BAGHDAD, (AP) – Demonstrators are converging on Baghdad’s Liberation Square as part of an anti-government rally dubbed the “Day of Rage.”
About 600 protesters already have gathered on the square early Friday, shouting “No to unemployment,” and “No to the liar al-Maliki,” referring to Iraqi Prime Minister Nuri al-Maliki.
The rally has been hotly discussed for weeks on Facebook and groups on other social networking sites inspired by the uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt.
More people are expected to join the demonstrations after Friday prayers.
But turnout may be affected by al-Maliki’s speech Thursday warning people to stay away. Shiite religious leaders have also discouraged people from taking part.
The Iraqi military barred vehicles from moving around the city and were keeping people from crossing one of the main bridges accessing the square.