Freitag, 24.01.2020 / 18:42 Uhr

Kein Million-Man-March

Thomas von der Osten-Sacken

(Bildquelle: Press TV)


Für den heutigen Freitag hatte Muqtada al Sadr für einen Millionen-Mann-Masch gegen amerikanische Präsenz im Irak aufgerufen. Alle wichtigen schiitischen Parteien und Milizen unterstützen den Aufruf. Nicht so die Protestbewegung auf dem Tahrir Platz, die den Sinn der ganzen Veranstaltung sehr genau durchschauen zu scheint: Als Versuch des politischen Establishments im Irak und seiner iranischen Paten die  weit verbreitete Wut und Frustration auf die USA (und Israel) zu lenken. Früher hätte das vielleicht sogar geklappt, es kamen zwar trotzdem hunderttausende, aber eben nicht mehr.

The march, which was kept separate from the protest camps in Tahrir Square, attracted far fewer than the “million” protesters Sadr had hoped to mobilize. (...)

The young pro-democracy protesters occupying Tahrir Square, however, say they remain committed to their original demands for jobs, public services, and an end to corruption, the rejection of the Shiite political establishment, and all foreign interference. 

“Our protests are the real one, as it is also the biggest peaceful protests and event in the modern history of Iraq since 2003"

Camped out on Muhammad al-Qasim Highway Bridge, Mustafa, 26, told Rudaw English on Friday he and other protesters did not participate in the anti-US demonstration because it was backed by political interests.

“Hundreds of protesters have been killed since October 2019, but Sadr and his supporters did not organize million-person rallies for the sake of the martyrs,” Mustafa said. 

“Today the Sadr rallies were all chanting and supporting a specific issue and did not chant or storm the streets for the rights of the people, or against corruption. It was political.” (...)

Ahmed, 38, an activist in Tahrir Square, told Rudaw English on Friday that the biggest peaceful protest in Iraq since 2003 is the Tahrir Square movement.

“Our protests are the real one, as it is also the biggest peaceful protests and event in the modern history of Iraq since 2003,” Ahmed said. 

“They are rallying against the US presence in Iraq, but we are protesting against the entire presence of foreign troops in our country.”

“There are some political parties in Iraq that represent a more dangerous invader in the country,” Ahmed added, referring to the Shiite political parties who foster close ties with Iran.

The Tahrir Square protesters have been vocal about their opposition to Iranian influence over Iraq’s political and civic life.

Protesters have targeted the headquarters of Iraq’s Shiite political parties, pro-Iran militias, and Iranian consulates, accusing Iraq’s eastern neighbor of interfering in its domestic affairs.