(AINA) -- The massacre of 58 Catholic Assyrians in a Baghdad church on October 31 has mobilized the Assyrian (also known as Chaldean and Syriac) community worldwide. A campaign to organize worldwide demonstrations, hosted on Facebook, has drawn 45,000 signatures in three days. The Facebook page is titled The March Against the Ethnic Cleansing of Iraq's Indigenous Christians.
The Assyrians of Iraq have suffered a low-grade genocide since June 26, 2004, the date of the first church bombing. 66 churches have been bombed since then and thousands have been murdered. Nearly 40% of the Iraqi refugees in Syria and Jordan are Assyrian, yet Assyrians only comprise 6% of the Iraq's populations.
The organizers of the demonstrations hope to deliver the following messages and demands from the Assyrian community in Iraq:
- A UN or Iraqi commission must be established to investigate the Baghdad church massacre and to recommend actions and steps to take to protect the Assyrian community
- Assyrians must have their own local police forces
- The US Congress and State Department must address the issue of Assyrian safety and protection in Iraq
- Assyrians must be given an autonomous region in north Iraq, where they can govern themselves in the context of a federal Iraq
- Iraq must provide security for the Assyrian population
Demonstrations will be held at 12 PM local time on Monday, November 8 in the following locations (click to email the organizer):
- Detroit/Windsor: at McNamara Federal Building, 477 Michigan Ave, Detroit
- Phoenix: at Cesar Chavez Plaza, 1st Avenue and Washington
- Chicago: at James R. Thompson Building, 100 W. Randolph
- London, England: at Old Palace Yard, SW1
- Hamilton: at Gore Park
- Toronto: at Yonge and Front
- Modesto: at McHenry and Briggsmore
- San Jose
- San Diego: at Federal Building at 880 Front St. (Front St. and Broadway)
- Los Angeles: at Ventura Blvd and Sepulveda
- Newark/New York : at the United Nations
- Las Vegas: at 425 Fremont Street
More Information and contact details for each location is available on the Facebook page.
In Cairo, a candle light vigil, organized by Copts for Egypt, will be held on Monday at 6 PM at the Iraqi Embassy, to offer condolences to the families of martyrs and victims of the Church of Our Lady of Deliverance in Iraq. In Addition, United Copts of Britain announced it will participate in the Joint Remembrance Day Service to be held at the Holy Trinity Syriac Catholic Church in London on November 12.
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