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Jordan Protests & Solidarity Movements

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  • Jordan Protests & Solidarity Movements

    Jordanians hold peaceful protests in solidarity with Egyptians

    Agence France-Presse

    Last Updated: Jan 28, 2011

    AMMAN // Thousands of Jordanians held peaceful demonstrations in Amman and other cities on Friday to press for reform and the government's resignation, taking their cue from Tunisia and Egypt.

    "Egypt, the Arab nation salutes you. We urge your men to get rid of (President Hosni) Mubarak," an estimated 3,000 people chanted as they marched through central Amman holding national flags after Muslim weekly prayers.

    "The Arab people's message: you are corrupt, beware our anger. (Ousted Tunisian president Zine El Abidine) Ben Ali is waiting for you," they said, referring to his ouster in a popular uprising.

    Police said around 2,000 people staged protests in other cities, answering a call by the powerful Muslim Brotherhood which demands political and economic reforms in the kingdom.

    Irbid, Karak, Maan and Diban were also the scenes of peaceful protests at which no clashes were reported. Like during a demonstration on the previous Friday, police in the capital distributed water and juice.

    "Together let's make political and economic change," banners read. "Down with the (prime minister) Samir Rifai government. We want a national salvation government."

    Muslim Brotherhood leader Hammam Said demanded an elected government.

    "Jordanians should elect their government. Why should they be deprived from electing a government that would feel with and represent them ... a government that would make us feel safe?" he told the crowd.

    The Islamists have called for constitutional amendments to curb the king's power in naming government heads, arguing that the premiership should go to the leader of the majority in parliament.

    The Jordanian constitution, adopted in 1952, gives the king the exclusive prerogative to appoint and dismiss the prime minister.

    King Abdullah II held meetings earlier this week with senior officials, MPs, senators and others as part of efforts to "come closer to the demands of the people," urging them to speed up political and socio-economic reforms.

    "It's time for change. People can no longer accept corruption. We do not want a government of aristocrats, merchants and the rich," Said told the demonstrators.

    The government has announced it was pumping around 500 million dollars into the economy in a bid to help living conditions, but protests have been staged in Amman and other cities over the past two weeks against high prices.

    "We are protesting today to demand genuine reforms that would boost the people's participation in deciding their future," said Abdelhadi Falahat, head of the trade unions' council.

    The Islamists and Jordan's 14 trade unions, which group more than 200,000 members, say the government's new measures are inadequate as poverty levels are running at 25 percent in the desert kingdom.

    The cost of living in Amman is the highest in the Arab world, according to several independent studies.

    Official unemployment is running at about 14 percent in the country of six million people, 70 percent of them under the age of 30. Other estimates put the jobless figure at 30 percent.

    Tunisia's popular revolt, which ousted the country's veteran strongman Ben Ali, has inspired dissidents across the Arab world and sparked protests.

    In Egypt, riot police fired tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse tens of thousands of protesters who flooded out of Friday prayers demanding an end to decades of corruption and oppression and the ouster of President Hosni Mubarak.
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."

  • #2
    Thousands protest in Jordan for third week

    Suha Philip Ma'ayeh

    Last Updated: Jan 29, 2011

    AMMAN // For the third consecution on Friday, Jordanians poured into the streets after noon prayers to protest against soaring prices and call for a change in government.

    The Islamist led opposition, professional associations and leftist activists marched yesterday from Al Huesseini Mosque to the capital's centre. They held banners that read "Corruption and normalisation are two faces of the same coin," called for a "national unity government" and called for the prime minister Samir Rifai to step down.

    Police estimated 3,500 people took part in the protest, one of several demonstrations held this month despite two recent government aid packages to mitigate the impact of soaring prices. The measures included a 20-dinar (Dh100) monthly salary increase for state workers and in pension, while the previous aid package increased subsidies for some commodities, including fuel and food staples such as rice and sugar.

    Another 2,500 people also took to the streets in six other cities across the country after the noon prayers yesterday. Those protests also called for Mr Rifai's ouster.

    "The economic situation is very bad," said Khaled al Malti, 25, an engineer who lives in Amman. "We want the government to improve the economic and political condition and to fight corruption. What happened in Tunisia and Cairo have encouraged us to continue with our demands."

    Ali Ghweri, 41, a taxi driver who took part in the protests, said the recent moves made by the government were more like token gestures.

    "We are paying lots of taxes. The government measures are only a drop in the ocean."

    Jordanians blame the government for their eroding living conditions in a country where official figures show 13.3 per cent of its citizens live below the poverty line of 680 dinars a month, while unemployment stands at 12.9 per cent.

    Last week, the government announced the 300-million-dinar economic package, the second this month, to soften the impact of prices on Jordanians and said it would continue to subsidise gas cylinders. Mr Rifai said last week there would be no new taxes this year, but the measures failed to placate public resentment.

    King Abdullah II has promised some reforms, particularly on a controversial election law. But many believe it is unlikely he will bow to demands for popular election of the prime minister and Cabinet officials, traditionally appointed by the king. "Things are so bad and the prime minister is not doing anything. We need a decent life," said Basil Ahmad, 45, the owner of a clothes shop in Amman.

    Members of the Muslim Brotherhood, Jordan's main opposition group, waved their green flags and chanted: "God is great, the government must change," the "Quran is our constitution, Jihad is our way," "Jordanians are on fire, prices are on fire," and called on Mr Rifai to "step away".

    Ibrahim Alloush, an independent leftist activist, asked for a complete change in the system.

    "It is more crucial to change the way the country is being run. It's not a question of changing faces," he said. "We have a rubber stamp parliament that was chosen by the executive branch of government. People don't take it very seriously. People are going down to the streets because they don't have venues for venting out how they feel through legal means.

    "I don't think change can be done with a magic wand. You have to you have to work for it."
    Thousands protest in Jordan for third week - The National
    "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."


    • #3
      "Every man has his weakness. Mine was always just cigarettes."


      • #4
        King Abdullah of Jordan has dismissed his cabinet and appointed a new prime minister amid large street protests.

        New PM Marouf Bakhit has been charged with carrying out "true political reforms", but the Islamist opposition rejected the appointment
        But many of those on the streets said the measures were not enough and have demanded more extensive political reforms, including the right to directly elect the prime minister.
        The IAF has said repeatedly it is not seeking to oust King Abdullah, who has the power to appoint governments, approve legislation and dissolve parliament

        full article
        BBC News - Jordan protests: King Abdullah names Marouf Bakhit PM

        Ofcourse governements dont have to be overthrown for these serious of events since Tunisia to have a major impact, interesting to see how other arab leaders respond regarding reforms