Socialist Worker

Repression fails to quell Bahrain democracy protesters

by Dominic Kavakeb
Issue No. 2271

Protesters in Bahrain have refused to succumb to repression and continue to take to the streets to fight for freedom. Thousands of Bahrainis from villages surrounding the capital Manama tried to force their way back to the city’s Pearl Square on Friday of last week.

Heavy security around the square and attacks on protesters prevented a renewed taking of the roundabout. The weekend’s protests coincided with a by-election to replace the 18 opposition MPs who resigned in protest at the treatment of protesters.

Opposition leaders had called for a boycott and dismissed the poll as illegitimate. The government later admitted that less than 20 percent of eligible voters participated.

Coupled with the ongoing street movement this is a clear indicator that an overwhelming majority of Bahrain opposes the government.

Barack Obama briefly mentioned Bahrain at a United Nations meeting last week. Yet he has reiterated his friendship with the state that is home to the US Navy’s Fifth Fleet.

Neither David Cameron nor foreign secretary William Hague had anything to say about Bahrain. While the West remains silent, Bahrain continues to burn. But an increasingly fearless people protest every night—despite the vicious state response.

“We touched the soul of freedom; we can’t go back now”, one protester told a recent Al Jazeera documentary. It might not be making the headlines but the Bahraini people will not stop until freedom is reached.

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Tue 27 Sep 2011, 19:00 BST
Issue No. 2271
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