Apr. 11, 2005 – Marking two years since US forces drove Saddam Husseinâ€™s regime out of power, tens of thousands of Iraqis â€“ most of them Shiâ€™ite Muslims who support rebel cleric Muqtada Al-Sadr â€“ marched peacefully through downtown Baghdad Saturday chanting, "No, no to the occupiers," and "No America, No Saddam, Yes to Islam."
Many of the marchers came from the Sadr City district of Baghdad, a sprawling, mostly Shiâ€™ite slum of well over a million inhabitants. Others reportedly traveled from as far away as Amara, and Nassiriya and Basra in the South to show their opposition to the ongoing US-led military occupation and to call for a speedy trial of Hussein, who was especially oppressive to Shiâ€™ite Arabs during his decades-long rule.
Marchers rallied in Firdos Square, the same location where two years earlier US forces tore down a giant statue of Hussein in what was later admitted to have been a publicity stunt ordered by psychological operations specialists. A statement from Al-Sadrâ€™s office read at the rally said, "We want a stable Iraq and this will only happen through independenceâ€¦. There will be no security and stability unless the occupiers leave."