The Tunisia effect: where next?

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Valeriano Orobó...
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Feb 15 2011 22:51

"We don't recognise leaders" that's ace! Even more considering the long authoritarian tradition in the area. I expect to listen to it more often. These upheavals are being already amazing.

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 00:18

From the Angry Arab blog

Bahrain today

Quote:
A comrade from Bahrain today: "I took part in the demonstrations today. Below is what I saw there. You can quote me in your blog, but please don't mention my name:

My friends and I took part in occupying the Lulu roundabout. It's packed with tens of thousands of people by now. I could tell that the Islamists are mostly represented by the shia ones, and that only the secular ones are cross-sectarian, but there was only what I'd consider the bare-minimum sectarian-neutral religious chants, which didn't really bother me. It seems that they have learned their lesson from Tunisia and Egypt well.

On the roundabout, a little village very quickly began to take on a life of its own. People distributed food and beverages and picked up garbage. Personally, I helped with the latter. Some of my friends went back and forth to the malls nearby to buy rolls of plastic bags for garbage collection and fruits to distribute to people. 

Ibrahim Sharif of the secular and left-leaning Waad was there too. I met and talked to him for the first time. I asked him if he thinks that calls for an elected a Prime Minister to replace of the incumbent Khalifa bin Salman are realistic. He said if there was ever a time to realize such demands, now is it. I then asked him about the mysterious absence of the police, which were present at first but then disappeared; he said that they can't even fire a teargas canister at us at this point because doing that alone would lead to a stampede and therefore many deaths. This probably won't happen because of all the international attention we're getting, he said.

As the sun was setting, the protesters began setting up a speakers and a stage. Major opposition figures gave speeches. But what was interesting is that the stage was entirely open to us, the youth, to speak our minds. And some did. Through them, two important announcements were made: 1) there has been a third death -- don't know its details yet --  and 2) one of our fellow protesters has volunteered to buy us all dinner. All around us, tents have been set up. It was clear that the roundabout will remain occupied until further notice.

Ibrahim Sharif was giving a speech as my friends and I were leaving. He addressed the logistical problems of our new little village: we need a youth committee to clean up the place, another to provide food, another to provide shelter to those willing to stay overnight, etc. I'm back home now, but my friends tell me they have set up a projector and a screen to follow the international media and a canteen to distribute food. The level of civility and self-organization I have witnessed today is profoundly impressive. After it became evident that the police weren't about to attack such an increasingly big number of protesters under the noses of the international media -- they were nowhere to be seen, as a matter of fact -- my fear of being gassed, beaten or both had subsided. In its stead, I experienced a feeling of liberty and a real sense of community, both of which I've never known before.

We plan to set up our own tent soon. We're also working on forming a coalition of secular and left-ish/ leftist protesters. Will update you on that later, if you're interested...

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 10:10

Al Jazeera liveblog - Bahrain

Quote:
12:08pm Our correspondent says that there are rumours of a third person dying after being injured in protests yesterday. he said that protesters are very angry about this, but it was still unconfirmed.

11:14am Funeral processions ends with burial of the deceased. Some of the protesters reported to head back to Pearl roundabout from the cemetery

10:35am Policemen behind the killing of two protesters in Bahrain have been arrested pending investigation, AFP news agency reports the interior minister as saying, while thousands of protesters continue their demonstration in the centre of Manama.

10:24am Activists say they also want the release of political prisoners, which the government has promised, and the creation of a new constitution.

8:12am Pearl roundabout, a major landmark of the city is occupied by thousands of people. They are very well organised and are saying that they will make this Bahrain's version of Egypt's Tahrir Square.

There are no police officers on the roundabout - they are standing some 700 meters away. A group of protesters will march from the roundabout while others remain and keep it occupied. 

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 10:12

Violent protests break out in Libya

Al Jazeera wrote:

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 fired tear gas and violently dispersed protesters, the sources said without providing further details.

The online edition of Libya's privately-owned Quryna newspaper, which is based in Benghazi, said the protesters were armed with petrol bombs and threw stones.

According to the newspaper, 14 people were injured in the clashes, including three demonstrators and 10 security officials.

In a telephone interview with Al Jazeera, Idris Al-Mesmari, a Libyan novelist and writer, said that security officials in civilian clothes came and dispersed protesters by using tear gas, batons and hot water.

Al-Mesmari was arrested hours after the interview, unconfirmed reports say.

Anti-government protesters have also called on citizens to observe Thursday as a "Day of Rage". They are hoping to emulate recent popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia to end Colonel Muammar Gaddafi's 41-year-old rule.

The rare protests reportedly began after relatives of those killed in a prison massacre about 15 years ago took to streets. They were joined by scores of other supporters.

The relatives were said to have been angered by the detention of Fathi Terbil, human rights lawyer and official spokesman of the victims' families, who was arrested by the Libyan security forces, for no apparent reason.

However, Terbil was later released, according to reports.

Twelve-hundred prisoners were killed in the Abu Slim prison massacre on June 29, 1996, after they had objected to their inhumane conditions inside the prison.

Those killed were buried in the prison's courtyard and in mass graves in Tripoli. The families of the victims have been demanding that the culprits be punished.

Mohammed Maree, an Egyptian blogger, said "Gaddafi's regime has not listened to such pleas and continues to treat the Libyan people with lead and fire."

"This is why we announce our solidarity with the Libyan people and the families of the martyrs until the criminals are punished, starting with Muammer and his family."

Libyan state television reported that rallies were taking place all over the country early this morning “in support of the rule of the people by the people”…

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 10:36

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Quote:
reports of two or more deaths and multiple injuries in benghazi demonstrations yesterday

FB group for #Libya protests confirming that Tripoli protests are gaining steam. http://ow.ly/3Xmic #feb17

Reports of Helicopters circling the city of #Benghazi, hang in there guys #Libya #Feb17 security being further tightened

just heard Tripoli youths are moving towards city centre .. We have to wait & see

First martyr of the #Benghazi protests against #Gaddafi is a 17 year old boy from the Nabbous family. Please pray for him, and for #Libya.

BREAKING: Reports that ruling "People's Committee" building in #Benghazi on fire

Angry protests in #Benghazi this morning, though in #Tripoli there have been pro-govt demonstrations

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 10:35

More live updates, Bahrain, Libya and elsewhere

EA liveblog

Guardian

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Entdinglichung
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Feb 16 2011 11:03

a call for revolution by a tribal Libyan opposition group: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article20274

baboon
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Feb 16 2011 12:48

Tremours must be occuring within the offices of US imperialism over Bahrain. As Mark says above there's a massive extension of the 5th Fleet facilities going on that is due to take years, firstly to reinforce US presence overall and secondly to encircle Iran. Much has been made of the split between the Shia majority and the minority Sunni Bahraini regime with its mercenary special forces but for one Iran is not involved in stirring things up - it has too much on its plate (its called a demonstration to support the state on Friday) and secondly, this appears to be a wider based movement. Bahrain has no oil and is reliant on US/Saudi support. There are large numbers of construction workers here both local and immigrant labour and the regime has announced a payment of $2700 for every family - with strings of course.

Britain also has a naval base here that it tends not to talk about.

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ocelot
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Feb 16 2011 15:22

It's not just the 5th fleet. There's a potential Saudi dimension to the Bahrain struggle as well. Despite their violently intolerant Wahhabi brand of Sunni islam, Saudi actually has a 15% Shia majority, most of whom are concentrated in the Eastern province in the areas of the old Al-Bahrayn province which includes Al-Hasa, Qatif, etc (and historically stretched from Basra in the North to Oman, being the home in 10th CE of one of the more fun Shia lunatic sects, the Qarmatians). The Eastern Provice of Saudi Arabia also happens to contain most of the big oil-fields and oil infrastructure. You can be sure the prospect of a Sunni herediatary ruler being overthrown by the hated Shia, right in the middle of their main oil region, will drive the al Saud regime absolutely hysterical, and not in a funny-ha-ha way.

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 21:00

.

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

Quote:
13 year old boy shot dead in Baida #Libya today, evidence of how ruthless #Gadaffi is.

Word on the street: Beida is escalating we need MORE media coverage live fire being used! ppl reported dead

there are a handful of deaths in #benghazi & #beida but nobody knows exactly due to lack of independent news agencies present

In #Tripoli: SMS messages being sent out warning those who go out tomorrow will be shot

EA liveblog

Quote:
2010 GMT: Al Jazeera English reports that hundreds of protesters "torched" Libyan police outposts in the eastern city of Al-Bayda (see video at 1745 GMT), while chanting: "People want the end of the regime."

In the southern city of Zentan, 120 km (75 miles) south of Tripoli, hundreds of people marched through the streets and set fire to security headquarters and a police station, then set up tents in the heart of the town

Police reportedly fired tear gas and violently dispersed protesters, arresting 20, in Benghazi. Families of those arrested are reportedly planning to gather outside the city's security directorate to demand their release.

Guardian

Quote:
7.48pm GMT - Libya:

Here's a round up of the protests and reaction being reported in cities across Libya. Because of reporting restrictions imposed by the Libyan government reliable eyewitness reports are hard to come by so this is an amalgam of social media and opposition reports via third parties in other Arab states, including Tunisia:

• The city of Beyida has seen some of the heaviest clashes between protesters and security forces, with police stations set on fire. Police responded by rounding up activists. Lately there have been repeated claims of the use of live fire by security forces, with some witnesses seeing snipers in the security headquarters wounding several people.

• Benghazi: Protests continued into a second day in the countries second largest city, with police using rubber bullets and water cannon on protesters following by the arrest of a human rights activist there, although the numbers involved are said to be small. Witnesses said the protests were peaceful but were attacked by Gadhafi loyalists.

Reuters quotes a "Libyan security official" saying that 14 people, including 10 policemen, were injured. The official also accused protesters of being armed with knives and stones.

• In Zentan, south of Tripoli, hundreds of protesters marched through the streets and set fire to a police station and government offices, before establishing a camp in the centre of the city modelled on Egypt's Tahrir Square.

More updates on Libya at http://www.libyafeb17.com/

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 20:25

EA liveblog on Iraq

Quote:
2015 GMT: Reuters report three people were killed and about 30 wounded in Kut in southern Iraq as about 2000 protesters demanding better basic services fought with police and set government buildings on fire

1530 GMT: Reports are coming from Kut, a southern Iraqi province, that at least one person has been killed in clashes between security forces and protesters.

Around 2,000 people had attacked government offices in Kut in protest over poor services. 27 people are also reported as wounded. The protests began at 0600 GMT.

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 20:39

Washington Post on Bahrain

Quote:
In Bahrain, demonstrators again packed Pearl Square, a central traffic circle in the heart of Manama's financial district, in an effort to replicate the fervor that engulfed Cairo's Tahrir Square, the central staging ground for protests that led to Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak's ouster earlier this month.

A parade of speakers at the roundabout called for more freedoms as local merchants lent a carnival atmosphere to the day by selling popcorn and sandwiches amid a light police presence, witnesses said. The second of the two protesters killed was buried earlier Wednesday.

Although the U.S. State Department expressed concern about the mounting tensions in Bahrain - a pivotal American ally in the Persian Gulf that hosts the U.S. Navy's 5th Fleet - President Obama on Tuesday threw his support behind demonstrators' demands for more freedoms and a better life.

[...]

Regional experts predicted that if demonstrations spin out of control, Saudi Arabia could intervene to ensure the al-Khalifa family remains in power. Already on Wednesday there were unconfirmed reports that Saudi police had come across the causeway to combat protests...

Edit: Reading through this article I've got doubts about how accurate it is.

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 21:39

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

Quote:
Eyewitness on the ground: a local of Benghazi just been killed! SPREAD THE WORD PPL WE NEED YOUR HELP

CONFIRMED: a man was killed moments ago in #Benghazi #Feb17 #Libya heavy clashes taking place in city center

Eyewitness on the ground, all streets blocked in #Benghazi, and clashes in maydan al shajara (city center)

guys maydan al shajara is a small Italian style square in the city center, its focal point is the tree (shajara)

3 protesters dead and 4 injured in Albaida, east of #Benghazi, Libyan security officers using live ammo

http://on.fb.me/f6Y3YO not long ago, police station burning in beida +police cars

Pictures of #Gaddafi burnt throughout #Benghazi

internet is going to be shut down as of tomorrow. we must make as much connections as possible before then.

Word on the street, revolution guard in gar younis southern benghazi working their way to city center, expect clashes tonight

Another man killed in Benghazi

reports coming in, another unarmed youth killed in Al #beida, seems Qaddafi will shed a lot of blood before he goes

38 Injured in clashes yesterday in #Benghazi according to Jazeera

can we rely on our army like #Tunisia and #Egypt? I very much doubt it

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Quote:
Confirmed guy on the ground in maydan al Shajara, huge clashes now taking places, guns involved

CONFIRMED: Revolutionary guard are trying to run over protesters in Maydan Al Shajara #Libya #Feb17 all this with not one tv station

CONFIRMED: at least 2 buses packed with revolutionary guards heading to maydan al shajara carrying guns and leathal weapons

Maydan al shajara and the uni hospital are blocked off in #Benghazi by support troops

tents are appearing in the city of albaydah, this means the libyans mean to stay put and that their protests are serious.

AlMadar 1of2 gov't owned cell providers sending out mass texts to subscribers taunting and challenging if they dare to rise up

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 11:20

Edited to add this comment from the Arabist

Quote:
Following up on my previous post on Morocco, here is the video made ahead of the February 20 protests for constitutitional reform (and muche else), but with subtitles this time.

The Moroccan press and most of the political parties are on full-fledged attack mode against the organizers of the 20 February movement, accusing them of either being irresponsible, extremist or actually traitorous. The narrative emerging from the inimitable Minister of Communications, Khaled Naciri (effectively the government spokesman) is that some wayward Moroccan youth are being led astray by a call from Facebook that is probably initiated by an American-Iranian-Algerian-Polisario conspiracy.

Another line the regime has taken is that it's ridiculous to want to imitate Tunisia or Egypt because Morocco has always been considerably freer. This is untrue, some regime figures have had the temerity to claim that people have been free to protest since the 1960s, which is an insult to the memory of the victims of the "years of lead." In any case, a confusion has been deliberately created that the February 20 protests are about overthrowing King Muhammad VI, which they are absolutely not about: they are largely about socio-economic grievances and the need for the reforms that the regime has pretended to undertake to actually be implemented, starting with constitutional reform to make Morocco into a genuine constitutional monarchy rather than an absolute one that disguises what it is by calling itself an "executive monarchy".

For the past two weeks, the regime propaganda machine has created an outpouring of affection from Muhammad VI. Much of it is based on genuine respect for the institution of the monarchy as well as the man himself, but it is dangerous to play with the king's image in this way. One possible backlash is that on February 20 the protestors will get attacked as traitors. Street violence can get pretty savage in Morocco — I dread to think what might happen. And that's on top of official and covert repression organized by the state. And the regime is taking steps like boosting subsidies (which begs the question — if they were not thinking of doing it before, are they only doing it now because of the threat of protests?)

I've been in touch with activists are there are reports of Youtube and other social media accounts being hacked, everyone involved is changing their passwords. Nonetheless, I am seeing organizing committees in about 10 cities thus far, mostly in the north. What's not clear right now is how things might play out in Western Sahara, where protests took place only last November (ending in a riot, partly because of the army's intervention). Since one of the main arguments used against the protestors is that they are putting Morocco's territorial integrity in danger (even though the protests have nothing to do with Western Sahara, but nevermind). This is the line being put out by anti-protest bloggers, whose motivation against the protests are utterly confounding: if these are just normal protests, and Morocco is a free country where one can express oneself, then what's the worry? Take a look for instance at Robin Des Blogs and BigBrother.ma — in the French-language Blogoma, long the most stalwart defenders of the Makhzen. For the other side, see Larbi or Vox Maroc. There are many more of course on either side, but I don't follow that many blogs myself. I am curious what my friend Ibn Kafka will say when he decides to intervene, though.

To summarize, I think these protests hint at the malaise that has taken over Morocco in the last few years in the face of the mounting political and economic micro-management from the palace (and accompanying corruption), the king's unwillingness to move away from a neo-feudal system of governance that relies on his own symbolic power combined with backdoor negotiations led by the Makhzen, as well as disgruntlement with the result of this style of management: high unemployment, inability to carry out educational reform, political disaffection, etc. The 20 February movement has strong elements from the hard left and from Adl wal Ihsan, the largest Islamist movement. These have long been the monarchy's most outspoken critics, but their ideologies often alienate others. From what I've seen so far, I'm not sure that large parts of the apolitical urban middle class youth will join in, either because of fear, brainwashing of simply discomfort with these groups. Even so, these protests could put the question of constitutional reform back on the table, and remind the regime that it cannot continue to claim to be reformists while not carrying out any fundamental reforms in the last five years.  

Mark.
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Feb 16 2011 23:40

Libya - it looks like protests are being met with more open force than they were in Tunisia and Egypt. Live firing and a lot of people killed.

http://www.libyafeb17.com/

Quote:
Twitter highlights:

"Helicopters have reportedly been used to shoot protesters in Al Bayda"

"Large number of tweets confirming that the protestors have some control over Benghazi town centre"

"Reports that Benghazi has currently turned into a war zone as the protestors are fighting back to take control"

"Reports of water and electricity being switched off in some parts of Libya"

"Claimed sightings of Snipers on top of buildings in Benghazi"

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Quote:
Reminder: Protests planned in London Thursday 17th February 2011 @ 13:00: Libyan Embassy 15 Knightsbridge SW1X 7LY

Protest in #London tomorrow in solidarity with #Libya. A Call to all #Brits who can be there, #Feb17 outside the Libyan Embassy 1pm to 4pm.

NOW: Reports coming from the ground: benghazi is now a war zone, fire everywhere rocks flying all over

Reports from the town of Cyrene East #Libya, they have burnt down the HQ of Revolutionary guard and the interior security HQ

Demonstrations in #Benghazi on Gamel AbduNasr St., over 5000 demonstrators

reports coming in, Youth in #Benghazi have ambushed the pro #gaddafi thugs between omar binal'as st and jamal st

Libyans are receiving anonymous SMSes warning them not to demonstrate #Libya #feb17 #Benghazi http://twitpic.com/40jiun

Unconfirmed: Sniper fire attacks protesters in #Bayda and #Benghazi

Helicopters used to shoot demonstrators in #Bayda, 3 CONFIRMED dead

Demonstrations in Zintan, Headquarters of Gaddafi's Revolutionary Committee in Zintan burnt down

Protesters are out on the street in the East Libyan city of Ajdabiyah

Demonstrations in Ban Walid yesterday and today

Thugs of #Gaddafi are firing live bullets on protesters in #Benghazi. Batons, water cannons and tear gas have also been used.

PLS HELP. PROTESTORS SHOT IN #Benghazi

Eyewitness to #aljazeera: 13 killed and over 20 injured in what he describe as a massacre in #Beida

Map of the protests

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 00:41

http://www.libyafeb17.com/

Disappointment with the media increases

Quote:
Posted on February 16, 2011 by admin
As the night continues and more people are allegedly injured, people are growing increasingly disappointed with the media coverage the protests in Libya have received so far.

@LibyanDictator People in #Libya are dying by the dozens – media has up to now failed to seriously cover this #Feb17 @alarabiya_ar @BBCWorld @guardiannews

@EnoughGaddafi: CONFIRMED: Demonstrations in #Derna, chantin “Ya sa7afa, waynkum waynkum” “Media! Where are you? Where are you?”

@Libyan4life: Confirmation of reports of demonstrations in #Derna #Libya of protesters asking where is the media presence. #Feb17

The lack of coverage makes it really difficult to confirm the snippets of news we are getting. Especially when it concerns news of protesters being injured or even killed as many of the people are tweeting.

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ocelot
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Feb 17 2011 10:32

Riot cops waded into Pearl roundabout in Bahrain at 3am local time (midnight GMT). Reports of 2 to 3 dead, hundreds injured.

So far absolute deafening silence from US and EU.

AJ Bahrain liveblog

Guardian live updates

Reuters

Quote:
Unrest spreads as Bahrain cracks down on protesters
Thu Feb 17, 2011 7:20am GMT

MANAMA, Feb 17 (Reuters) - Bahrain police stormed a Manama square on Thursday to clear activists camped out there as anti-government protests in the Middle East and North Africa, inspired by revolts in Tunisia and Egypt, gathered pace.
[...]
In Bahrain, police firing tear gas and rubber bullets cleared hundreds of people from the central Pearl Square in the early hours as they tried to end three days of protests.

At least two protesters were killed and armoured vehicles were later seen heading to the area.

"Police are coming, they are shooting teargas at us," one demonstrator told Reuters by telephone. Another said: "I am wounded, I am bleeding. They are killing us."

Thousands of overwhelmingly Shi'ite protesters took to the streets in Bahrain this week demanding more say in the Gulf Arab island kingdom where a family of Sunni Muslims rules over a population that mostly belongs to the Shi'ite sect.

Hundreds had camped out at Pearl Square, a road junction in the capital that they sought to turn into the base of a protest like that at Cairo's Tahrir Square which led to the downfall of Egyptian President Mubarak.

But the square appeared nearly empty of protesters early on Thursday after police moved in and was littered with abandoned tents, blankets and rubbish. The smell of teargas wafted through the air.

"I was there ... The men were running away, but the women and kids could not run as easily," said Ibrahim Mattar, a parliamentarian from the main Shi'ite opposition Wefaq party, which has walked out of parliament.

"It is confirmed two have died," he said. "More are in critical condition."

On Wednesday, the party demanded a new constitution that would move the country toward democracy.

Bahrain's Interior Ministry said on Twitter that security forces had "cleared Pearl roundabout" of demonstrators, and a section of a main road was temporarily blocked.

The religious divide that separates Bahrain's ruling family from most of its subjects has led to sporadic unrest since the 1990s, and Bahrain's stability is being closely watched as protests blow through North Africa and the Middle East.

It is considered the state most vulnerable to unrest in a region where, in an unwritten pact, rulers have traded a share of their oil wealth for political submission.

WARNING ON "HEAVY-HANDED REPRESSION"

Regional power Saudi Arabia, and the United States -- which bases its Fifth Fleet in Bahrain -- both view the ruling Khalifa family as a bulwark against Shi'ite Iran.
[...]

edit: confirm, 3 dead.

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 10:20

BBC live updates

Quote:
Security forces in Bahrain have used tear gas and batons to disperse thousands of anti-government protesters in Pearl Square, in the capital Manama. At least three people are reported to have been killed.

1014: More from our correspondent in Bahrain: Ambulances have been turned away and the centre of Manama is "effectively shut down".

1011: A BBC correspondent at Salmaniya Hospital in Manama, Bahrain, has confirmed that three people have been killed and 300 are injured following clashes with police.

0950: A report coming from Yemen says at least 12 people have been injured in clashes in the capital Sanaa. An AFP reporter says about 2,000 protesters - mostly students - left Sanaa University headed for the city centre when they ran into regime supporters and fighting broke out.

0941: Geneva-based rights group Human Rights Solidarity is quoting witnesses in Libya who say snipers on rooftops have killed as many as 13 protesters and wounded dozens more.

0932: As our live coverage of protests across the Middle East and North Africa gets under way, AFP news agency quotes witnesses as saying that dozens of armoured military vehicles are being deployed near Pearl Square in central Manama.

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 10:40

Some background on Bahrain

From the comments:

Quote:
There’s some news coming out of saudi that a demonstration is set to take place on Thursday in the Shia town of Awamiyah. The Shiites in the eastern province of saudi arabia enjoy cultural and tribal ties with their counterparts in Bahrain, and they are livid.
Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 10:45

Angry Arab blog

Quote:
A comrade who should remain anonymous:
Quote:
The following numbers are straight from the hospital in Bahrain

5 dead, 2000 young adults injured, 400 elderly injured, 250 women injured, 70 children injured... 300 of the mentioned in critical condition

Police have attacked ambulance crews

blood donors heading to the hospital attacked.  Only people that can safely go to the hospital are doctors and nurses with IDS

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 10:53

Libya

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23Feb17

http://twitter.com/search?q=%23libya

Quote:
SMS in #Benghazi down, this is the method news was spread across the country

ok an update on the situation, it looks like East #Libya has no net & electricity out in some places #Feb17, he is planning something today

Reports from #Benghazi, Benina airport is closed, and now the net seems to be off, he has started the shut down

Security now searching for those who called AJ from Bayda city in #Libya yesterday. Source http://ow.ly/3Y6Yj

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 10:57

Bahrain

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

Quote:
another 2 dead bodies found in Qufool that raise total of today killed to 6 and total since #Feb14 to 8

Doctors at Salmanya hosptl protesting against minister as no ambulances available #Bahrain #lulu #14Feb http://plixi.com/p/78000060

Eye Witness: all the salmaniya staff are out on a march including doctors and nurses demanding the resignation of the minister of health

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 11:00

Guardian

Quote:
10.54am – Bahrain: In the comments, goonerinoman, who works at a university in Bahrain, posts the following first-person description of Pearl roundabout this morning:
Quote:
Today I should be celebrating Arsenal's fantastic win last night and reading all about it. Instead I have been driving around seeing what's going on here. My first port of call was the supermarket to buy some batteries for my camera. The supermarket was packed with people filling up. Normally there would be two or three people in the supermarket, today there was around a hundred, my joke about it looking like armageddon did not go down to well with the Aussie women in front of me. Everybody had trolleys filled with essentials. Salmaniya Medical Centre where I think some of the bodies were taken. It was very quiet I saw a handful of youths and the only thing that alerted me to there being something different was that one of them had a Bahraini flag draped around him.

From there I drove down to the Pearl roundabout. I was surprised that the road was open, as I drove down on the other side of the carriageway there were bricks scattered all over the road. I saw a lot of broken glass and some heavily bloodstained areas. I got half way down the road and there was a police blockade maybe 100 armed police with rubber bullets and tear gas and machine guns. I went right and after some crazy driving and driving over some waste ground I arrived at the roundabout. It was surrounded by more police. There are bulldozers ripping up the tents and a huge clean-up operation. I did not see any tanks. There were a lot of cars smashed up and lots of debris on the ground. The tents that have survived are being ripped down and taken away. It is like the scene a day or two after the end of Glastonbury. There are lots of roadblocks.

As I was leaving I saw eight ambulances being allowed through one of the blockades. I have no idea where they were going and it was impossible to follow. I do not know if there are clashes on the other side of the Pearl or in another part of Bahrain but it was eerily quiet around the roundabout. I said it would get messy I did not think this quickly. Tomorrow will be very interesting funerals and Friday prayers. Hold on to your hijabs.

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 11:07

EA liveblog

Quote:
1035 GMT: The New Yorkk Times's Nickolas Kristof writes: "Nurse told me she saw handcuffed prisoner beaten by police, then executed with gun." He continued: "One Bahraini ambulance driver told me a Saudi army officer held gun to his head, said wld kill him if helped injured."

...which raises the question of possible Saudi involvement in the repression.

Mark.
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Feb 17 2011 11:13

Bahrain - I'm not sure if these are recent reports or from earlier today

http://twitter.com/angryarabiya

Quote:
i just saw the abmulance driver who are beatin they have broken arms and heads banded

Eyewintness:the army are firing shots at the protestors near the pearl roundabout

Salmaniya have instructions not to treat any injured ppl, the bahraini nurses are helping out. injured are being rejected treatment

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ocelot
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Feb 17 2011 11:26

Comment from an Arsenal fan working in a university at Bahrain, who finished his account thusly:

Quote:
Today I should be celebrating Arsenal's fantastic win last night and reading all about it. Instead I have been driving around seeing what's going on here.[...]

As I was leaving [Pearl roundabout]I saw eight ambulances being allowed through one of the blockades. I have no idea where they were going and it was impossible to follow. I do not know if there are clashes on the other side of the Pearl or in another part of Bahrain but it was eerily quiet around the roundabout. I said it would get messy I did not think this quickly. Tomorrow will be very interesting funerals and Friday prayers. Hold on to your hijabs.

quite.

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ocelot
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Feb 17 2011 12:39

12 hours later, the UK finally makes a public statement.

Quote:
12.18pm – Bahrain: The UK foreign secretary, William Hague (left), has called on the authorities in Bahrain to "exercise restraint", reports the Press Association:
[...]
"We urge all sides to avoid violence and the police to exercise restraint..."

Despicable. Still not a word from the US.

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Feb 17 2011 14:14

G

Quote:
12.44pm – Bahrain: About 60 people are missing after yesterday's raid at Pearl roundabout, a Shia opposition MP said, according to Reuters, [...]

Mattar said the whereabouts of about 60 people remained unclear, hours after police forced demonstrators to abandon Pearl roundabout, an intersection in Manama which they had hoped to turn into a protest base similar to Cairo's Tahrir Square. "Are they in prison or did they escape and are now hiding in houses? We don't know," he said, adding that his figure was based on telephone calls received from worried relatives.

AJ

Quote:
17:02pm [GMT+3] Al Jazeera's correspondent says that three more bodies are being kept in the morgue of Salmaniya hospital. Two more children are fighting for their lives. There are also a lot of missing people. A source told our correspondent that the army may have taken away bodies in a refrigerated truck.
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flaneur
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Feb 17 2011 15:09
ocelot wrote:
12 hours later, the UK finally makes a public statement.
Quote:
12.18pm – Bahrain: The UK foreign secretary, William Hague (left), has called on the authorities in Bahrain to "exercise restraint", reports the Press Association:
[...]
"We urge all sides to avoid violence and the police to exercise restraint..."

The talk of both sides needing restraint always reminds me of this.

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ocelot
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Feb 17 2011 15:20

That US response in full.