Iraqi teachers demonstrate in Baghdad

I just found an email in my inbox from LabourStart asking for support for “a major international campaign in defense of the Iraqi Teachers Union which faces the threat of a government takeover. The teachers are demonstrating tomorrow in their thousands in Baghdad. Today, they’re asking all of us to take just a minute and send off a message of protest. Please click here <http://www.labourstart.org/itu&gt; to do so – and forward this message on to other members of your union.”

This is the message I sent.

“I call upon the Iraqi government to cease its interference in the internal affairs of the Iraqi Teachers Union. I call upon the Iraqi government to allow freedom of workers to organise themselves in unions. The effectiveness of democracy in general, in most countries, is closely linked to the rights of workers to organise in unions. Workers learn self-government, and political accountability in unions and are able to transfer this understanding to participate in national democracy. Unions independent of governments are vital to enabling citizens to assert their interests. A government that opposes union rights is not a government that is building a democracy.”

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