The fervor finally gets there:
Inspired by protests in other countries such as Libya and Egypt, Iraqis are holding a "day of rage" against corruption and a lack of services. Clashes in Hawija left at least two people dead. There were unconfirmed reports of deaths in other cities. Large numbers have streamed into Baghdad's Liberation Square. Crowds of protesters carrying flags and banners chanted anti-government slogans as security forces were deployed in large numbers.
And Facebook is there yet again. But Joel Wing explains why the protests won't be nearly as big as they could be:
On the day that [Moqtada al-Sadr] came back to Iraq [Wednesday], his movement issued a statement saying that people should not join the planned “Day of Rage” protest on February 25. Instead, the Sadr Trend said that it would conduct a survey across the country on February 28 to see what services they wanted. If those were not met by the government it would hold its own protest in six months. That, along with a announcement by Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s office that the demonstration could get out of hand and be exploited by others, will probably greatly reduce the Shiite participation in the march.
Another figure who won't be there: Muntazer al-Zaidi, the journalist who threw his shoe at Bush, was arrested ahead of the protests. Check for updates at Enduring America.
(Photo: Protesters chant anti-Iraqi government slogans during a protest at Tahrir Square in Baghdad on Friday, Feb. 25, 2011. Iraqi security forces trying to disperse crowds of demonstrators in northern Iraq killed a few people as thousands rallied in cities across the country. By Khalid Mohammed/AP)