Defying Repression, Protesters Seek to Change Iraq’s Post-Saddam Political Order

A protester flashes the victory sign overlooking a huge anti-government rally in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 31, 2019 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
A protester flashes the victory sign overlooking a huge anti-government rally in Tahrir Square, Baghdad, Iraq, Oct. 31, 2019 (AP photo by Hadi Mizban).
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“There was no order to kill, yet throughout the country protesters were shot in the head?” one activist in Baghdad exclaimed, incredulous. “How do you explain that?” A bloody crackdown on anti-government protests in Iraq has killed more than 275 demonstrators and wounded 11,000 people in recent weeks, and the death toll keeps rising. In the face of the government’s ruthlessness, the continued determination of protesters represents a turning point in Iraq’s post-2003 political order. Diverse segments of the Iraqi population—including elementary and middle-school students, oil workers in Iraq’s southern provinces and trade unions—have mobilized to join the young, mostly […]

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