Posts tagged ‘Protests’

2011/03/01

Yemen Cleric: ‘An Islamic State Is Coming’

In Yemen today, thousands continued to demonstrate throughout the country, one day after opposition groups rejected President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s offer to form a unity government. Demonstrators and opposition groups are calling for an immediate end to Saleh’s three-decade rule.

Tens of thousands filling Yemen’s capital, Sana’a, chanted “the people want the downfall of the regime.” Other cities, including Ibb and Taiz, also reported demonstrators numbering in the tens of thousands.

Saleh lashed out at the United States today, accusing it of instigating protests and coordinating with opposition groups and complained of Washington’s pressure on Arab leaders to respond to protesters with restraint.

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2011/03/01

Iran: Report Of Mousavi, Karroubi Arrests


Iranian opposition leaders Mir Hossein Mousavi and Mehdi Karroubi, and their wives, have reportedly been taken from their homes by security forces, according to the BBC.

Karroubi’s son told BBC he was told his father had been moved. A website tied to Mousavi is claiming the men have been taken to Heshmatiyeh jail in Tehran.

Iranian government officials denied the report, according to the semi-official Fars news agency.

The arrests, if confirmed, come ahead of planned protests that are due to be held on tomorrow.

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2011/02/23

Revolution and the Muslim World


Revolution and the Muslim World by George Friedman

The Muslim world, from North Africa to Iran, has experienced a wave of instability in the last few weeks. No regimes have been overthrown yet, although as of this writing, Libya was teetering on the brink.

There have been moments in history where revolution spread in a region or around the world as if it were a wildfire. These moments do not come often. Those that come to mind include 1848, where a rising in France engulfed Europe. There was also 1968, where the demonstrations of what we might call the New Left swept the world: Mexico City, Paris, New York and hundreds of other towns saw anti-war revolutions staged by Marxists and other radicals. Prague saw the Soviets smash a New Leftist government. Even China’s Great Proletarian Cultural Revolution could, by a stretch, be included. In 1989, a wave of unrest, triggered by East Germans wanting to get to the West, generated an uprising in Eastern Europe that overthrew Soviet rule.

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2011/02/22

The Tweety Bird

2011/02/21

Libya: Update From Western Media

Highlights from reports filed by major media outlets since the speech by Saif al-Gaddafi …

The New York Times:
A five-day-old uprising in Libya took control of its second-largest city of Benghazi and spread for the first time to the capital of Tripoli late on Sunday as the heir-apparent son of its strongman, Col. Muammar el-Qaddafi, warned Libyans in a televised speech that their oil-rich country would fall into civil war and even renewed Western “colonization” if they threw off his father’s 40-year-long rule.

In a rambling, disjointed address delivered at about 1 a.m. on Monday, the son, Seif al-Islam el-Qaddafi, played down the uprising sweeping the country, which witnesses and rights activists say has left more than 200 people dead and hundreds wounded from gunfire by security forces. He repeated several times that “Libya is not Tunisia or Egypt” — the neighbors to the east and west that both overthrew their veteran autocrats in the space of the last six weeks.

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2011/02/21

Time For West To See The Distinctions

There has been a tendency among western commentators during the past few weeks of popular uprising in the Middle East and north Africa to interpret the events as occurring along starkly defined fault lines.

There are the people versus the regime; Islamists versus the secular; and autocratic, corrupt rulers pitted against a popular desire for democracy, human rights and economic inclusion. All of which contains some truths, but it remains a partial picture.

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2011/02/19

Bahraini Forces Withdraw From Square


In Bahrain today, up to 80 demonstrators in Manama’s Pearl Square were injured as police fired rubber bullets and tear gas earlier today.

Thousands of protesters singing and dancing protesters streamed back into the Square today, after tanks, troops and then riot police withdrew from the traffic circle.

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2011/02/18

Bahrain: Army Fired At Mourners, Media – Live Fire From Street Level & Helicopter

UPDATE 19:56 GMT: Associated Press says some doctors and medics on emergency medical teams were in tears as they tended to the wounded. X-rays showed bullets still lodged inside victims.

UPDATE 18:59 GMT: Video added…caution: graphic scenes.


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UPDATE 17:46 GMT: Associated Press now reports that the injured in Bahrain total at least 50 persons.

UPDATE 16:37 GMT: Associated Press’s Hadeel Al-Shalchi via Twitter: Hundreds at the Salmaniyah hospital chanting anti-monarchy slogans

UPDATE 16:31 GMT: BBC adds details: Witnesses said the army fired weaponry and tear gas, and hospital officials said at least 25 people had been hurt.

UPDATE 16:18 GMT: BBC now also reporting that Bahraini security forces opened fire on anti-government protesters, citing witnesses.

UPDATE 16:10 GMT: New York Times, expanding on their earlier report: Government forces opened fire on hundreds of mourners marching toward Pearl Square, sending people running away in panic amid the boom of concussion grenades. But even as the people fled, at least one helicopter was spraying fire on them and a witness reported seeing mourners crumpling to the ground.

A witness said the shooters were military, not police, which might indicate a hardening of the government’s stance against those trying to stage a popular revolt.

It was not immediately clear if all the forces were using live ammunition or rubber bullets to fire at the crowd, mostly young men who had been part of a funeral procession for protesters killed in an earlier crackdown by police.

Minutes later, forces in a helicopter that had been shooting at the crowds, stopped to fire at a Western reporter and videographer who were shooting footage on the latest violence.

At least seven people had died in clampdowns before today’s violence and a Western official said at least one had died today. There were reports of at least 50 injured.


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2011/02/18

Battle Lines Harden Across Mideast, Africa


Security forces and government supporters employed a growing panoply of violent force — from tear gas and batons to shotguns and grenades — in pitched street battles with anti-government protesters in Libya, Bahrain and Yemen on Friday.

The clashes followed a week of deepening unrest as protesters, emboldened by the toppling of President Hosni Mubarak in Egypt and President Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali in Tunisia, have called for swift revolutions in their own countries. The battle lines between protesters and authoritarian rulers across the Arab world appeared to be hardening, with governments turning to an increasingly brutal script in trying to quash the protests that have swept the region.

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2011/02/18

Video Shows Harsh Libyan Crackdown

[Ed. Note: This post was continued and updated here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

The post that pre-dates this one is here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


Human Rights Watch is reporting that at least 24 people have died in the protests against Muammar al-Qaddafi’s 41-year rule of Libya. Demonstrations are continuing today.

New video from Libya (WARNING: Graphic images):


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2011/02/18

Riots In Yemen, At Least 3 More Dead

Tens of thousands of Yemenis are taking part in anti-government demonstrations across the country, with pro-government supporters also rallying in several cities.

Three people have been killed in the demonstrations with one of the deaths taking place after a hand grenade was thrown at anti-government protesters in the city of Taiz on Friday.

Riots also flared overnight in the southern port city of Aden with protesters setting fire to a local government building and security forces killing one demonstrator, local officials said. Seventeen people were also confirmed to have been injured in those clashes.


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Protesters across the country are calling for president Ali Abdullah Saleh to step down after 32 years in power, in a movement that has now entered its eighth day in Yemen.

Tens of thousands of demonstrators turned out in the cities of Sanaa, Taiz and Aden for a ‘Friday of Fury,’ as it was termed by protest organizers.

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2011/02/16

Report: First Death In Yemen Protests

At least one man has died during a sixth day of anti-government protests in Yemen according to reports cited by the BBC.

The victim was reportedly hit when police fired shots into the air to try and break up around 500 protesters in the southern port of Aden.

In the capital Sanaa several people were injured during clashes between pro- and anti-government supporters.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh has been in power for almost 32 years in Yemen, the poorest Arab nation.

The president has already said he will not seek another term in office or hand over power to his son.

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2011/02/16

Protests In Bahrain Swell On Third Day

Thousands of people are occupying the center of the Bahraini capital on a third day of anti-government protests.

The numbers of those who had camped out overnight in Manama’s Pearl Square were swelled by many who joined the protests throughout the day.

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2011/02/16

Unrest Spreads: Protests Flare In Libya

[Ed. Note: This post was continued and updated, from earliest to most recent, here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here.

For still more news, commentaries, analyses, maps, photographs and videos, click here.]


The BBC is reporting that “hundreds” of people clashed with police and pro-government supporters in the Libyan city of Benghazi, amid ongoing unrest in the region.

Demonstrators chanting slogans against the “corrupt rulers of the country” were attacked by police firing tear gas who violently dispersed the protesters, according to Al Jazeera sources. An online edition of a privately-published Libyan newspaper said that 13 people were injured.


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2011/02/15

Will Israel Permit Palestinians To Protest?

As Egyptian protesters overwhelmed the streets with celebration at their ouster of President Hosni Mubarak, Israel can no longer afford to ignore or stifle the nonviolent, popular resistance movements of the Palestinian people. These groups carry a remarkable message of healing for a region wracked with instability and division – but their ranks are losing hope. And the alternatives for such a deeply frustrated people are not peaceful protests.

Israel should be less concerned with the presence of Palestinian nonviolent demonstration movements than with what it would mean for them to fail.

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2011/02/15

Bahrain Protesters Take Main Square

Thousands of protesters poured into a main square in Bahrain’s capital Tuesday in an Egypt-style rebellion that sharply escalated pressure on authorities as the Arab push for change gripped the Gulf for the first time. The killing on a second protester today spurred the largest Shiite bloc to suspend its participation in Parliament.

Security forces have battled demonstrators calling for political reforms and greater freedoms over two days, leading to the deaths of two protesters and the main opposition group vowing to freeze its work in parliament in protest.

In a clear sign of concern over the widening crisis, Bahrain’s King Hamad bin Isa Al Khalifa made a rare national TV address, offering condolences for the deaths, pledging an investigation into the killings and promising to push ahead with reforms, which include loosening state controls on the media and Internet.

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2011/02/15

Iran MPs: Execute The Reformist Leaders

Hardline Iranian lawmakers called on Tuesday for the country’s opposition leaders to face trial and be put to death, a day after clashes between opposition protesters and security forces left one person dead and dozens injured.

Tens of thousands of people turned out for the opposition rally Monday in solidarity with Egypt’s popular revolt that toppled President Hosni Mubarak after nearly 30 years in power. The demonstration was the first major show of strength from Iran’s beleaguered opposition in more than a year.

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2011/02/15

Video Of Police Firing At Bahrainis

Below is a video clip of Bahraini security forces repeatedly firing rubber bullets at a crowd of demonstrators as it retreats.

The full report about today’s protest in Bahrain can be found here.


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