Iraqis demonstrate on fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall

Monday, April 9, 2007

On the fourth anniversary of Baghdad's fall to United States forces, tens if not hundreds of thousands of Iraqis marched peacefully in protest of the continued occupation. Wearing Iraqi flags, demonstrators marched from Kufa to Najaf chanting "Get out, get out occupier!" Many were dancing through the streets as police kept an eye on the proceedings and lined the route.

The rally was largely Shi'ite, as it had been ordered by controversial cleric Muqtada al-Sadr. Leaflets were scattered about, reading "Yes, Yes to Muqtada!" and "Yes, Yes to Iraq!" Some demonstrators shouted "we obey your call," seemingingly in response to al-Sadr's statements on Sunday.

The enemy that is occupying our country is now targeting the dignity of the Iraqi people. After four years of occupation, we have hundreds of thousands of people dead and wounded.
— Nassar al-Rubaie, Sadrist Movement

Al-Sadr called the demonstration in a statement that was distributed in Najaf yesterday. In the statement he ordered for his supporters to stop attacking their fellow Iraqis and instead work to fight the American occupiers. He also encouraged the Iraqi army and police to stop cooperating with America. "You, the Iraqi army and police forces, don't walk alongside the occupiers, because they are your archenemy," the statement said. "God has ordered you to be patient in front of your enemy, and unify your efforts against them - not against the sons of Iraq."