Iraqi Forces Block Growing Protest Marches From Reaching Green Zone

Bloggers Calling for Egypt-Style Protests Across Iraq

by Jason Ditz, February 11, 2011

It is perhaps the one nation in the Middle East no one expected to have a “next Egypt” problem. Still occupied by the United States, with a freshly installed US-approved government, it seemed a bit early for Iraqis to be having tyrant fatigue, and with the massive violence from the US occupation still far from dying down, peaceful protests seemed simply too dangerous to be possible.

Yet Iraqis have proven more upset with the current state of affairs than anyone thought, with growing protest marches and the typical violent regime crackdowns already springing up in earnest.

Indeed, Iraq’s military was out in force at the Green Zone, the center of Baghdad government, today, stopping a protest march from entering the restricted area. Reports said the protesters demands were, as is typical of the region, more jobs and a less corrupt government.

Meanwhile, bloggers are using Facebook to try to organize a full on uprising, citing the 1920 uprising against British rule and asking “what kind of a democracy is it where peaceful protesters are met with live fire.” The answer, of course, is the kind of governments which have passed themselves off as US-backed “democracies” in the region for years.

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