Friday, 25 February 2011

Ice ball starts to roll

Friday's protests ended and no insurgent attacks, whether by bombs or missiles or explosive vests, took place either in Baghdad or other cities as the government warned. Also there was no sign that Saddam Hussein's Baath Party or Al-Qaida in Iraq were behind them.

But instead, the government forces was the only threat to the protesters by opening fire, killing at least a dozen and injuring dozens others.

All those who took to the streets are normal Iraqis who are really suffering from the rampant corruption, unemployment and lack of basic public services since the 2003 U.S.-led invasion. As there were educated people among the protesters, illiterate people were also there.

People were from all walks and of different ages from primary schools students who came with their parents to elderly. There were some who were in western style casual clothing with men wore the traditional dress Dishdasha and women in Abaya, a loose, black cloak that conservative Muslim women wear.

Today's protests showed how the theme of protesting is being developed in the minds of Iraqis from all backgrounds.Unlike all other demonstrations Iraq has witnessed since 2003, there was for the first time a significant role for the NGOs and youth of Facebook, Twitter and blogs.

The protests also showed how the religious leaders and tribesmen are hypocrite when decided to support the government to foil the protests by discouraging those who wanted to take part.

The demos also showed how the government is weak and terrified from the people when pushed thousands of security forces to seal off the roads, mainly the bridge that leads to the already heavily fortified Green Zone when erected tall concrete blast walls.

None of the government officials dared to show up before the demonstrators, but instead they only talked to State-run TV Al-Iraqia or other channels related to their political parties by the phone from their offices. One or two officials in western suites were seen flanked by security forces watching the protesters at Baghdad's Tahrir Square from the roofs of the nearby buildings.

It is right that today's protests ended on the ground, but they are still live inside the protesters. What we witnessed today was only a small ice ball that just started to roll and it will get bigger day after day.