The first thing I thought when I saw this footage from inside the Iraqi parliament today was, perhaps inappropriately, “Shit’s popping off!” It’s maybe not the most eloquent way to report the news—but an accurate one.
On Saturday, a swarm of protesters stormed the country’s parliament in Baghdad, triggering a state of emergency as they chanted, waved flags, smashed car windows, and broke chairs. The Washington Post reports that some lawmakers were beaten with flags and yelled at as they fled the building. All roads in the area have been closed, according to Baghdad Operations Command, as the protests have spilled out into the streets.
Not the usual scene in Iraq's Parliament. pic.twitter.com/DlnORW6ZtD— ian bremmer (@ianbremmer) April 30, 2016
Live inside the Iraqi Parliament, protestor yells: "Where is Maliki? Let the American tanks protect him now!" pic.twitter.com/82W0FUjwkt— Ali Khedery (@akhedery) April 30, 2016
The protests come in response to the urgings of the Shiite cleric Moqtada al-Sadr, who has demanded an end to the political quota system put in place after the arrival of U.S. troops in 2003.
A Kurdish news report showed scenes from the protests: