Residents of Rusafa district in Baghdad
demonstrate over poor services
Residents of Rusafa district in Baghdad demonstrated on Friday, 4th September 2009 in Firdos Square, calling for the provision of services and for holding the Baghdad Provincial Council accountable for what it has provided to the residents over the past six months since its formation. The demonstrators included people from various areas in the district, including: the streets of Rashid, Kifah, Nedal and Palestine, and the suburbs of Bab Al-Sharqi, Karrada, Kamp Sarah and Baladiyat.
The demonstration was led by Rusafa al-'Ulah (First) district organisation of the Iraqi Communist Party. Participants chanted slogans, and a statement stipulating their demands (see text below) was read out and distributed. There was a heavy presence of youth, and the event was covered by the media. Among the demands was the elimination of unemployment and providing job opportunities.
The following are excerpts of the statement addressed to the Baghdad Provincial Council:
"Our country is today undergoing a transition phase that is extremely complicated and difficult. Political, economic, social and cultural processes interact to determine the characteristics of this phase. The tasks of of national liberation and the removal of the legacy of occupation intertwine with the operations of eliminating the vestiges of dictatorship and negative aspects of the recent period. This combined with the process of reconstruction, economic recovery and efforts to build the Iraqi state on the basis of a federal democratic basis. Regional and international interference confer further exceptional complexity of the situation.
The suffering of our people is intensifying as a result of terrorism, the legacy of sectarian violence, the crimes of armed groups and militias, as well as the absence of basic services, mounting unemployment, the continuing rise in the cost of living and rampant corruption. While narrow partisan struggles and tensions continue, the people call for an end to the abhorrent policy of sectarian quotas, and the struggle of ruling elites over power and positions of influence.
The political blocs and parties should put the higher national interest above all other interests, and strive to provide the best services to the people, and prevent the enemies of the people and homeland from exploiting the situation.
There can be no talk about national projects without a serious approach, in addition to the above-mentioned points, to put an end to the suffering of the people, improve their living standard, combat unemployment, ensure social security and provide effective remedies to resolve the daily crises that burden the citizens. Accordingly, we, the demonstrators in Firdos Square, demand the following:
1. Providing job opportunities.
2. Provision of electricity and water purification.
3. Installation and repair of the sewage system.
4. Improving the content of the food rations.
5. Pavement of roads and cleaning the suburbs.
6. Paying attention to hospitals and schools.
7. Provision of playgrounds and sport fields.
8. Regulating the operation and pricing of private electric generators.
Fulfilling these demands is essential for consolidating the citizen's confidence in state institutions and building a prosperous Iraq.