Basra has always been known in recent Iraqi history as an epicentre of protest against authority. This explains why it is one of the cities that witnessed the most protests in Iraq in recent years against the authorities’ neglect of residents’ rights. For nearly two decades, Basra has been suffering from a noticeable deterioration of services, especially over the summer. The most obvious include the lack of safe drinking water, electricity, school buildings and roads, as well as widespread unemployment. These were amongst the important factors that prompted the demonstrations that have erupted since 2010. Service provision deteriorated over time, with poor quality leading to a comprehensive collapse, which was met with mass demonstrations that escalated into violence and calls for the overthrow of the political system.

This paper provides a brief analysis of the protest movement that took place in Basra Governorate between 2018–2020 in order to discover the important factors that led to its recurrence, as well as the development of protest methods and the expansion of its demands. We also focus on how authorities dealt with protesters, the extent to which they responded to, or considered, their demands and how this affected the protest movement in the governorate.