Sammi Alaa, Jawad al-Khalisi denouce elections, call for resistance
Some five hundred people took to the streets on January 30 in Porto Alegre, Brazil, under the central slogan "End the occupation, support the Iraqi Resistance". They followed the call of two dozen Brazilian and international organisations to protest the election farce taking place in Iraq on the same day with the only aim to give legitimacy to the illegitimate occupation. The demonstration was initiated by a delegation in support of the Iraqi resistance composed of Sammi Alaa (Iraqi Patriotic Alliance), Willi Langthaler (Anti-imperialist Camp) and Mariagrazia Ardizzone (Free Iraq Committees Italy).
The main speakers were Alaa and Sheikh Jawad al-Khalisi, renown Muslim scholar and leader of a transconfesional multi-party coalition boycotting the elections in Iraq. Both denouced repeatedly the elections put up by the US occupation power as illegal and only serving to justify the occupation. They stressed that all institutions emanating from the ballot will not be recognised by the Iraqi people. They annouced that the Iraqi people will continue their resistance unabatedly. The Resistance is the only legitimate representative of the Iraqi people encompassing all ethnic and confessional groups.
The Brazilian forces mobilising the bulk of participants and also addressing the crowd were the Worker´s League (LO), the Revolutionary Communist Party (PCR) and the the United Socialist Workers´ Party (PSTU). Furthermore John Catalinotto of the International Action Center and Guerry Hodderson of the Freedom Socialist Party (both USA), Walter Wendelin of the Basque National Liberation Movement, Willi Langthaler of the Anti-imperialist Camp in Europe, the Argentinean Socialist Workers´ Movement and several other Latin American delegates spoke out in support of the Iraqi resistance.
Among the anti-imperialist left in Brazil it is nearly common sense that in Iraq the US empire in construction is at stake in Iraq. Thus the resistance must be supported to defeat it for the sake of all oppressed people.
The demo came as a challenge to the World Social Forum´s leadership including Lula´s Workers´ Party (PT) and the European "civil society" neo-reformist network which continue to promote the notorious formula "Against war and terror" equating the popular resistance against imperialist war and capitalist globalisation with terrorism. While the PT generously financed the festival-like WSF, it remains under criticism for its deployment of several thousand soldiers to Haiti preserving the pro-imperialist regime established by the recent US intervention. Thus one central slogans raised by the protesters was "Bush out of Iraq, Lula out of Haiti".
Admist the mobilisation for the demonstration the delegation promoted the idea of a global network of the forces in support of the Iraqi resistance. In line with the widespread popular sentiment against Yankee imperialism and the in favour of the Iraqi and Palestinian Resistance the proposal was well received by the Brazilian anti-imperialist forces which are considering to set up an national unitary Free Iraq Committee.