On the tenth anniversary of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraqis and U.S. military veterans came together to hold the U.S. government accountable for the lasting effects of war and the rights of veterans and civilians to heal. The Iraq war is not over for Iraqi civilians and U.S. veterans who continue to struggle with various forms of trauma and injury; for Iraqis and veterans who suffer the effects of environmental poisoning due to certain U.S. munitions and burn pits of hazardous material; and for a growing generation of orphans and people displaced by war.
As Iraqi civil society tries to rebuild from the Iraq war as well as a decade of U.S. bombing and sanctions, it faces political repression by a corrupt U.S.-established government that is selling off the country’s natural resources to foreign interests. The U.S continues this pattern of violations with its ongoing war in Afghanistan. The United States must be held accountable for its violations of the rights to life and health of these war-torn peoples.
Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW)
Iraq Veterans Against the War was founded by Iraq war veterans in July 2004 at the annual convention of Veterans for Peace (VFP) in Boston to give a voice to the large number of active duty service people and veterans who are against this war, but are under various pressures to remain silent. From its inception, IVAW has called for: (1) Immediate withdrawal of all occupying forces in Iraq; (2) Reparations for the human and structural damages Iraq has suffered, and stopping the corporate pillaging of Iraq so that their people can control their own lives and future; and (3) Full benefits, adequate healthcare (including mental health), and other supports for returning servicemen and women.
Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI)
The Organization of Women’s Freedom in Iraq (OWFI), founded in 2003, is a truly pioneering national women’s organization dedicated to rebuilding Iraq on the basis of secular democracy and human rights for all. OWFI has developed innovative anti-violence and political empowerment strategies for women across Iraq. OWFI advocates on behalf of women who are most marginalized, including those who are incarcerated, widowed, displaced or battered.
Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq (FWCUI)
The Federation of Workers Councils and Unions in Iraq is a national unionist organization for the defense of rights of workers in Iraq, established since 2003, and has representatives in all main cities. FWCUI is known for its continuous positions against the newly introduced neo-liberal economic policies, and the new labor code which the FWCUI describes as “protecting the rights of employers while disempowering workers”.
The Center for Constitutional Rights (CCR)
The Center for Constitutional Rights is dedicated to advancing and protecting the rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Founded in 1966 by attorneys who represented civil rights movements in the South, CCR is a non-profit legal and educational organization committed to the creative use of law as a positive force for social change.