An appeal by the Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI) to all labor activists, trade unions and student organizations worldwide to support the strike of students of the university and schools of Basra
19 March 2005
Since 15th March 2005 the students of the University of Basra along with hundreds of students from secondary schools and a large part of freedom loving people have been demonstrating in Basra against the atrocities of the Islamic groups in the city.
On 15th March a group of armed militia belonging to the infamous Al Sadr in Basra accompanied by a band of thugs linked to the Islamic Republic of Iran attacked a group of students from the Engineering Faculty on an outing in one of the city's parks. The armed thugs launched a vicious attack against the students destroying all their belongings and ripping off the clothes of female students.
The attackers especially targeted female students singling out one Christian student. A male student rushing to help the Christian student was brutally shot dead by the armed gang. A day after this tragic incident thousands of students of the University of Basra declared an open-end strike inside the university. The protesters inside the university compound have been surrounded by the national guard, armed militia of Al Sadr and the police forces.
These demonstrations have now escalated to express not only the anger against the killing of one student but also to protest against the criminal activities of the so-called students linked with Islamic militia groups and their bullying activities to impose their policies on all aspect of life.
These demonstrations have proved that the Iraqi people in general and the students in particular are prepared to withstand the attempts of the dark forces to impose their reactionary policies on the society. These demonstrations highlighted the deep desire within the Iraqi society for civil life and against those wishing to impose their sectarian views on the entire population.
These forces of political Islam are against the content of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights; they are violating the right to strike and organization as the recent opening fire into the peaceful demonstration of unemployed people in Samawa and Kut has revealed.
The FWCUI declared in a press release on 18.March 2005 in Baghdad its full support and solidarity with the strike and demands of students in Basra and condemned strongly the atrocity of the Al Sadr band against the students of Basra University.
We in FWCUI ... abroad also strongly condemn this criminal action by the Al Sadr gangs against the students and we demand that all those involved in this atrocity should be brought to justice and all demands of students should be met.
We demand the right of students to organize themselves in their own independent unions.
We call on all freedom loving and equality-seeking people in Iraq to gather around this progressive movement for freedom and to broaden the dimension of this movement against terrorist and right-wing forces in Iraq.
We condemn the lack of response and the passive position of the Iraqi authorities and we hold the occupying forces responsible for the deterioration of the security situation and actual chaos in Iraq which allowed the armed militias to implement their reactionary polices on the Iraqi people and to restrict their freedom and violate their basic rights.
We stand side by side with the progressive students in Basra and fully support their demands for secularism, freedom and equality.
We appeal to all labor activists and trade unions worldwide to support the striking students and their fair demands.
Victory to Basra student's protests
Long live the movement for freedom and secularism in Iraqi
Aso Jabbar and Houzan Mahmoud
Representation Abroad of FWCUI
You can send you solidarity letters through our addresses:
Federation of Workers' Councils and Unions in Iraq
Also see Death at 'immoral' picnic in the park by Catherine Philp. Students are beaten to death for playing music as Shia militiamen run amok. London Times, March 23, 2005
Published by News and Letters Committees