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Webinar March 27: Iraqi Trade Unionists; Peace, Justice, Women’s Rights and Environmental Activists and The Role of Civil Society in Iraq Today

Recently returned from Baghdad, Terry Rockefeller (September 11th Families for Peaceful Tomorrows) and Michael Zweig (U.S. Labor Against the War) will report on the 10th Annual Meeting of the Iraqi Civil Society Solidarity Initiative (ICSSI).

Join UFPJ’s National Briefing Call on Wednesday, March 27, 2019:
8 – 9 pm EDT; 7 – 8 pm CDT; 6 – 7 pm MDT; 5 – 6 pm PDT
Call-in number: (712) 775-7035; Participant code: 495518

The ICSSI conference brought together more that 180 Iraqis from all parts of Iraq--the Kurdistan region, the western provinces,  Basra and the south, as well as Baghdad--and 50 internationals from 15 different countries. Discussion focused on the major challenges Iraqi society faces. Following years of sustained nonviolence protest, Iraqis highlighted important progress made by activists in critical areas:


  • Water and environmental crisis;
  • Workers’ rights;
  • Women’s participation and leadership;
  • Rebuilding communities following the expulsion of Daesh (ISIS);
  • Sports and arts against violence;
  • Promoting Iraqi heritage.

Iraqi activists also emphasized the threats they face. Protest movements in Basra and Sulaymaniyah regularly encounter repression and violence at the hands of armed groups backed by some political parties. Across the country, human rights defenders are endangered and ask the international community to stand by them. Workers’ also ask for solidarity in defense of their freedom of association and right to strike.

Terry Rockefeller has worked with members of Peaceful Tomorrows, since 2007, to support Iraqi peace and nonviolence activists. In 2009, organizations in Europe and North America joined together with Iraqi organizations to encourage international solidarity for the work of Iraqi activists through the ICSSI; Terry is a member of the ICSSI Steering Committee.

Michael Zweig is Professor Emeritus in the Department of Economics and the Former Director of the Center for Study of Working Class Life at Stony Brook University. He is a Co-Convenor of USLAW and has worked for years to support the struggles of Iraqi trade unionists and to promote their rights.

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