05 December 2020
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Iraqi Activists Seek to Draw One Million Protesters

Monday, 04 May 2020 01:47
Security forces block a bridge leading to Baghdad's green zone last October. AP file photo Security forces block a bridge leading to Baghdad's green zone last October. AP file photo
Baghdad - Fadhel al-Nashmi

Iraqi anti-government protesters are gearing up for a demonstration next week to press ahead with their demands despite the coronavirus outbreak.

Iraqi activists told Asharq Al-Awsat that the pandemic has lately had a negative impact on their street protests despite their many successes, including the resignation of Prime Minister Adel Abdul Mahdi and the parliament’s vote on an electoral law.

Protest groups in Baghdad, Babil and Nassiriyah are now calling for rallies to draw one million demonstrators next Tuesday. But the date is not final yet, said Iraqi activist Mohammed Salman.

“In the past few days, more activists began trickling to protest camps, in a sign that the intifada is ongoing,” he told Asharq Al-Awsat.

Iraqi Prime Minister-designate Mustafa al-Kadhimi is the byproduct of the current political system, he said when asked about the protest movement’s stance from him.

Kadhimi was nominated last month, the third person tapped to lead the country in just 10 weeks as it struggles to replace Abdul Mahdi’s government.

In March, former Prime Minister Iyad Allawi said that there can’t be stability in Iraq without meeting the demands of peaceful protesters, whose blood has been shed to change the course of events.

“They should be included in decision-making,” he said on Twitter, adding “suppression and killing will make things worse and would veer the political process from its track.”

Protesters in Babil have warned the local authorities and the police against removing their tents and concrete blocks in the governorate’s center.

“The response will be harsh if security forces tried to approach protest squares and remove the tents” under the excuse of the coronavirus, they said.

Source: Asharq Al-Awsat

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