The one-year anniversary of some of the last major protests in Baghdad saw thousands take to the streets in Tahrir Square, insisting that their demands are still generally unmet after all this time, and that the promises which were supposed to placate them generally didn’t pan out.
As with the last protests, the government sought to handle this rally by sending police out en masse to fire tear gas and put up barricades. Past history suggests this will not work, and will just rile up more people.
The demands have been straightforward for the protesters, who want a break form historic corruption, and free elections in which the candidates are loyal to the Iraqi voters first and foremost, instead of being aligned to either the US or Iran.
This has downed several internal governments, which haven’t been able to get the election laws ready, keep protesters placated, and avoid anger from either the US or the Iranians. Navigating all of that is a lot of work for the election, though the current government has expressed confidence that a June vote will take place.
Reprinted with permission from Antiwar.com.