Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Huge Riots in Yemen

Twenty dead, hundreds injured, no photos allowed

via email:
We are all worried. Things may get out of control. In my neighborhood and around it today, there was a total loss of control. Nothing held people except that they all view the gov as the enemy. In other areas, things went differently. Demonstrators smashed cars, signs, and glass windows. They ransacked some gov buildings, banks, and other key buildings.

As the sun rises tomorrow, we will know what to
expect.
After 25 years of President Saleh's brutal rule, Yemen is among the most impoverished in the world, illiteracy is near 50%, and unemployment is very high, while the country's elites have become richer and more powerful. They are so powerful, the ruling party this week closed down a lawful political oppositon party by taking over its headquarters and newspaper at gunpoint. But in addition to lacking free speech, civil rights, and an independent judiciary, the Yemeni people also lack food, an educational system, and doctors.

Saleh is reputedly worth 20 billion. Economic reforms repealing goverment subsidies on commodity items were instituted yesterday, the impact of which will be felt most keenly by the poor who are barely sustaining themselves now. The massive governmental corruption, noted as among the pervasive in the world, has not been addressed. So again the Yemeni people pay the price for the privileged postions of those in power. This time they're protesting.

via: the Yemen Times:
Observers expect massive rallies across the country after the death of at least 15 civilians in violent demonstrations mainly in the cities Sanaa, Dhamar and Dhale’ ....Demonstrators shouted slogans attacking Bagammal and the ruling party of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Police, using tear gas and water cannon to control the crowds, blocked off the house of Vice President Abd-Rabbu Hadi where protesters converged.
Much more at Yemen Central, a/k/a Armies of Liberation.