World Thousands of Iraqis march for the 1st anniversary of their "revolution"
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Thousands of Iraqis gathered on Thursday in Tahrir Square in Baghdad and in places in the south of the country for the first anniversary of an unprecedented revolt, which is out of steam but they promise to relaunch if no reform is carried out by the power in place.
The demonstrators demand jobs for young people, functional public services, the guarantee of transparent elections, while Iraq is undermined by corruption and caught in the spotlight of the influence games of Washington and Tehran.
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One year - and nearly 600 dead - after the worst social crisis in recent Iraqi history, the atmosphere in the country is very different: this year, Prime Minister Moustafa al-Kazimi, appointed in May, hailed the parades, which swept away the previous government.
State television, which last year stopped reporting on the dead, 30,000 injured and kidnapped demonstrators, on Thursday broadcast clips showing photos of the "martyrs" accompanied by the national anthem on the electric guitar.
But in Tahrir Square, as in Diwaniya (south), we vigorously reject the outstretched hand of the government and the various parties, which are preparing for the anticipated legislative elections scheduled for June.
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"The old government and the new have made lots of promises, but nothing has happened," Hassan al-Miyahi laments.
He manifests in Diwaniya while around him resounds the flagship slogan of the Arab Spring: "The people want the fall of the regime".
From Basra (south) to Baghdad, via Diwaniya or other towns, the enemies are numerous: "the parties", "the militias", "Iran", "the United States", the whole politicians, all are gleefully scolded.
"Today, we remember those who died to take our country back from thieves," Ibrahim, 28, told AFP in Tahrir Square.
"It's a foretaste: if the government does not act and release the demonstrators still detained, our next meeting will be October 25," added another demonstrator in Baghdad.
Last year, the "October Revolution", launched on the 1st of the month, was interrupted during a Shiite pilgrimage - which will take place this year on October 8 - before resuming the October 25.
And this year, "if the government does not respond to our demands, we will all go to Baghdad to take the Green Zone (where the authorities sit), dissolve Parliament and form an interim government to put an end to organized corruption and parties. and militias that respond abroad, "promises Marouane Hamid, a student in Diwaniya.
sbh / feb
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