Sunday, April 3, 2011

Big change moves slowly

Three days ago there was a remembrance day in Awadi Square in Sulymania, Kurdish Northern Iraq. It was 40 days since the first two people had been killed by security forces on the first day of demonstrations. The large signs displayed around the square had 9 pictures on them including the other person killed in Suli a few days later and others that have been killed around the region as they attempted to join the movement.

Today, 1 April, it has been 43 days of demonstrating in Suli. Right now we are not heading to the square every day. The situation is more settled. Every day around 2 pm people begin to head to the square,  the sound system is set up and the list of those who want to speak at the open mike is begun for the day. Every few days a new art exhibition  is displayed about some aspect of history or  politics.

The public continue to come every day, waiting for movement to happen. The organisers meet daily to plan for the next day, to see how they can prod the government into doing something about their demands.

Nasiq and Faruk are also Canadian citizens. They were working here as a doctor and professor when the first day of the demonstrations began. They knew they had to do something. They are at the square during the day and meetings at night. They have been in contact with the Canadian consulate here but state that they do not want any special treatment. They are the same as all the other people here.

Meanwhile there are other cities and towns in the Kurdish Regional government area that want to join the movement. They have been unable to gain permission for demonstrations. Some have gone forward anyway with the consequence of their town becoming like a military zone. Others continue to repeatedly put in applications for permission-hoping to avoid the live bullets and deaths.

It seems to move very slowly, but big change takes that.

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