Tim Lezard talks to a soccer-star headteacher who will not be intimidated by daily threats of death. Hassan, who is a member of the Iraqi Teachers Union, believes he has a responsibility not only to his 500 pupils, but also to wider society. Though depleted by law and starved of resources, the unions offer a rare glimpse of hope amid the wreckage of Iraq. Their leaders have been at the forefront of creating a new democratic and secular civil society and are often targeted because of that.
The outgoing US ambassador has pointed to the Kurdish region as being a possible model of co-operation which the rest of the nation should follow.
Here are the full details of a new national survey of Iraqi opinion.
The GFIW reports that electricty workers went on strike at Taza Electricity Plant in Kirkuk. On Tuesday 13 March 2007 Workers and Technicians at “Taza Plant 15K” outside kirkuk conducted a day strike action calling on the local authorities to improve their security from extremist attacks which aer killing many workers indiscriminately. The strikers also called on the management of the plant to increase their pay. At another development, on same day workers at Baghdad main electricity plant protested at the Minister of Electricity’s decision to abolish their allowances.
It is being reported that twice as many Iraqis think life is better now than under Saddam Hussein, a new poll reveals. And six out of ten deny claims they are living through a civil war. In the survey of 5,000 Iraqis by poll firm Opinion Research Business, 49 per cent said that their life was better now. Only 26 per cent preferred having Saddam in charge. The rest were undecided or said their lives were the same.
The International Centre for Trade Union Rights has sent a letter to the American President following three armed raids on two Iraqi union offices.
One of the most violent regions of Baghdad has seen a marked decrease in killings since one of the Mayors outlined plans to build an amusement park and provide employment for thousands of local residents. (Dave Spector)
Mr. David Anderson (Blaydon) (Lab): Can my right hon. Friend, or the appropriate Minister, investigate the recent actions of American troops in Iraq, who, on three occasions in the past two weeks, have raided trade union offices, destroyed equipment, confiscated computers and fax machines and arrested some of the employees? Mr. Straw: I will certainly pass on to the Foreign Secretary the concerns raised by my hon. Friend for the trade union movement in Iraq. Although I know nothing about that particular incident, I know a lot about the bravery and commitment of the trade union officials and movement in … Continue reading LFIQ Joint President Dave Anderson MP raises raid on Iraqi union offices in the Commons
Hameed Moussa, head of the Iraqi Communist Party, also described the plan as positive, and called comforting the initial indications. It will succeed despite of challenges and difficulties, he added. Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki on Saturday had praised the results of a newly implemented security strategy, in which he claimed that Iraqi and coalition forces have killed 400 terrorists and detained more than 400 others. ‘Baghdad will not be a sanctuary for the outlaws,’ said al-Maliki during a press conference on Saturday. He added: ‘The results (of the new plan) are positive, several terrorist cells were dismantled.’ Al-Maliki also … Continue reading Progress of the Baghdad security plan
LFIQ Vice-President Harry Barnes reports on the meeting with the delegation of Iraqi teachers. He writes that the Iraqi Teachers pointed out just how catastrophic education had been under Saddam. For dictatorship rests upon manipulative and superficial forms of what passes for education. Saddam’s educational programme has impacted upon generations of school children and when political change came, it did not come from the Iraqi people themselves but via invasion. The formation of the new Government had, however, impacted upon the entire nation and had given the new Teachers’ Union the opportunity to press for many changes in educational practices, … Continue reading Iraqi heroes