It has been six weeks since the peaceful demonstrations in Baghdad and the Iraqi provinces began, and there has yet to be a real response from the Iraqi government, to the legitimate calls from the demonstrators to reform the political system, to hold corrupt officials accountable, and to deliver necessary services to Iraqi people.
The vibrant and peaceful demonstrations in Al-Tahrir Square have inspired an increasing number of people to take part — to become empowered as nonviolent activists. This in turn has highlighted a need for greater organization. In response to this need, a number of long-time activists, many of whom who have been diligently working for a unified and just Iraq since the demonstrations of February 2011, have begun to take up this responsibility. They have organized protests and represented protesters, often speaking on their behalf. A wide range of activists, as well as intellectuals and representatives of civil organizations, held a meeting in which they selected an “Administration of the demonstrations”. This administration aim at coordinating the negotiation demands of reforms with the authorities Baghdad, the names of its members will be announced later.
In light of all this, it is with great appreciation that we salute the wise religious authority in Najaf for the support it offered to our legitimate demands, manifested in its decision to prioritize the civil state over other loyalties and affiliations, and in this, supporting the nation in its fight against corruption.
It should be noted that one month ago, after the start of the demonstrations, the Presidencies of the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives presented two papers of reform that were voted on in the parliament. Although these papers did not elevate to the level of popular clear demands, they were nevertheless welcomed by the public, and were seen to be a first step marking the beginning of a path to radical and comprehensive reforms.
However, given that the one month period that had been allocated for the implementation of the reforms has expired, we suspect that there were deliberate attempts to delay and stall the process of implementation which would make the reforms real. The efforts to circumvent the implementation of these important reforms seem to have been made by influential political forces within the Council of Ministers and the House of Representatives.
Therefore, we confirm here our steadfast commitment to ensuring that these important reforms become a reality — our commitment is made stronger in the face of those who try to counter the will of our people, that is our will, and we will continue with those peaceful protests that we see as appropriate, and fully consistent with the spirit of the Constitution.
As we emphasize our determination to march on the path toward real and lasting reform, we want to stress the urgent need to reform the judicial authority, because any reform process that does not begin with the judiciary will ultimately contribute to corruption and deepen its roots.
We say all this with passion and conviction: we are empowered by our growing numbers, and our unity, and the legitimacy of our cause, and we will continue our peaceful demonstrations, ever-strengthening our movement, until our legal rights are respected and protected.