Iraqi Social Forum on Coexistence and Civil Peace.
Baghdad, 1-3 October 2015.
As Iraq experiences escalating violence that has resulted in at least 15,000 civilians killed and 30,000 injured since January 2014, the Iraqi Social Forum has consistently viewed the bloodshed as the result of long years of dictatorship and military coups, then years of occupation that produced the current political system with its corruption and sectarian quotas.
The Iraqi civil movements, NGOs and unions rose up in response and took the streets of several Iraqi cities this summer to protest against the lack of services and corruption in the administrative, financial and political systems. They won approval by the Iraqi Parliament of many important reforms. At this critical moment, the Iraqi Social Forum and the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative believe Iraqi civil society has the capacity to promote coexistence between Iraqi communities through nonviolent action and peacebuilding programs, and that this is the way to defeat violent extremism.
A thematic Iraqi Social Forum on Coexistence and Civil Peace has been launched by Iraqi civil society organizations, and will take place in Baghdad (in Abu Nawas Gardens, on the Tigris River) from the 1st to the 3rd of October 2015. During the Forum we will host a Mini-Marathon for Peace (including a 30 km race and two shorter runs) to celebrate the International Day of Nonviolence on the 2nd of October.
Since the call for the Forum was spread in July, about 50 self-organized activities have already been registered online, and 180 young people from Iraq and Arab countries have offered to work as volunteers to organize the event. Now it’s time for internationals to consider taking part in this event and show international solidarity for Iraqi civil society! Iraqi activists commit to organize the presence of an international delegation and manage security aspects with unarmed accompaniment. In 2013 a delegation of 16 internationals and more than 3000 Iraqis took part in the first Iraqi Social Forum and never experienced security threats. Register Online Here: http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4536
Join us in Baghdad! Iraqis are acting and it’s time for us to do the same!
Another Iraq is Possible
With Peace, Human Rights and Social Justice!
The Iraqi Social Forum Committee
The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative
Please consider the following ways of joining us:
1) Be with us in Baghdad.
Be aware that an element of risk is entailed and cannot be avoided, just as it is for Iraqi activists, but we will keep registered participants posted on the security situation so that they can make an informed decision. Meanwhile, you need to apply for an Iraqi Visa at the Iraqi Embassy in your country. Register online as soon as possible in order to receive a letter of invitation from the Iraqi Social Forum. We cannot cover your travel and accommodation costs, so make sure you have financial means to reach Baghdad and stay in a 5 star hotel, where security for internationals can be guaranteed. You will be contacted individually within 3 days after submitting the registration form by clicking here: http://www.iraqicivilsociety.org/archives/4536
2) Take part in the Extended Iraqi Social Forum: organize a solidarity event in your own country before or during the ISF, and send pictures or solidarity statements to the Iraqi Social Forum.
Also, a live exchange via Internet with activists in Baghdad will be set up through Skype or Google Hangout during the forum at times that will be announced, and some activities may be followed online through live streaming, but the quality of the connection cannot be guaranteed.
3) Support financially the Iraqi Social Forum.
If you can make a donation to cover some costs of the event, ICSSI would be glad to assist you and make sure all your funds reach the Iraqi Social Forum Committee. Even small donations are important, and will allow Iraqi organizers to have better tents, stages, amplification, banners and printed material. Donations by credit card can be processed online through the Italian NGO Un ponte per… Click here!
For questions on international participation contact: firstname.lastname@example.org