Slum dwellers have pirated satellite dishes, illegally siphoned electricity, and illegally diverted water. The Maliki government does not recognize the existence of the camps.
The man in the above photo is 30-year-old Shiite Rasul Karim, carrying his one-year-old daughter. Rasul told me he and his family left the al-Thawra district of Sadr City for Baghdad in search of work and have lived in the slums with hundreds of other displaced refugees for two months. "I am against all terrorists," he said, and criticized the Iraqi government for not doing enough to make the city secure from militia members and street thugs. Asked whether American troops should withdraw, Rasul shook his head: "No, no, you can't leave."