The people of Basra and Baghdad will be joining next month’s global protest against the US and British occupation of Iraq.
From British occupied Basra, Faraj Rabat Mizbhan of the independent Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions is urging trade unionists, peace activists and opponents of the occupation to demonstrate in their tens of thousands across the world on 18 March.
“We are indebted to the people who have raised their voices against the occupation of our country – whether they are British, Americans, Russians or from anywhere across the globe,” he told Socialist Worker from Basra.
“By opposing this war, and opposing this occupation you are standing by the Iraqis who have to endure the terror of occupation.
“You are standing up for our right to independence, our freedom from the thieves who have descended on our country.
“People in Britain will have seen the film of British soldiers savagely beating the four lads in Ammara.
“This is the reality of the occupation. Carry this image in your minds when you demonstrate. This is what we are struggling against.”
Demonstrations called in Baghdad and Basra on Friday 17 March are backed by the Al-Sadr Movement, the Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions and the Iraqi National Foundation Conference.
The Iraqi Federation of Oil Unions represents thousands of oil workers across the country. The union has campaigned against the privatisation of Iraqi industry.
The Iraqi National Foundation Conference represents Shia and Sunni opponents to the occupation.
Muqtada al-Sadr has repeatedly demanded an end to the occupation. He led two uprisings against the US in 2004. His party has the largest number of MPs in the Iraqi parliament.
An activist assembly at the World Social Forum in Venezuela in January also backed the global protest.
Lindsey German, national convenor of the Stop the War Coalition, says, “Tony Blair tells us that we are there to protect the Iraqi people and help them build democracy.
“In reality all opinion polls show the Iraqi people want the troops to leave. With thousands of Iraqis set to take to the streets demanding troops out, his lies will be well and truly exposed.”
From London to Jakarta, Baghdad to Madrid, Florida to Santiago millions will take to the streets around 18 March to demonstrate against the occupation of Iraq, and threats of war on Iran. Join them.
Demo on 18 March
Troops home | Don’t attack Iran
12 noon, Parliament Square, central London