Demonstrations in Iraq, is it a march towards change or a quest for reform?
Hundreds of Iraqis went out in massive demonstrations in several Iraqi provinces in protest against the political crisis the country is witnessing, calling for a resolution to form the government and get out of the political blockage that took the country to an ominous slope. Nevertheless, unfortunately, decisions are issued and disrupted, and the victim is the citizen who tasted both. In this report, the demonstrations that were monitored by the monitoring team during the first half of May 2022 will be reviewed.
Far from the government's interest, contract workers are facing the specter of poverty, and they call on the government to take a serious stance toward their suffering.
In response to the call of the coordinators of the lecturers and administrators segment in Al-Diwaniyah Governorate, and under the slogan (rights are taken and not given), dozens of citizens went out on Tuesday morning, corresponding to (10/5/2022) in a peaceful demonstration to demand their rights, where the demonstrators staged a
sit-in in front of the building of the Directorate of Education in Diwaniyah The sit-in tents were erected, renewing their demands to include and implement the provisions of Resolution (315) issued by the Council of Ministers in 2019
Show a group of young protesters
Teachers’ Syndicate statement in support of protesters ' demands
providing for legal, financial and organizational treatment of workers as contract and daily wages in all ministries of the state. Whereas the Iraqi Council of Ministers, by its Resolution No. (315) of 2019, granted great privileges to workers with daily wages and contracts, similar to the employees of the permanent worker, as it was decided to include them with (allocations of land plots, loans, sponsorship, training courses, bonuses, and other privileges).
In a precedent, a lecturer attempted to commit suicide by burning himself (with gasoline) in front of Diwaniya education as an expression of his indignation at the disregard of the local and central governments for his demands and the deteriorating economic conditions, which are in constant deterioration and the pressures of life. At the government level, no official statement was issued regarding the demands of the demonstrators, but some of the independent deputies, such as MP Nazem Shibli and MP Mohammed Nouri from Diwaniya province, declared their support for the legitimate demands of the demonstrators; they said and called on the government to respond to the demands of the demonstrators and also submitted a request to the presidency of the Finance Committee to demand the addition of lecturers on the food security and emergency Development Law.
In a statement dated (10/5/2022), the Teachers’ Syndicate/branch of Diwaniya announced their full support for a segment of lecturers and administrators in their demands to obtain their rights. It stressed the intensification of efforts at all levels to support lecturers. With the support of the teachers union, the demonstration continued and turned into an open sit-in, where they announced
the continuation of their sit-in until the demands were met. The media did not receive any attention, as the presence of any media channels in the demonstration was not monitored. However, the demonstration was broadcast on social media. The role of the security forces was limited to protecting peaceful assembly. The security forces dealt with the demonstrators professionally, facilitating the movement of peaceful assemblies by closing the streets, redirecting traffic, and protecting the assembly from any harassment. Also, the head of the Diwaniya Governorate Police and installations Major General - Mohammed Kazem al - zarkani-met with some protesters to listen to their demands and stressed that the security forces ensure complete protection of the demonstrators.
Pictures of demonstrators in Al-Muthanna Governorate, calling for their appointment to the permanent teachers
Lecturers but for free? A label given by teachers and teaching staff demonstrating education officials against themselves because they offer free lectures without paying any financial dues, to the extent that it has become a label used within the contexts of Iraqi education. Expressing their discontent with the prevailing conditions, the accessible lecturers in Al-Muthanna governorate called extensively through social networking sites, especially Facebook, for a large sit-in to achieve their demands. The demonstration started on Tuesday, May 10-2022, near the governorate in the Muthanna Center, with hundreds of protestors gathering.
The implementation of Resolution 315 has become a popular demand by the demonstrators, and it represents a lifeline and a means to confront the specter of high prices in Iraq.
The assembly of lecturers began near the governorate building in
Al-Muthanna, and then the demonstration culminated peacefully from the governorate building to the Directorate of Education in Samawah, near
Al-Muthanna University. Where
Where the lecturers raise banners containing their demands summarized mainly by fixing them as permanent staff to ensure for a living, which has become one of the priorities of the Iraqi citizen, especially after the deterioration of the living conditions of the lecturers even though they hold a solid degree represented by a diploma, a bachelor’s or a master’s degree and amid the constant high prices.
The presence of security forces during demonstrations
As an escalation by the demonstrators and to pressure the government to respond to the demonstrators' demands, they closed the doors of the Muthanna Education Department. One of the demonstrators - Ali Al-Yasiri - stated that the sit-in continued. Moreover, that since today it is forbidden to enter the Muthanna Education Department and that it is closed by the force of the demonstrators until the demands are achieved. While Abdullah Al-Asadi, one of the protesting lecturers, indicated that they are going out today in agreement with the lecturers in the rest of the governorates to demand their rights. He also expressed his surprise at the weak position of the Director of Education and his failure to participate in the demonstration as a kind of support for the demonstrators.
The demonstrators stated in front of the broadcasting channels that they had given the government a period of one month to implement their demands. Otherwise, there would be a greater escalation on the part of the demonstrators. As for the government, there was no statement or statement by the education in Muthanna. On the other hand, a number of deputies supported the demands of the demonstrators, including Representative - Abdel Abbas Al-Abassi, who met the demonstrators and confirmed his support for the demonstrators' demands. It is noteworthy that the sit-in is still continuing in front of the Department of Education until writing this report.
Security: No kind of violence was observed by the security forces, but the demonstration was launched peacefully and the security forces dealt professionally with the demonstrators.
Shows a side of the demonstrations in support of Representative Basem Khashan
Shows another aspect of the demonstrations in Muthanna province
In the same way and under the slogan #Hallbousi’s hammer insulted democracy in Iraq# The demonstration came out in support of the Representative - Basem Khashan . In response to the calls made by activists and clan elders in Muthanna on social media. In denunciation of the position taken by the Speaker of the Iraqi Council of Representatives in the last session of the exclusion of the Representative - Basem Khashan - from membership in any of the Parliament’s committees, as well as preventing him from interfering during the first legislative period. In support of Representative - Khashan - hundreds of supporters came out peacefully to express their condemnation of the handling of the Speaker of Parliament, in addition to calling for his dismissal as he had violated the legal articles of Parliament by restricting the freedom of the Representative - in the name of Khashan - in interfering and preventing him from being a member
of any of the Parliament’s committees Parliamentary. There was no government statement, response, or statement in this regard. In terms of security, no violations were observed by the security forces. On the contrary, the security forces adhered to their neutrality and professionalism in dealing with the demonstrators. As for the media, many channels covered the demonstration in addition to broadcasting the demonstration via social media.
The reasons for the demonstrations / the demands of the demonstrators
By reviewing the demonstrations and events in several Iraqi governorates, the most prominent reasons that led to the start of the demonstrations can be reviewed as follows:
Notes on the security authorities' handling of gatherings:
It can be said that the demonstrations were generally peaceful and focused on improving the economic conditions, and this reflects the dire reality of the economic conditions the country is going through.
Security: The security forces' professionalism in dealing with the demonstrators, in general, has been monitored, as it can be considered a positive indicator of the security institutions' dealing with the demonstrators and their demands.