Socialist Worker

Iraqi oil workers’ leader given ovation at Stop the War conference

Hassan Jumaa Awad, the president of the General Union of Oil Employees in Basra, Iraq, received a standing ovation from the conference. Here is an extract from his speech

Issue No. 1939

I would like to salute you. Your activities here are hidden from the Iraqi people. I have been amazed since arriving in Britain how many young people in particular are active in the anti-war movement.

I come from country where people are being raped. I was very moved when I heard the families of the British soldiers speak. The people of Iraq are suffering thousands of casualties from the British and US forces.

The excuse was to liberate Iraq. But while Saddam used to come and arrest us at night, the US army comes to arrest us during the day. This is a 'democracy' built on destruction.

Anyone who opposes the US is seen as a terrorist. The Americans are attacking people who are defending their own lives, wealth and proper.

The US is intending to stay a long time - to privatise the oil industry, the economy and to run Iraq. They came for the sake of oil, not just in Iraq, but for control of the entire Gulf.

The US's Paul Bremer passed a law that prevents the formation of trade unions and even public gatherings.

Iraqis decided to organise themselves and resist within a month of the occupation. So now the US has destroyed the uprising in Sadr City. They have destroyed the uprising in Najaf. They have destroyed the uprising in Fallujah.

They want to hold us down with weapons. But we will resist until the last drop of our blood, until all the foreign troops have left Iraq. We appeal to you to support the popular resistance who are trying their best to get rid of the occupation. We appeal to you to support democratic rights in Iraq.


Click here to subscribe to our daily morning email newsletter 'Breakfast in red'

Mobile users! Don't forget to add Socialist Worker to your home screen.