Iraq's week of nonviolence

IssueNovember 2010
News by Maya Evans

Iraq’s third annual Week of Nonviolence began on 10 October, organised by La’Onf (“no violence” in Arabic), a network of nonviolent Iraqi civilians and civil society groups.

The theme of this year’s actions was making the upcoming provincial elections safe, free, and truly democratic.

During the intensive week of activities La’Onf stuck up masses of posters, and handed out nonviolent literature to soldiers, shoppers, schoolchildren, police, politicians, youth and women’s groups. Seminars and public meetings were held by Iraqis from all areas of society on the subject of nonviolence as an essential path to political, social, and economic change.

Footballs where given out to children in exchange for toy guns, which in the past have been mistaken by soldiers for real weapons and have led to deaths.

As part of the campaign to protect children La’Onf has pressed successfully for legislation to ban toy guns in Muthanna governorate and is working to change the law elsewhere.

La’Onf was established in 2005 in Baghdad with diverse members united for nonviolence and reconciliation as the best path for building a peaceful Iraq free from foreign occupation.