More than 150 have died and thousands injured in anti-government protests
In Al Umma Park in central Baghdad the park of the nation a small group of men and two women debated under ageing eucalyptus trees how best to articulate the demands of the protesters who have taken to the streets of Iraqi cities in their thousands this month.
Burning army trucks wont help us, it will only help the government accuse us of being hooligans, said a young man. If I give you 17 RPG [rocket-propelled grenade] launchers and you burn that building, how will that benefit our demands? Another man called for the government to be toppled. As the group gathered around him listening, someone shouted: Who made you a speaker? This spurred the rest of the crowd to break into chants of no one represents us and Iran out, out, denouncing Iraqs ruling Islamic parties and their Iranian backers.
The nature of the debate, just like the demonstrations taking place outside the park, was chaotic, boisterous and leaderless. Most of the group were in their 20s, but among them stood two old communists in Che Guevara berets.
Eventually, the crowd agreed on a list of demands, which were read out from the steps of the citys Freedom monument by a young bearded and bespectacled man: The resignation of the government, new elections, a change in the elections law and most importantly putting all the government officials on trial. The crowd cheered, mobile phones were raised and the call was raised to demonstrate in Tahrir Square.