Since July 2015, every Friday Iraqi people take the streets of several cities to protest against sectarian and corrupt institutions, asking for a laical state and for ministries appointed on the base of competence, not sectarian quota. They denounce that Daesh is only a consequence of crimes and conflicts of which Iraqi insitutions are fully responsible, hence a major political change is the main step to liberate Iraq from Daesh. The struggles against fundamentalism, sectarianism, authoritarianism and terrorism are strongly intertwined, in Iraq as in the rest of Middle East. The solution is political, not military. Meanwhile, the Iraqi civil society runs powerful advocacy campaigns to protect women from slavery, to save the Tigris river ecosystem, to implement the new Iraqi Labor Code that unions gained last year after decades of struggle. But very few know this in the West and offer authentic solidarity.
The Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Inititive, born out of the worldwide coalition that organized the largest demonstration in history, in 2003, to protests against the war in Iraq, asks more international organizations to converge in these advocacy campaigns to advance dignity, human rights, and social justice for all Iraqi citizens . We also call other protagonists of civil struggles against fundamentalism, sectarianism and authoritarianism in the Middle-East to discuss together in this assembly how organizations in the WSF space can better support the political/civil struggle against Daesh and other sectarian powers. While military confrontation leads to millions of displaced people and refugees, and to an escalation of terrorist attacks worldwide, civil and nonviolent strategies need to be developed to addresses the root causes of those conflicts and to promote human security, both in the East and in the West.
Terry Rockefeller, Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative, and September 11 Families for Peaceful Tomorrows (USA)