For weeks, protests have swept Basra and many southern Iraqi cities demanding job opportunities, better public services like water and electricity, and an end to government corruption and wholesale theft of public wealth. The Islamic government and its militias instead of responding to the protesters demands, have lunched a barbaric campaign to suppress and silence people by using sever forms of violence such as killing, kidnapping, assassinate the protestors. This should be stopped immediately.
Basra, in particular, has witnessed ongoing protests since July 8th, 2018, however with growing frustration over total disregard for the just demands of the residents of this city by the government and ruling Islamic parties, protests have escalated in last several days. The residents of this city which is extremely rich in natural resources live in miserable conditions marked by frequent electricity outrages during the blistering hot summer where temperature often reaches above 50 degrees, undrinkable running water due to high level of salt, lack of jobs and most basic governmental services, crumbling infrastructure, extreme poverty and lack of freedoms and individual liberties.
The Islamic parties polarized to pro-Iran vs pro-USA camps are trying to hijack these protests for their own agendas and to use them against each other in their struggle over the formation of the new government in Iraq.
At the same time, the Iraqi government and Islamic forces in the city are racing against the time to quell the peaceful mass uprising in Basra realizing the danger of spreading to the other parts of the country and the whole region.
The tricks adopted by the Islamic parties and the government security forces are those same tricks used to quell uprising of masses of people in other countries in the region in spring of 2011. They have used live ammunition against peaceful protests. So far at least 10 protestors have been shot dead and dozens injured. They have kidnapped and tortured large number of activists. They have even resorted to polluting the water which resulted in poisoning thousands of residents of this city.
More dangerously, it is now obvious that these forces will not save any effort to build the case for violent crackdown on these peaceful demonstrations for just and basic demands. They are perpetrating acts of violence like torching public buildings through their special well -organized groups embedded among protestors in attempt to provide an excuse for a brutal crackdown on protestors.
However, the protests in Basra have entered a new phase as they have spread from public spaces and squares in the downtown city to suburbs and places of residence. Protestors are engaging in direct confrontation with security forces to protect themselves after these forces have resorted to all forms of violence including killing protestors, mass arrests, assassinations and kidnappings.
We call on all progressive and labour organizations and freedom loving people worldwide to support the uprising of the masses of people in Basra and exert pressure on the government and ruling forces in Iraq and prevent them from perpetrating violence against peaceful demonstrations.
We should unify our forces inside Iraq and worldwide to stop the Islamic militias unprecedented barbaric action against the demonstrators. The militias should end immediately terrorising protestors; kidnapping them, assassinating and killing them.
Worker-communist Party of Iraq E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org Mobile: 004791114116 www.wpiraq.net
9th September 2018