Pro-Democracy Marches in Iraq

The major media outlets in this country are spineless propagandists.  There were multiple large anti-terrorism pro-democracy rallies in Iraq last week and, with pitifully few exceptions, American reporters who were on the scene didn’t report them.

[img src="00422--rallybanner01--20031220-0110.jpg" width=400 height=267 align=left clear=all]

Glenn Reynolds has a few pages on the rallies and the dearth of coverage.  Iraqi blogger Zeyad was there, though, and he took lots of photos, and has a few posts about the events.  Here’s a bit:

At one point it struck me that our many differences as an Iraqi people meant nothing.  Here we were all together shouting in different languages the same slogans "NO NO to terrorism, YES YES for peace".
What was interesting, a group of Al-Sadr supporters showed up and started shouting "NO NO to occupiers" obviously in an attempt to hijack the demonstration.  They drowned in the rest of the crowd.
When we were marching on Dec 10 I told Omar that maybe we didn’t need to cover the protests after all since it looked like reporters from all the major media agencies were doing so.  As you can see in my pictures there were scores of reporters and cameras all over the place.  And since the rallies ended in front of the Palestine hotel we thought that it would be impossible for the media to ignore this event.
The last thing we expected was to be the first to publish anything about the protests.  It felt both good and awful at the same time. Good for scooping Reuters, AFP, AP, and other wire services and media stations.  And awful for the people that depended on these services for their news.  I’m telling you there were reporters from every station in the world at the demos that day and yet only a few mentioned them at all. was very obvious that the protestors were much more than 10,000.  The Anti-terrorism Popular Committee stated that there were more than 20,000 demonstrators marching.  Imagine if half or even a quarter of that number were demonstrating against the war or against the occupation. What do you think would have happened? Would the media ignore it?
Iraqis are getting bolder.  And despite the risk of being targetted we felt more safe than ever marching with the others.  The IP [Iraqi Police] did a great job of providing protection, and the Americans had two helicopters circling the area.

It was wonderful watching Iraqis from different backgrounds, ethnicities, age groups, and political beliefs all marching for the same cause.  Seeing Muslim clerics walking along Communists shouting "No to terrorism, Yes to peace and democracy" was priceless.

Throw out your TV.

Posted by Anthony on reply

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