of the AB and bteng in Iraq, breaking the barrier of the armed forces in their field established written Baghdad rally.

This time, Ali Sistani and Shiite Islamic stream over the rest of the sarkarde the risk of feeling and of Haidar Ebadi urged the sooner to the status quo.

The Shiite and Sunni parties to any of the other Islamic factions and ethnic groups and at the House of میکوشند on Iraq, protests over the human right of people to ride. But the slogan of the million people
"No Shiites, no Sunnis, secular society"
"Our religious system of plunder"
"Civility counter-terror and anti-dictatorship
"The anti-corruption and the murder of civility" damaging shouts.

The demands and expectations of modern, secular, and the Iraqi people be human cities this cheat of no reactionary, religious and ethnic flows.

People attack the cities of Baghdad, Najaf, Nasiriyah, Karbala and correctly the whole amareh dismantled the ruling sign is gone. The half-million people rally in Baghdad following the Islamic rulers of the Earth and the foot
Far hotter

source

Flint
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Aug 10 2015 15:42

Mass protests shake Iraq, Hamid Alizadeh and Akram Nadir (Vice President of the FWCUI), Monday, 10 August 2015

Flint
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Aug 17 2015 05:24

Video President of FWCUI speaking at Tahriri Square in Baghdad

Would someone do a translated summary of the speech?

Flint
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Aug 17 2015 05:32

220 Volts on the protests last week in Iraq, part I, part II

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ocelot
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Aug 17 2015 16:04
Soapy wrote:
A successful democratic movement in Iraq would be a sort of fiendish nightmare for the US foreign policy establishment as it would be naturally prone to Iranian influence.

Actually the Iranian regime already has very strong influence, and has done for a number of years, in cahoots with corrupt, sectarian shia political parties and the al-Maliki regime and now the al-Ebadi one. Since the ISIS incursion of 2014 and the fall of Mosul, the Iraqi armed forces collapsed and what military capability now exists is openly run by Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general.

If anything, the Iranians would be likely to be more suspicious of and potentially more hostile to a democratic, proletarian upsurge, particularly one raising the secularist slogans of these demonstrations, than the Americans.

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Aug 18 2015 18:07
ocelot wrote:
Soapy wrote:
A successful democratic movement in Iraq would be a sort of fiendish nightmare for the US foreign policy establishment as it would be naturally prone to Iranian influence.

Actually the Iranian regime already has very strong influence, and has done for a number of years, in cahoots with corrupt, sectarian shia political parties and the al-Maliki regime and now the al-Ebadi one. Since the ISIS incursion of 2014 and the fall of Mosul, the Iraqi armed forces collapsed and what military capability now exists is openly run by Qassem Soleimani, an Iranian Revolutionary Guards general.

If anything, the Iranians would be likely to be more suspicious of and potentially more hostile to a democratic, proletarian upsurge, particularly one raising the secularist slogans of these demonstrations, than the Americans.

Yes I know about current Iranian influence. I was merely speculating that a new social movement could be co-opted even more so because Iran could build it from the ground up more aggressively. The current Iraqi government plays the US and Iran against each other afaics.

I agree that a truly democratic movement would be as much of a threat to Iran as it would to US, all the more reason it would need to be a juggernaut in terms of military capability.