Jobless protest in Iraq

01 October 2003
Demonstrations in Baghdad and Mosul against the lack of employment opportunities turned violent on 1 October. Protesters gathered outside a police station in the capital, where they said they had been offered jobs. After initially marching peacefully, the men started throwing incendiary devices and destroying cars. Local police dispersed them and US forces secured the area. 'All these policemen are corrupt,' said one of the protesters. 'We gave them money to register our names as candidates [for jobs] and when we returned they said we had no business being here.'

In Mosul, the local employment office was attacked by a large group of protesters. The men threw stones at the building before moving on to protest outside the local government building, where they were confronted by security guards who fired into the air to disperse the crowds.

There has been a severe lack of employment in Iraq since coalition forces invaded. In what was once one of the largest bureaucracies in the region, few people have been able to return to state employment (MEED 30:9:03).

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