Iraqis launch sit-ins at US military bases across Iraq this Saturday April 9
While there has been wide coverage in US media about the protests in Egypt, Tunisia, Syria, Yemen, Libya, and elsewhere, less has been reported on the uprsings by ordinary people in Iraq who are protesting the ongoing US occupation and the corrupt regime it supports. As in other countries, Iraqi protesters have been met with violent crack-downs from the US-backed government, but protesters vow to continue until their demands are met.
Our friends at the War Resisters League have been following events closely there and share this report and call to action.
Since February 25th, Iraqis - fueled by the air of audacity sweeping their region - have been organizing weekly protests against government corruption, lack of public services, and for the release of thousands of Iraqis who they say have been arbitrarily imprisoned by the government. (Read more here on the growing protest movement in Iraq.)
This Saturday, April 9th, 8 civil society organizations have planned 'The Day of Salvation' - open-ended sit-ins in front of US military bases all over Iraq. They plan to continue the protests until 'the occupier and its agents leave.'
Among the Iraq protest organizers is Muntazer al-Zaidi, the famed Bush shoe-thrower, who helps lead an organization called, The Popular Movement to Save Iraq.
They vow that April 9th wll launch a long-term sit-in across Iraq that will continue until their demands are met. They are planning to set up tents in front of US military bases in every Iraqi province. In total, these bases house 50,000 combat-ready US troops and 75,000 private contractors.
The Status of Forces Agreement (SOFA), signed by George W. Bush and the Iraqi government in late 2008, pushed for making 54 major US bases in Iraq permanent, while also announcing a full withdrawal of US 'combat forces' by the end of 2011. As recently as January 31, 2011, Senator Kerry, chairmain of the Committee on Foreigh Relations, has opened the possibility of getting the Iraqi government to sign a new security agreement delaying US withdrawal, while Vice President Joe Biden has recently implied that US troops may need to stay on to 'help train Iraqis.'
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