Will Basra’s protests reshape Iraqi politics?


In the past two weeks, violent rallies and an unprecedented crackdown by the Iraqi government have resulted in the deaths of more than 14 demonstrators and the injury of hundreds of members of Iraq’s security forces. What began as a regular rally for jobs near a Basran oil field escalated after a young protestor was killed by police warning shots. Soon, more protests popped up across the province demanding electricity, water, and employment.

Set in the aftermath of May’s controversial parliamentary elections, in which turnout was the lowest in Iraq’s democratic history, these events have brought to the surface the growing distrust between the people and the ruling class.

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