February 25, 2011
Underneath are a few comments and statements I compiled, sent to me by different Iraqi persons. It’s necessary to counter the near total media blackout on Iraqi protests, that have been going on in every major Iraqi town the past weeks. These protests culminate today in a "National Day of Rage", organized by the heroic Iraqi youth. Spread the news. Let the world know what is happening in Iraq.
It is late at night or rather it is early Friday 25th February, 2011 - the day that all Iraqis chose to call The Great Day of Anger - it is the result of the slow rumblings of the Iraqi People's anger about the past 8 years of destruction, pillage and plunder, rape, and total catastrophe. The demonstrations will continue and will get larger.
The Iraqi People are demonstrating against corruption, absolute and abysmal poverty, unemployment, total lack of services, and occupation, and very importantly corruption - administrative and fiscal corruption ; they are also demonstrating demanding freedom and human dignity and the immediate expulsion of the Occupation. They are demonstrating for Iraq and have come together as Iraqis.
Yesterday's events started off with an amusing speech by Maliki asking people not to demonstrate on Friday! He described the demonstrators as "the enemies of freedom"! Any other day but Friday and he looked really frightened.
They have banned the press and closed streets in Baghdad.
It has been leaked that the General from Heet, General Nassir Alghanim, who has terrorised the people of Mosul has run away with 450 soldiers - we do not know their ranks. This news will be confirmed later.
In the meantime
Colonel Hameed Kadhim in the Minsitry of Interior - Director of Training of Police has resigned because he has refused to obey orders to beatup the demonstrators. In the meantime 6 anti riot units have sbeen stationed throughout Abu Nawwas and Tahrir Square and have been ordered to beat up the demonstrators. Also, the Meesan anti riot batallion which is made up of the Da'awa Party Militia has been brought in to Tahrir Square.
The authorities are going round house to house making people sign undertakings that they will not go out and demonstrate - regrettably some members of parliament in the Iraqiya block have also done this in the Anbar province as well as in A'adhamiya! ID Cards are being confiscated so that these young people are stopped at check points and barred from joining the demonstrations.
The Muthanna regiment has surrounded Abu Ghraib and raided houses as well as taken ID Cards from demonstration leaders in that area. It has also imposed a curfew there.
All vehichles have been banned from coming into central Baghdad as well as all TV vans which relay live! Firdaws Square has been closed up for reasons of repairs!
Muntathar Al - Zaidy has been arrested in A'adhamiya.
The Baghdadiya reporter, Meenas, was arrested by police dressed in civillian clothes in Tahrir Square - he was in the Square without his cameraman - among the demonstrators.
Government officials were caught in Baghdad airport before catching a plane with USD1.2 million and the money impounded.
A journalist friend of mine in Baghdad tells me that there is a chilling atmosphere in Baghdad and I quote:"The mood here is chilling. There is an obvious intimidation tactic applied here. I saw riot police practiciing today. maliki's speeches, sadr and sistani's statements. It's insane."
It is also reported that a great number of senior officials, ministers and members of parliament have left the country.
The Chairman of Baghdad Provincial Council has issued a ban on all slogans that state that the government and/or the Provincial Council Chairman and Members of Baghdad should go! As for the Basra Chairman of the Provincial Council, Shiltagh, he actually stated publicly at The Prophet's Birthday celebrations, to an audience of senior tribal leaders as well as religious persons, that Tunisian prostitutes are more honourable than the demosntrators whence a fight broke out - this was recorded by all the media including satellite stations!"
Pray for Iraq!
Muntathar Al Zaidy’s brother’s message:
To the great young people of Iraq,
In the afternoon today 24/02/2011 mercenaries of al-Maliki arrested my own brothers Muntathar Al Zaidy and Dhergham Al Zaidy in the hope of sabotaging the demonstration.
As they have done with me when they tortured me and broke my foot only a couple of weeks ago. But they are stupid because they cannot understand that this revolution has not one leader or a president. If they wish to arrest all the leaders of this blessed Intifadha, then they need to arrest one million from our youth.
We would like to say to the enemies that Lt. Gen. Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi, Muntathar, Uday and Dhargam Al Zaidy and the rest of our youths are only the advocates for the Iraqi people. The majority of Iraqis are on our side as we hold the occupation government responsible for their safety and welfare until they are released, and tomorrow will raise a banner demanding the release of all detainees, including our mentioned brothers. So my brothers and sisters, do not let these events affect your determination and motivation to turn up bright and early to our demonstration tomorrow 25th Feb 2011.i
We have divided the preparatory Committee members to several sub committees, including ..
1. Security Committee and its mission to maintain the security of the demonstration, in collaboration with the good people of our brothers in the army and police to stop the agence provocateur in their tacks from lurking in our midst and sabotaging our mission. These agents will no doubt be planted by the government and some of the opportunist political parties.
2. Media Committee : our aim is to discreetly record and send photos and video clips via the Internet and monitor violations by the security services.
3. The Stewarding Committee: Its mission is ensure an orderly protest and chanting slogans. It will prevent any lifting of a politically motivated banner or any sectarianism and racism on the banners. Only Iraqi flags and banners agreed in the Preparatory Committee, calling for the exit of the occupiers and their stooges.
4. Medical Committee, which consists of four volunteer doctors and three medical assistants, its mission is to treat the sick and the wounded if we come under attack or in case of an emergency God forbid ..
We call upon our brothers and sisters the demonstrators to stay away as much as possible the security services and to avoid causing any friction with them whatever they do and however provocatively they may behave.
Beware of any unidentifiable objects you might come across, just inform the nearest steward about it.
Long live Iraq, free and united
Long live our dignified mighty people,
May peace and God's mercy and blessings be upon you
APPEAL NO (1) TO THE HEROIC DEMONSTRATORS
We call upon all the organizers of demonstrations to make emergency backup plans in case Iraq’s enemies move to steal and plunder The National Museum and the National Library
They should organize groups of young men and women to provide protection for the important sites which include the National Museum, all ministries as well as all service institutions, hospitals, universities and schools etc
A special government force arrested Lt. Gen. Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi, director of the individuals in the current Department of Defense on Wednesday morning (today) due to his resignation and giving up his rank and joining the crowds of demonstrators protesting the incomplete current government.
A media source in the province of Baghdad stated, "A force in the Baghdad Operations Command raided this morning, the home of director of personnel in the Ministry of Defense General Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi in Jadriya in central Baghdad, and arrested him without a judicial arrest warrant. "
The source added, "The security force took away General Abdul Aziz,to an unknown destination. "
The director of the Department of Personnel in the Ministry of Defense General Abdul Aziz al-Kubaisi presented on Tuesday, his resignation via Al Sharquiya satellite TV station, and his Declaration of support for the demonstrators. He also accused the current government of corruption and sectarianism.
A spokesman for Baghdad operations, Maj. Gen. Qassim Atta, said he would prevent vehicles from surrounding areas in Tahrir Square, in a move to block the arrival of the demonstrators to it on Friday February 25.
As well as cars were banned, journalists from television were prevented coverage of the protests in Tahrir Square.
The spokesman for Baghdad operations "will prevent the traffic of surrounding areas for the Tahrir Square on Friday, as well as preventing cars of direct broadcast so as 'not to impede the movement' of demonstrators."
Sources from the security agencies and intelligence services had two days ago given warning to the owners of the buildings surrounding Tahrir Square of the consequences of allowing photographers and journalists from getting to the rooftops and took their written pledges, in an attempt to prevent a wide media coverage of the event, on Friday, 25 February.
Urgent appeal, investigate the crimes and bring the perpetrators to justice
In Sulaymaniyah: murder of a young man Rizwan Ali (17 years) and another aged 14 died of his wounds Thursday 17/02/2011 by the security forces and militia belonging to the Kurdish parties in the Seraiy Square- Sulaymaniyah during a peaceful protest carried out mainly by young people.
2 - Kidnapping of activist Uday Al Zaidi on 2/14/2011 By Interior Ministry forces and the arrest of his colleagues during a peaceful licensed demonstration in Firdous Square in central Baghdad. He was tortured and his limbs were broken to prevent him from future participation in peaceful demonstrations called by the popular movement to save Iraq.
3 - The killing of three protesters and wounding 55 others in the city of Kut in southern Iraq on 16 February where a peaceful demonstration protesting the lack of public services and corruption, was confronted with firearms and live ammunition.
4 - the death of journalist Riad al-Rubaie in the middle of a peaceful demonstration of youth on 20 February, at Tahrir Square after being severely beaten by the police under the eyes of his fellow protesters.
5 – Security forces in civilian clothes raided the sit in Tahrir Square in central Baghdad at dawn on February 21 and attacked the protesters with sharp implements and blades resulted, killing one person and seriously injuring nine others. The wounded protesters said the security forces asked them to leave the arena. After midnight, the security forces withdrew from the arena to make way for about sixty men armed with spears, sticks and electric batons to attack the camp. They raided the camp and burned down the sit-in tent.
In a desperate attempt by the authorities of the Green Zone to intimidate the young protesters and dissuade them from demonstrating on Friday in Tahrir Square, They have since yesterday been warning of all government forces under item (c), and had recalled all licensees of such forces immediately back to their units and the deployment of tanks at intersections and entrances to neighbourhoods and bridges and carry out policing and to force pledges from employees and citizens in residential neighbourhoods, of non-participation in legitimate peaceful protests. The government’s supporters are also attempting to sabotage the protests by watering down the demands and/or steering them to a partisan/religious line and/or agendas. These demonstrations are totally independent of any political current, organised mainly by Iraqi youth and expressing popular demands and sentiments. The government’s insidious plans to sabotage or suppress the protests are a clear indication of their own fear of the Iraqi youth’s power and determination. It is an indication of that Iraqi people’s hour of reckoning, with this political system is drawing near.