Iraqis Protest U.S. Occupation

April 21, 2009

On April 9, tens of thousands of Iraqis took to the streets for a huge demonstration against the U.S. occupation. The protests were held on the six-year anniversary of U.S. troops entering Baghdad.

The protestors filled Firdous Square in the center of Baghdad. As tens of thousands of demonstrators marched, U.S. armored vehicles were in place and U.S. soldiers lined the streets.

Thousands in the crowd carried Iraqi flags and chanted, "No, no America. Yes, Yes, Iraq."

A speaker at the protest read a message from cleric Moqtada al-Sadr which read, "God, unite us, return our riches, free the prisoners from the prisons, return sovereignty to our country ... make our country free from the occupier, and prevent the occupier from stealing our oil."

Referring to the struggle to end the occupation one protestor, Abu Hijran Qassim, said, "There's still a noble uprising, there's no freeze." Another protestor, Ammar Mahdi, 23, said he was protesting for the “immediate withdrawal of the U.S. soldiers who brought destruction to Iraq instead of freedom.”