Members of Seattle’s Iraqi community gathered Sunday at the base of the Space Needle to demonstrate their support for protesters who have been injured and killed in their home country.
Since Oct. 1, news reports estimate that over 100 people have been killed and over 6,000 injured during protests in Baghdad and across Iraq against government corruption, lack of social services and unemployment as security forces responded to protesters with water cannons, tear gas and live fire.
Internet and cell service was also disconnected, making it difficult for local Iraqis to communicate with their families and friends in Iraq.
“The government are killing the people for nothing,” said Sameer Al Saadi, during the Seattle demonstration, speaking in Arabic, translated by another attendee. “They are just asking for their rights and nothing more.”
Ali Abdulsamea, who organized the Seattle group, said that they are not encouraging any type of violence. “This is just to remember people who lost their lives protesting peacefully,” he said.
Al Saadi, clutching the flag of Iraq, spoke in Arabic until the end of his speech when he switched to English. “Any human, please listen to me, please help me,” he said.
“My country dies.”