BAGHDAD, March 7 (KUNA) -- Iraqi cyber activists plan demonstrations in the
Iraqi capital on Monday on the first anniversary of post-liberation elections
challenging legitimacy of the political leadership.
The activists have called for the public protests via the widely-viewed
Internet sites, namely Twitter and Facebook, saying Monday would be "the day
of repent" for participating in the elections, vowing to oust the current
government. "We will uproot what have planted with our hands," one of the
activists slogans said.
The youth are organized in new groups, named "Iraq without restrictions,"
"the free revolutionary forum," "no to silence," "we want the truth," "Baghdad
won't be Qandahar," and the "blue revolution."
They have urged citizens desiring to take part in the protests to paint
their fingers red to symbolize regret for taking part in the elections.
The youth, mostly use the internet for organization and mobilization, like
many of the politically active young people in other Arab countries nowadays,
said they desired no violent clashes with the government security forces. And,
the official government spokesman, Major General Ali Al-Dabbagh, said in a
statement, broadcast by the semi-official television station, that Monday
would be a regular day of work and that the government departments would not
Among the issues to be raised by the protesters would be the reported
government clampdown on the local Communist party. Police had sealed off
buildings housing offices of the left-wing party and its newspaper, "Sawt
Al-Shaab" on the Baghdad street of Andalus, demanding that activists evacuate
the offices in 24 hours.
Mufid Al-Jazaeri, a member of the party politburo, said the offices had
been rented in a legal manner, and accused the government of Nouri Al-Maliki
of being behind the action in retaliation for the party's role in organizing
recent and planned protests against his leadership.
"If we establish that this issue is politicized, it will constitute a very
alarming indication regarding the respect for the rights and the democratic
freedoms," he said.
Sources familiar with the issue said President Jalal Al-Talabani tried to
persuade the government to delay the evacuation of the buildings of the party,
but the latter insisted that the government must give back headquarters,
confiscated during the era of the ousted Baath regime of the executed dictator
Similar action was taken another party, the Iraqi Umma Party of Methal
Al-Allousi, who told KUNA that the government sought to punish its activists
for taking part in recent demonstrations. He vowed that the party would take
part in the Monday protest, saying, "It will certainly be the demonstration of
the day of regret." (end)
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