Thousands of Iraqis Commemorate Anti-Government Protests

Demonstrators demand transparent elections and reforms

Nationwide, but mostly in the capital city of Baghdad and the south, thousands of Iraqis took to the streets to both commemorate the one year anniversary of the anti-government protests, and to reiterate the demands that brought down multiple governments, and which they are still waiting on.

While many of the same demands are there, one big ultimatum was added, as the demonstrators gave the government until October 25 to prosecute those responsible for killing protesters the last time. An estimated 560 people were killed in attacks on the protesters, often by Shi’ite militias who saw them as threatening the political status quo.

Protesters wanted increased transparency, free elections, and a political system independent of US and Iranian influence. Between that and calls for general corruption reform, Iraq has been trading various interim governments, with hopes one will eventually last long enough to hold elections.

US and Iranian allies have struggled to co-exist, and neither side has been able to convince the protesters to put up with them. This has meant major moves to reform or plan elections are dangerous, and none have survived this to completion.

Author: Jason Ditz

Jason Ditz is news editor of Antiwar.com.