Mar. 18th, 2011

the_future_modernes: (gwen "seriously?")
[personal profile] the_future_modernes
Pearl No More, demolishing the Infrastructure of revolution

أزالة دوار مجلس التعاون

The Pearl Roundabout is gone. On Friday, March 18, Bahraini government forces exploded the structure that had been built in 1932 as a commemoration to the importance of pearl diving to Bahrain's pre-oil economy. The six twisted arms of the sculpture (meant to be dhow sails) that held the concrete Pearl in place symbolized the different emirates that together form the Gulf Cooperation Council. More recently, the site had become the focal point of ongoing anti-government protests and violence unleashed against these civilian protestors by both Bahraini and GCC security forces. Because of these protests, the site had experienced a re-signification of meaning for Bahrainis, the Arab world, and the international community. It became one more bone in a skeleton that joins Egypt's Tahrir square, Yemen's Sana`a University, and Libya's Benghazi. MORe

Bahrain tears down protest symbol
Government demolishes statute in the centre of Manama where anti-government movement has gathered.

Authorities in Bahrain have torn down the statue at the centre of Pearl roundabout in the capital, Manama, where pro-democracy protests were held for weeks.

The concrete statue of six dhow sails holding up a pearl was demolished using drills and diggers on Friday.

The move came as security forces launched a crackdown on the protest camp, with thousands defying a ban on public gatherings to mourn the death of a protester during the recent violence.

Bahrain has arrested seven opposition leaders after weeks of protests that saw martial law being declared and troops from Saudi Arabia entering the tiny kingdom.

Weeks of protests – sometimes in violent clashes with security forces – by the Shia majority slid into sectarian violence and crippled the economy.

On Friday Sheikh Khaled bin Ahmed al-Khalifa, Bahrain's foreign minister, said the demolition of the statue was an effort to erase "bad memories".


The statue that was demolished comprised six sails symbolising each of the six members of the Gulf Cooperation Council, holding up a pearl, symbol of the pearl fishing heritage that was the economic mainstay of the region before the discovery of oil.

"It is a kind of psychological victory for the protesters," said Hussein Oraibi, who works in telecommunications.

"It upset them so much that people were gathering there, they had to go out of their way to pull this down and change the traffic directions."


Mar. 18th, 2011 09:54 pm
the_future_modernes: (Default)
[personal profile] the_future_modernes

Yemen, A tale of two protests: As demonstrations advance across Yemen, People&Power follows activist Tawakkol Karman.

For weeks activists there have been calling for political reform and for Ali Abdullah Saleh, Yemen's president, to step down. The regime, in power for more than 30 years, has responded with a typically heavy-handed crackdown and then apologies for the deaths that have occurred.

What is different is that President Saleh has been effective in getting his own supporters onto the streets.

Their presence is clearly intended to send a simple message: not all Yemenis want sweeping political changes, or at least not while the country faces long-standing rebellions in the north and south, and is fighting al-Qaeda elsewhere.

On the opposition side, the key departure from the norm is that its most prominent activist is a mother of three, an inspiring figure in a country not known for progressive attitudes towards women. But for Tawakkol Karman it is political change for all that matters right now.MORE

Analysis: Yemen, a revolution interrupted? Not bad though apparently the only protesters this reporter quoted were men. *sigh*

Who's Who in the Yemeni Opposition

UN condemns use of live ammunition in Yemen's protest crackdown

Opposition says no compromise possible with Yemen govt

Yemen declares a state of emergency


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