On 8 Nov 2004, after more than two months of aerial attacks, the US began its second major assault on Fallujah, devastating the city and killing hundreds of civilians. Serious war crimes were committed, including the bombing of a health centre and a shoot-to-kill curfew. UK forces played an active support role, with hundreds of troops redeployed from Southern Iraq to form part of a "ring of steel" around the city.
Today, an estimated 100,000 Iraqis who fled the attack have yet to return. Those who have, have been subject to a draconian regime of checkpoints, curfews and iris scans. Furthermore, recent US military offensives in Haditha, Qaim, Tal Afar and elsewhere, have killed scores of civilians and created thousands more refugees.
A call for events this November to mark the first anniversary of last year's assault, and to raise awareness about the realities of the ongoing occupation, is now gathering pace. Among the activities will be screenings of the documentary Testimonies from Fallujah; a national speaking tour by US activist and author Rahul Mahajan (who spent time in Fallujah during the April 2004 US siege of the city); and a 26 Nov teach-in "Voices from Occupied Iraq" organised by Iraq Occupation Focus.