Coming Soon! Against All Odds: Voices of Popular Struggle In Iraq
Release Date: Late Spring 2015
Collected from dozens of interviews with, and reports from, Iraqi feminists, labor organizers, environmentalists, and protest movement leaders, Against All Odds presents the unique voices of progressive Iraqi organizing on the ground. Dating back to 2003, with an emphasis on the 2011 upsurge in mobilization and hope as well as the subsequent embattled years, these voices belong to Iraqis asserting themselves as agents against multiple local, regional, and global forces of oppression. As Vijay Prashad notes in the foreword: "Other histories had been possible for Iraq, and indeed might yet be possible. The social basis for the ‘Popular Movement to Save Iraq’ remains, even if in the shadows. It is the only force that could provide an alternative to the history of blood that stands before Iraq, the nest of bones, the sky of death."
Workers’ justice, gender liberation, anti-imperialism, and global solidarity have been on the agendas of many Iraqi organizations, in contrast to almost all media and scholarly representations—even those that are sympathetic to popular Iraqi struggles. Media and scholarship instead focus on geopolitics, mass violence, and sectarianism to the exclusion of attempts at independent political action and imagination in Iraq. With the legacy of wars since 1980, followed by the brutal sanctions of the 1990s and the 2003 US invasion and occupation, not to mention the recent emergence of the threatening forces of the Islamic State, understanding and acting in solidarity with these struggles is more crucial than ever.
About the Author:
Ali Issa is the National Field Organizer with War Resisters League, where he is co-coordinator of a campaign to end police militarization. He is originally from Iowa and holds a Master's in Arabic Studies from the University of Texas at Austin. His literary translations have appeared in Banipal, the PEN World Atlas Blog, and Jadaliyya where he is a contributor on Iraqi social movements. He is a member of the community funding committee of the North Star Fund, a foundation that provides grants to grassroots community groups. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
War Resisters League, a national organization with members throughout the United States, has been resisting militarism and war since 1923. Today, as one of the leading radical voices in the antiwar movement, WRL builds solidarity across movements and borders, produces counter-military recruitment materials, creates resources for educators and grassroots organizers, and provides training for nonviolent direct action. WRL organizes campaigns against war and militarism, focusing on connections between and within struggles for peace and liberation.
War Resisters League affirms that all war is a crime against humanity and works for the removal of the causes of war, including racism, sexism, and all forms of human exploitation.