Watching Qadhafi give his speech I’m relieved to see that somebody has more public relations problems than I do right now. Al Jazeera is juxtaposing his speech with footage of Libyan’s opposing him in Benghazi. This is similar to what Jazeera did in Egypt, when it went from Mubarak speaking to the…
|—||Twitter user @atallahs|
From Al-Jazeera, “Protesters have clashed with police and government supporters in the eastern Libyan city of Benghazi, reports say.
Demonstrators gathered in the early hours of Wednesday morning in front of police headquarters and chanted slogans against the “corrupt rulers of the country”, Al Jazeera’s sources said.
Police reportedly fired tear gas and violently dispersed protesters, arresting 20. Families of those arrested are planning to gather outside the city’s security directorate to demand their release, our source tells us.
Al Jazeera is understood to have been taken taken off the state-owned cable TV network, but is still reportedly available on satellite networks”… http://bit.ly/hOZL84
Thawra Comment: We normally like Al-Jazeera and have always felt that maybe it wasn’t as tied to the regime as people say but the lack of coverage on Bahrain and Yemen is making us think that maybe there is a political agenda at work here and it pisses us off.
Someone should tell the Al-Jazeera English presenter that the “pro government demonstrators” in Yemen are not just some kind of spontaneous and sincere supporters of the regime, but balataga, thugs that either work for the security forces or are told to go or are tribal people ordered to go by their sheikhs under the threat that if they dont then people from Taez will take over the government. And they are organized and directed by Yemeni security forces. They make it sound like its just different parts of the population having a reasonable difference of opinion
Chants heard in the Yemeni capital of San’a by protestors opposing the regime of Ali Abdallah Salih (and opposing his sons Ahmad and Amar) (they rhyme in Arabic)
no dialogue, no dialogue, resign or escape
we wont chew qat and we wont sleep until the regime collapses
Oh Hamdi (former president) return return, your people is begging at the
Our demand is clear, leave of Salih
Oh Ali depart, the chair beneath you is rusting
Oh King Abdallah, prepare a place for Ali Abdallah (Shouted as protestors
pass by the Saudi embassy)
Oh free ones oh free ones, not Ahmad and not Amar
We and the army and the police, the need for bread brings us together (we
have the same problems) (sung as demonstrators passed by security forces)
Oh Ahmad tell your father, Yemen is not your father’s
Oh God Oh God, death to Ali Abdallah
Long live yemen, down with Ali
There is no solution, there is no solution, either you go down or you leave
Mubarak went down oh Ali, After Mubarak oh Ali
Oh Hamada tell your father, all the people hate you
No studies and no teaching until the president goes down
Our revolution is popular, like the Egyptian revolution
Our revolution is peaceful, one hundred percent peaceful
All the people hate him
Go Ali, without your departure there will be no solution
Revolution oh people from north to south
No engineering and no education until the president goes down (shouted by a
mechanic looking guy)
Demonstration demonstration until the regime goes down
Oh Hamada tell your father, 70th road is not your father’s
Oh oh leave oh Ali
oh god oh god, down with Ali Abdallah
The Egyptian people brought down Mubarak
Long live the Egyptian people
Revolution until victory
One thousand greetings to al Jazeera
Yesterday Tunisia, today Egypt, tomorrow Yemen will open the prison
Down with the regime
The people want the regime to collapse
Revolution oh Yemen from San’a to Aden
The Yemeni people is fed up with Ali Abdallah Salih
Awaken, awaken oh youth
Long live Egypt
Down Hosni Mubarak
Egypt mother of the free! mother of the revolutionaries!
And part of the poem by the Tunisian poet Abul Qasim Ashabi which has been
sung in Tunisia and Egypt too:
"If people ever wanted to have a life, destiny shall respond, night shall
come to light, chains shall be broken”
I hate to refer to taxi drivers because it makes me sound like thomas friedman, but they can be interesting. Yesterday I was in a taxi and the driver had been in jail twice, once in 2005 and once in 2007 for being a houthi suspect. He had been tortured with electricity once and the other time they wrote the word “nadim” (regretful) on his arm by putting out cigarettes on him. He was arrested the second time because whenever he sees people in the security forces he tries to beat the shit out of them. he says they are lions in jail but women outside on the street.
Later that night I had this great taxi driver who right from the beginning opened a conversation with me by saying Mubarak is gone and Yemen is next, he didn’t know I was a foreigner yet, and he was all revolutionary and he thought the revolution would happen in coming weeks, though he also supported violent actions and resistance (he was from the south also) and he implied he had already acted, disparaging the demonstrators for not acting. so anyway he was great and then he started talking about how Zeydis are ok but the Houthis are rawafidh (rejectionist apostates) because they are Twelver Shiites so that was disappointing. Of course, not that it should matter, but the Houthis are in fact Zeydi Shiites not Twelver Shiites.
Then today I got into a taxi, it was 3 pm so the driver already had a mouth full of Qat. I asked him if there were any demonstrations today. “In Tahrir square,” he said, referring to the pro government sit in the Yemeni government has arranged. “He has to go,” he said matter of factly, “like in Egypt.” I asked if he expected a revolution in Yemen. “There has to be one,” he said. “How will he go?” I asked. “In a revolution,” he said. “Do all the people think like this?” I asked. “yes,” he said. “What about the army and security forces?” I asked. “When there is a revolution there is no fear,” he said. “But Tahrir square is full of government supporters,” I said. “We’ll remove them,” he smiled, showing me how with his hand. “He has to go, to Saudi Arabia, or France.”
“God grant you victory,” I said as I left. He smiled a big green toothed Qat grin.
|—||Bahrain Human Rights|
|—||Twittter user “WomanFromYemen”|
President Salih’s people were very wise to pre-empt the Yemeni youth opposition and seize Sanaa’s Tahrir square, preventing the opposition activists from occupying the square the way their Egyptian counterparts occupied their own Tahrir square. For the Yemeni opposition it would have been both a symbolic and strategic victory. Symbolic because it would obviously associate them with the Egyptian people’s victory, strategic because its basically the only such large public square in the city.
The government denied the demonstrators any location to call their own. At night around the outskirts of the square dozens of Yemeni security force members are sprawled on steps or on the street, their Kalashnikovs on their laps, tapping their large clubs on their palms or swinging them. Thousands of men in tribal attire fill the square, pacing in boredom or standing indolently, their cheeks swollen like tennis balls from the qat paste in their mouths. In addition to their Gambia decorative daggers, many of them have clubs. Its widely believed their tribal leaders have ordered them to the square.
Security forces gather some of them during the day to oppose anti-government demonstrators and intimidate them. At night, corn is roasting for them, and they are given other meals. There are several long tents in the square. Above one is a banner that says “International Support Destruct Terrorism.” Inside are a few dozen men sprawled on the floor chewing Qat. In another tent dozens of men watch a circle of men dancing in a circle to a drumbeat and waving their daggers. People eye me suspiciously. It’s a tense mob and I feel like I’m in some mix of tribalism, fascism and drug induced stupor. A few hundred men stand around in a crowd and listen to various tribal poets shouting speeches into a loudspeaker. “Whoever fights the eagle of Yemen will go down”, they are told, and President Salih made Yemen a leader among nations. “long live our leader the struggler!” he shouted. Another poet denied the widespread belief that they were in the square for money. “if it wasn’t for our president you would be crushed like Iraq,” a poet said, asking where were Saddam’s sons Qusay and Uday. “See how blood is flowing in your country!” he called to Iraqis. “ We are yours Abu Ahmad,” he addressed the president, “with our guns and our soldiers.”