Take to the streets, internet groups urge Iraqis

Friday, February 25, 2011

BAGHDAD - Internet groups on Facebook have urged Iraqis to take to streets Friday to “end corruption and sectarianism in Iraq”. The call has come exactly a month after the uprising began in Egypt that ended the nearly 31-year rule of Hosni Mubarak.

A post on a Facebook page said that “February 25 is the Iraqi Day of Rage for change, an end to corruption and sectarianism in Iraq”.

The page titled “February 25 Iraq Day of Rage” said: “Dozens of small-scale demonstrations have taken place across the country since early February, mainly centered on the chronic lack of electricity and widespread corruption. Numerous internet groups have urged Iraqis to take to the streets on February 25 for a ‘Revolution of Iraqi Rage,’ one month after the `Day of Rage’ in Egypt that ultimately led to the ousting of Hosni Mubarak from the presidency.”

Iraq was preparing to see protests Friday after the people were exhorted by internet postings that referred to the successful uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.

Another internet posting sought that “the voice of freedom be heard in all of Baghdad’s streets and let’s take a lesson from Egypt, Tunisia and Libya”.

It was not clear whether those calling for the protests on the internet were based within Iraq or outside of it.

Iraqi cities, including capital Baghdad and Kirkuk, centre of Iraq’s of oil industry, have seen stray protests recently. The protesters had taken heart from the unrest sweeping across the Arab world.

The protesters, however, are not demanding that Iraqi Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki step down. Instead, they want an end to corruption, acute shortage of electricity and water, and lack of employment.

The prime minister has advised people not to participate in the “day of rage” protests, according to media.

The protests in Iraq gained momentum after mass demonstrations forced Hosni Mubarak to step down after 30 years in power as the Egyptian president Feb 11, and one month after demonstrators across the border in Tunisia toppled their longtime leader, Zine el-Abidine Ben Ali. The unrest has now spread to Yemen, Algeria and Bahrain.

Filed under: Politics

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