Iraqi week of nonviolence

IssueJune 2007
News by Milan Rai , Emily Johns

b>From 28 April to 6 May, the LaUnf (nonviolence) network of Iraqi peace activists organised a second “Week of Nonviolence”, this time at 13 locations, reaching 7300 people all over Iraq. Sites included, in the north, Irbil, Kirkuk, and Mosul; in the south, Basra and Fao; and Baghdad in the centre.
PNspoke to Ismaeel Dawood, a key support person for the LaUnf network, in his capacity as Iraq worker for the Italian activist NGO Un Ponte Per... Baghdad (A Bridge to... Baghdad).


Ismaeel trained 22 Iraqi activists in a preparation workshop in Irbil in Iraqi Kurdistan in February, who then went back to their cities to organise events in schools, in sports clubs (in Kirkuk there was a reconciliation football match) and in the streets.
In Irbil, there was a public meeting, a women's demonstration in front of Kurdish Parliament against “honour” crimes, leafleting by trade unionists about nonviolence, and a theatrical performance about ethnic reconciliation. Elsewhere there were art exhibitions, T-shirts, posters and banners, and singing events. In Baghdad, it was only safe to go into the streets on May Day, when the major trade unions held a rally in Firdaus Square.