Socialist Worker

Iraqis rise to stop the US’s plans to divide and rule

Issue No. 1966

Over 100,000 demonstrators took to the streets across Iraq last week to campaign against the US orchestrated constitution.

Those marching were overwhelmingly Shias protesting against the threatened break up of their country and the ongoing lack of electricity, oil and basic services.

One banner in Baghdad’s Sadr City read, “Iraq will remain without fuel, water and electricity as long as the occupation remains.” Another banner read, “Occupier, our oil is for us, not you!”

In towns such as Ramadi and Tikrit, Sunni Muslims also protested against the proposed constitution, shattering the myth that just one section of Iraqis opposes the US plan.

The US-approved constitution threatens to break Iraq into competing states battling for control of the country’s oil wealth. It is a recipe for civil war.

Jeremy Corbyn, the anti-war Labour MP, told Socialist Worker, “The experience of ­taking the troops into Iraq has led to the deaths of around 100,000 people.

“It has not brought more civilisation or freedom. The US and UK troops are the cause, not the solution, of many of Iraq’s problems.

“The troops must leave Iraq so that the Iraqi people are given the opportunity to decide their own future.”

Pressure is mounting inside the US to bring the troops home. Wes Hamilton served in Vietnam and is a member of United States Veterans for Peace. “The troops need to come home now. Any delay just means that more people die,” he told Socialist Worker.

“It only took a matter of days for the British and American troops to invade.

“Why can’t they withdraw at the same pace? Too many ­innocent people have died, American, British and Iraqi. This tragedy must end.”

Wes added, “This anti-war movement is a people’s movement. It is the working class people of our countries who are the victims.

“It is our taxes that pay for it and our sons and daughters who are sent to die — while the multinationals are gorging on profits from Iraq.

“They are currently building 14 military bases in Iraq, and they are spending billions of dollars in doing so.

“But they are not spending the money to rebuild the country, to allow the people to live in peace.

“Working people in America are waking up, they are becoming conscious of the truth about this war. And they will be out on the streets on the 24 September making their voices heard.”

Here in Britain Ghada Razuki from the Stop the War Coalition’s national office reports that support is swelling for the UK wide demonstration in London.

“There have been Stop the War activist meetings held in many parts of Britain in the past couple of weeks.

“Groups have been coming together to plan the best way to get as many people as possible out on 24 September.

“The atmosphere at these meetings leaves you in absolutely no doubt how important this demonstration is.

“The meetings have been big with lively discussions. The fact that Muslims in particular are being attacked by both the government and the media has really angered people.

“People are excited by the plans for 24 September. There will be three feeder marches from east, west and south London, all converging on one central area.

“This is an opportunity to show the word that we are still here and that it is time to bring the troops home.”

Demonstrate

Sat 24 September, 1pm central London
called by: Stop the War Coalition, CND, Muslim Association of Britain


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Sat 3 Sep 2005, 00:00 BST
Issue No. 1966
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