As the second session of the Iraqi Social Forum on Coexistence and Civil Peace took place in Baghdad from 1-3 October 2015, it was attended by internationals from Tunisia, Palestine, Italy, Zambia and Germany. Together they represented civil society movements from their respective countries. Other internationals could not make it due to the difficulty of obtaining visas. Participation however was still possible for those who were not able to make it in person in Baghdad. Via the Extended Iraqi Social Forum from anywhere in the world international activists expressed their solidarity with Iraqi civil society. The Extended Iraqi Social Forum activities consisted of solidarity events organized before and after the forum, an exchange via Skype, as well as livestream which was broadcasted from Baghdad during parts of the Forum and the ongoing demonstrations in the city. The Iraqi Network for Social Media played an essential role in the organization, as they set up a connection and livestreamed activities from Baghdad. Despite a sandstorm, the security situation and technical difficulties, throughout the Extended Forum Iraqi civil society transferred its message of peace and hope to the rest of the world!
International solidarity activities
Solidarity event in Rome, Italy
On 22 September a solidarity event “Border of resistance between Kurdistan and Iraq: the right to water, work, peace” was organized at Sapienza University in Rome.
Solidarity Message from Johanna Rivera, Oslo, Norway
Watch it here. Johanna is the coordinator of the Save the Tigris and Iraqi Marshes Campaign.
Solidarity Message from the Norwegian Social Forum, Oslo, Norway
On the first day of the ISF, the Norwegian Social Forum sent their greetings to Iraqi civil society through a video message. Watch it here.
Solidarity Message from the Participatory Action Development Plan, Dhaka, Bangladesh
On 7 and 15 October, Quazi Baby, director of PADP, together with Bangladeshi activists and students, expressed their solidarity with the ISF at Morar Chand College in the district of Sylhet on the International Rural Women Day and the Day of Disaster Risk Reduction.
Solidarity activity in Southern Italy
Activists from Un Ponte Per… and alligned organizations organized a solidarity event “The Future of Civil Peace in Iraq” in Italy on 13 October in the cities of Martina Bianca and Taranto in Puglia (Southern Italy).
Video exchange with the ISF in Baghdad
In the morning of 3 October a skype connection was set up between a group of internationals and activists at the Iraqi Social Forum (Iraqis and internationals). The exchange lasted for an hour, and internationals were able to ask questions to Iraqi activists.
Livestream from Baghdad during the ISF
Parts of the Iraqi Social Forum were livestreamed, such as the opening and closing ceremonies, as well as a tour of Abu Nawas Garden (where the forum was held) including brief interviews with activists present. There was also extensive livestreaming of the anti-corruption demonstrations at Tahrir Square in Baghdad. The Livestream was made possible by the Iraqi Network for Social Media.
Watch all videos here.