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 Day 29 of Protest in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, One month

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Day 29 of Protest in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan, One month  17.3.2011  
By Karzan Kardozi from Sulaimaniyah







Protests still continue, one month on. Apart from oppression KRG haven't taken any serious steps to meet protesters demands.

March 17, 2011


SULAIMANIYAH, Kurdistan region 'Iraq', — Today, Thursday, was day twenty-nine of protest in Sulaimaniyah, Iraqi Kurdistan. The Protesters remembered those who were killed and wounded a month ago on February 17, in front of KDP’ headquarter.

It has been a month, a month that went by quickly, a month of repetition and new discoveries, exciting but tiresome at times. A month that many would come and stay at Sara square aka "Maidany Azadi", some all day and everyday to protest.

Beautiful day today, most beautiful day so far of the past month. Some protesters looked for a spot with shade to stay, some would use their banners to keep away the sun from their faces. They were again full of energy,
www.ekurd.neta month of Protesting did not show any sign of calming down. More speeches, more poetry, more music and more chants. The street poet, Bahadin made appearance again today, and he got today’s loudest cheer again, he is the most popular speaker at Maidany Azadi, he read a new slang-poem, some of its verses were targeted against Susani Khala Shahab (a member of Kurdistan List), Avin Aso (Oprah of Kurdistan), he said “Avin Aso, our money is your salary, yet you cry for Ibrahim Tatlises on your show, why don’t you cry for those who were killed here”, cheers.

Many verses for Farhad Pirbal (a writer). Farhad Pirbal was the main talk among the Protesters today, he was talking on Zagros TV (belong to KDP) last night, among his saying was that “The second life of Erbil started on August 31, 1996 when KDP took back the city under its control” and “Me with other intellectual are the leaders of the Protesters and not those at Maidany Azadi”. Many Protesters were angry at him. Anger also at Kemal Kerkuki who is the Speaker of the Kurdistan Parliament.

Last night, the President of Iraq, Jalal Talabani, release a statement addressed to the Protesters and the Temporary Committee of Serai Azadi, he mention that he support peaceful protest, against using gun and shooting of protesters, that “all of the criminals receive a just punishment”, we will try to “provide life and freedom for you”, support “Dr. Barham’s letter”, committed to “beginning reform and refinement” and “We consider all of the young people like you as our sons and from this perspective we look at your demands.” At Maidany Azadi, They gave out the October Newspaper (belong to the Communist Party) and the Protesters’ Newspaper for free again. Faroq Rafiq came to make a speech from the court, he appeared in court today to face charges that he participated in protesting without having a permit.

The KRG government in Erbil has not giving permission yet for Protest. More people from Sulaimaniyah were stopped at KDP checkpoint going to Erbil. News today that the Turkish army used artillery shells close to the town of Duhok to bombard Kurdish Guerillas from North Kurdistan, a Speaker in Maidany Azadi, “Why doesn’t KDP uses its force to protest the border instead of sending it to to shoot at us”, boos. A photographer today at Maidany Azadi told me that he was threatened by phone calls, he told me that somebody called him from an unknown number and told him to “Dig a Grave for yourself”. News of protest in Halabjah again today, loud cheers. The guy who was hunger strike for 23 days, Ayub Rasul, he broke his fasting today, he was advised by doctors to do so. After reading the names of those who were killed, The Speaker, “Please raise your hand and silence for a minute”, and they did so.      

Protests continue. Thousands of Kurds protest against Kurdistan gov't KRG at Sulaimaniyah's Sara "Azady" square, Kurdistan region of Iraq, March 17, 2011. Photo: Karzan Kardozi


October newspaper for Free at Sulaimaniyah's Sara "Azady" square, Kurdistan region of Iraq, March 17, 2011. Photo: Karzan Kardozi


Peace protest. Don't use bullets against us. Thousands of Kurds protest against Kurdistan gov't KRG at Sulaimaniyah's Sara "Azady" square, Kurdistan region of Iraq, March 17, 2011. Photo: Karzan Kardozi
Life is back to normal in the city as mentioned before, few shops were closed today, very few.
All schools are closed for Spring Break, they will be closed until April 1st. The Mawlawy street that lead into Maidany Azadi was open again today, cars backed up all they way into Salim street, it was crowded to even walk let alone drive a car, many street-venders still occupying the street, traffic everywhere.

I left the square with my French friend who is also making a documentary and some others around 5:00 PM. Later around 5:40 PM, a friend called me that somebody had tried to throw some harmful liquid into the protesters, harmful and could have burned people.

Plan for tomorrow is to hold Friday prayers at the square for the fourth Friday, big crowd is expected.

Photos by Karzan Kardozi

 

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