Iraq - Baghdad squatters protest government eviction plans

Gerrard Winstanley tony at
Tue Oct 2 23:35:49 BST 2007

Hundreds of Baghdad squatters protest alleged government eviction plans
The Associated Press
Published: October 2, 2007

BAGHDAD: Hundreds of angry Baghdad squatters living in a complex of
residential buildings that once belonged to Saddam Hussein's
information ministry took to the streets Tuesday to protest alleged
government plans to evict them.

The demonstration in the Iraqi capital took place in the Salihiya
neighborhood, with the protesters carrying Iraqi flags and banners in
Arabic and English denouncing the eviction which they claim would be

"Why us?" and "No to eviction," read some of the banners.

Some 10,000 illegal residents â€" both Shiites and Sunnis â€" are believed
to live in the complex on Abu Nawas Street in Baghdad. The protesters
at the rally claimed authorities intend to move government employees
to the compound.

"The prime minister's office wants to push us away and give this to
other Iraqis," said Halim al-Daraji, one of the squatters. "We don't
want a constitution that differentiates between people."

There was no immediate comment by the authorities on the protest,
which passed without any violence.

After Saddam's fall, scores of families of former officials and state
employees left their residential apartments in the capital and moved
elsewhere in Baghdad or out of the city.

Also, sectarian violence in the past two years has forced tens of
thousands of Baghdad residents from their homes, often reshaping
neighborhood populations to reflect the ethnic divide in the country.
Hundreds of thousands have been displaced nationwide.

Could this have anything to do with US General David Petraeus' 'clean
up' operation?

Famous Baghdad street seeks to reclaim former glory
Mon Sep 3, 2007 9:13am BST
By Ross Colvin

BAGHDAD (Reuters) - When General David Petraeus reports to Congress on
the success of his military strategy in Iraq, he will probably point
to a Baghdad riverside avenue lined with eucalyptus trees that has
been given a $2 million (1 million pound) facelift.

The heavily publicised project is aimed at showing Iraqis that a major
U.S.-led crackdown launched in February in the city has succeeded in
tamping down bitter sectarian violence, reducing the number of car
bombs and death squad killings.

In just over a week, Petraeus, the top U.S. military commander in
Iraq, is due to testify before Congress on the military build-up of
30,000 extra troops. He is expected to tell them that the new security
strategy is working.

"The September report will characterise successes that the surge has
facilitated, and this is one of them," said Major Anthony Judge, the
project officer, standing in the shade of a tree in Abu Nawas street
to escape the baking afternoon heat.........

Here is something worth repeating, yet again. Before the invasion Iraq
was an efficient, functioning society, whose state institutions and
ministries operated with near bribe free and accountable efficiency.
The army and the police were loyal to the state and not to factions.
The factionalists and militias now absorbed in to both, came in with
the invasion (and many seemingly, are not even Iraqis or had abandoned
their Iraqi nationality and taken the now increasingly worthless Dollar.)

Iraq: A Bush Family Jihad?
by Felicity Arbuthnot

Global Research, September 25, 2007
.......Until the crippling thirteen year embargo (implemented, under
George Bush Sr., 6th August 1990) Iraq had undergone thirty years of
extraordinary progress and emerged 'a near first world country',
according to the U.N., whose US/UK driven embargo, created a quiet
holocaust and denied essential parts and replacements for every vital
service and industry. Even X-ray and dialysis machines lay idle, for
want of imported parts; blood banks no longer functioned due to
sporadic electricity denying laboratory tests and refrigeration.........

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