Socialist Worker

International round-up of revolt

Issue No. 2248

Yemen

Hundreds of thousands of demonstrators flooded towns and cities across Yemen last Sunday.

President Ali Abdullah Saleh had commented that women should not be on protests as it is against Islamic custom.

In response, thousands of women joined marches alongside men, chanting slogans against the government.

Women have played a significant role in Yemen’s democracy movement. Women students were central to organising anti-government protests on university campuses in the movement’s early stages.

The revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have terrified the US and dictatorships in the region.

The Gulf Cooperation Council now argues for a transition of power. It is made up of representatives from governments across the region, and dominated by Saudi Arabia.

It wants Saleh to go, but for the current regime to keep power.

The US has used Yemen as a base for its “war on terror”. It has given the regime millions of dollars in aid and sent US marines to train Yemen’s security forces in recent years. It has also used drones to attack people in the country.

But the revitalised protests show the revolutionary movement is still deepening.

Syria

Up to a million people protested in Syria on Friday of last week.

Anger at corruption and lack of democracy in the country continue to boil onto the streets.

The state has savagely put down demonstrations.

Security forces killed 30 people in Homs, the second city, on Sunday.

So far the repression has failed to stop people coming out onto the streets.

Under pressure from the protests, Assad announced the intention to lift the country’s 48 years of emergency law. This is yet to happen, however.

Bahrain

The extent of the government’s crackdown both in Bahrain and abroad is becoming more apparent.

As Socialist Worker revealed, tens of Bahraini students studying in Britain have had their funding cut from the state, leaving them penniless and unable to return to Bahrain for fear of torture and arrest.

The regime has instructed at least one student to return to the country since having their scholarship cut. Even the foreign office has been forced to call on the Bahraini government to allow people to protest freely.


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International
Tue 19 Apr 2011, 17:53 BST
Issue No. 2248
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