Manage episode 339561711 series 2785873
In this week's episode of Nonviolence Radio, Stephanie speaks with interdisciplinary sociologist Ruba al-Hassani to bring context and understanding to the current protests in Iraq, and how they differ from the nonviolent Tishreen/October movement of 2019. To provide context to each of these movements, she first gives a deep explainer of the ethno-based consociational and power-sharing model of government that was imposed by the United States following the 2003 invasion, and why Iraqi citizens consider it a failure. Secondly, she explains how armed groups managed to gain seats in parliament after the fight against ISIS, and the obstacles this is creating for the formation of a functionable and representative government.
To draw it all together, Ruba describes why the 2019 Tishreen movement insists upon a governance model that is democratic and representative on the basis of merit, as opposed to sectarianism, and what the current protests led by Muqtada al-Sadr might mean for Iraqi people as they conflict with these goals. Despite the deeply unpredictable future of the country, she draws hopefully on the nonviolent and feminist means utilized by the Tishreen activists and considers how the movement elevated public consciousness, while also challenging the status quo and legitimacy of violence as a political tool.
"But this is another phase, another stage in this revolution. And I think it’s still continuing, in a way. Many people claim that the protest movement has been crushed. But just because there are no street protests, it doesn’t mean that the momentum has been lost. .... There’s greater thirst for knowledge about the constitution, about their rights. ... And now we're seeing more dialogue amongst the people. Politicians are not necessarily engaging in dialogue, but the people are, both online and offline. They’re thinking. And the protest movement has caused a shift in the public consciousness, in the collective consciousness. And this shift will be there for a long time to come. Iraq is not the same after the 2019 October Movement, and I don’t think it ever will be."
Music by: Farida Mohammed Ali -- Maqam al hanabat