The surge is working.
From the Communist Party USA's Peoples Weekly World (They deserve credit for posting on their Iraqi Comrades when many in the Peace Movement would call Iraqi Reds CIA Communists for participating in the current government.)
Some 10,000 Baghdad residents packed a sports stadium March 31 to celebrate the 73rd anniversary of the Iraqi Communist Party. It was the first mass event in Baghdad in years by any secular democratic group.
Similar events took place around the country. In Basra, Iraq’s second largest city, 2,000 overflowed a cultural center for a celebration featuring music, poetry and dance.
The response in Baghdad was so great that the party issued an apology to those who could not get into the filled stadium. The throng, including many families, children and youth, was mobilized on three days’ notice due to security precautions. The party, seasoned in organizing through decades of repression, distributed invitations carefully via e-mail, printed notices and word of mouth.
Iraqi President Jalal Talabani, who heads one of the main Kurdish parties, and Speaker of Parliament Mahmoud al-Mashhadani, of the Sunni Iraqi Accordance Front, sent representatives who read greetings. Representatives of a wide spectrum of political parties and civil society organizations also participated. Well-known poets and singers performed, including the head of the Iraqi Writers Union.
As crowds arrived outside the stadium, a jubilant atmosphere prevailed, with traffic policemen helping participants snap photos of each other. The event “had a tremendous uplifting impact on the political mood,” said ICP spokesman Salam Ali.
xp Prairie State Blue
Update: The ICP posts more photos here.
Update: A Drink-soaked Trotskyite Popinjay for War points to this for comparison.