Officials Hope to Sequester Protesters in Soccer Stadiums
Protesters took to the streets of Iraq again today, demanding the same reforms that have become common cause across the Arab world. But while most nations have chosen violence or empty promises (both of which the Maliki government has dabbled in) to answer these demands, Iraq is also taking a very American idea.
On Wednesday the government announced a ban on protests in the capital city of Baghdad, saying that street vendors had complained it was hurting business. The answer was to sequester protesters into specially designated free speech zones.
The US began using “free speech areas” to move political dissent away from public view, nominally for security reasons, and became extremely common starting in 2004, when both major party conventions herded protesters into cages that were officially acceptable areas in which to protest.
The notion of doing so in Baghdad was mocked by protesters, who insisted that herding them all into soccer stadiums was absurd. Protesters continued to march in the streets instead, and no reports indicate any protesters showed up at the stadiums.
Which makes the stadium owners happy, as they were concerned that if thousands of protesters were forced to march on a soccer field it would damage the pitch and make future games difficult to play.
Last 5 posts by Jason Ditz
- Centcom Report Claims Only 14 Civilians Killed in US Strikes Over Past Year - July 28th, 2016
- Syria's Nusra Front Says Cutting Ties With al-Qaeda To Avoid Attacks - July 28th, 2016
- 19 Killed as Local Forces Attack Army in Libya's Benghazi - July 28th, 2016
- US Spy Chief: Too Soon to Blame Russians for DNC Hack - July 28th, 2016
- US Agriculture Secretary: Trump's Russia Comments Could Be a Felony - July 28th, 2016