Often times the news reported out of Iraq and Afghanistan is littered with violence, assassinations and other clear signs of war. However there are those, though they may not receive the spotlight, which seek peace and hope for change in non-violent ways.
On Monday, February 14, 2011, about 200 such peaceful protesters gathered in Tahrir Square in Baghdad Iraq to demonstrate their hope for change in a Valentine’s Day protest. This square is a small plaza located next to a traffic circle. Soldiers and policemen were present in case violence broke out. But there was no need. In the place of guns and homemade bombs, the protesters peacefully waved red balloons and silk roses in the air. Their cries were of love for Iraq and the necessity of economical change.
It is reported that the demonstrators’ goal was not violence or to overthrow the government administration. Instead, they admitted they could live with the current government, but they want employment, more consistent electricity, cleaner streets and better security.
It is reported that one out of every five Iraqis is unemployed. They only get electricity a few hours a day. There call is for the government to truly mean the necessities of the people.
At the same time some speculate trouble since the majority of the unemployment is among the youth. With the current news of violence in surrounding countries, many wonder if the youth of Iraq may follow suit. They often vent their feelings on Facebook and have organized Facebook groups with names such as “Blue Revolution” and “Streets of Baghdad for Change.” As the newly established government takes full reigns and listens to these chants for better jobs and electricity, change can be peacefully brought about.
These protesters stance is a symbol that people can express their feelings in non-violent ways and still gain the attention of the press. While some may feel that the only means of turning a tide is through weapons or damaging actions, there are many that do believe that peaceful organization can help change the world and overcome the need for war.