Armies of Liberation

Jane Novak's blog about Yemen

Huge Protests in Yemen

Filed under: Civil Unrest, Economic, Oil, Yemen, protests — by Jane Novak at 6:41 am on Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Fifty dead, hundreds injured, no photos allowed

AMNESTY INTERNATIONAL 22 July 2005

“Yemen: International rules on law enforcement must be upheld
Amnesty International is concerned at reports that dozens of people have been killed during violent protests over the last two days. Scores of protesters, including children, are said to have been arrested and may be at risk of torture.“

Yahoo What began Wednesday as anger over Yemen’s crumbling economy turned into a rare open expression of fury at the country’s leaders, with rioters demanding the government’s ouster and burning pictures of top officials.

The clashes have not been confined to the capital, erupting in at least a half-dozen cities in the worse civil strife in more than a decade.

The decrepit economy has sparked growing resentment in the mountainous, tribal-dominated nation. Yemen discovered oil in 1986, but the profits have not trickled down to the public and the government has been accused of rampant corruption. Unemployment is 36 percent.

Update 7/22: Protests Spread to all the Governates
Hi MSNBC readers: theres lots more about Yemen all over my blog. Take a look for the real story about this “reforming democray” that is in actuality a brutal dictatorship with a strong indiginous pro-democracy movement that is repressed at every turn.

The protests are about the huge rise in oil and gas prices. Someone should note that in this very corrupt country gas is sold at half of the current market value. Oil revenue is reported on the books with a sale price of $22/barrel when it goes for what now $45? Wonder who is benefitting from that? Not the Yemeni people.

Update 7/21: Khaleej Times (probably written by the reporter who got his car demolished by the Yemeni security forces):

Twelve (more) people were killed during clashes on Thursday between security forces and armed demonstrators in a second day of deadly protests against a government decision to hike fuel prices, witnesses said.

At least 50 protestors were also wounded in the capital and at least six towns in the south and north, with government forces, backed by army tanks and armored vehicles, deployed along main roads.

A number of journalists working for foreign television told AFP the Yemeni information ministry has banned them from airing footage from the violence via satellite transmission. (ht: Strata-sphere, analysis from AJStrata further down.)

The Yemen Observer reports today’s days events this way: The city has returned to state of calm….However, peaceful gatherings have been reported in some parts of the city.

Also: Prime Minister Abdul-Qader Bagammal said in a television address, “We are not accusing anyone but we call those infiltrating the masses to stop harming society. They are the true saboteurs and we will confront them,” he said without elaborating. (Should we take bets on who he’s going to “confront”: the democracy advocates, the journalists, the Popular Forces Union, the Houthis?)

Original post

via email:
We are all worried. Things may get out of control. In my neighborhood and around it today, there was a total loss of control. Nothing held people except that they all view the gov as the enemy. In other areas, things went differently. Demonstrators smashed cars, signs, and glass windows. They ransacked some gov buildings, banks, and other key buildings.

As the sun rises tomorrow, we will know what to expect.

There’s a lot of pent up fustration in Yemen. This is about more than just the price increases, its about a brutal dictator pillaging the economy and stealing the future of a generation of children. (Half of Yemen’s children have never been to school, but theres loads of new weapons-that come in handy now-and millions in private bank accounts of the elite. )

Update, Yemen Obbserver:
Crowds then turned on the police and military with sticks and rocks. The scenes, repeated in other cities throughout Yemen, left the city in a state of shock.

The current death toll stands at 6 in Sana’a, 3 in Dhamar, and 6 in Dhali’. Dozens more people have been injured, according to local media reports. There’s no official statement to confirm or deny the figures above.

Several banks were attacked in Sana’a, including the Central Bank of Yemen, as well as a number of governmental institutions, among them the headquarters of the Ministry of Oil & Minerals and the Ministry of Finance, and several other government buildings.

After 25 years of President Saleh’s brutal rule, Yemen is among the most impoverished in the world, illiteracy is near 50%, and unemployment is very high, while the country’s elites have become richer and more powerful. They are so powerful, the ruling party this week closed down a lawful political oppositon party by taking over its headquarters and newspaper at gunpoint. But in addition to lacking free speech, civil rights, and an independent judiciary, the Yemeni people also lack food, an educational system, and doctors.

Saleh is reputedly worth 20 billion. Economic reforms repealing goverment subsidies on commodity items were instutited yesterday, the impact of which will be felt most keenly by the poor who are barely sustaining themselves now. The massive governmental corruption, noted as among the pervasive in the world, has not been addressed. So again the Yemeni people pay the price for the privileged postions of those in power. This time they’re protesting.

Yemen Times: Observers expect massive rallies across the country after the death of at least 15 civilians in violent demonstrations mainly in the cities Sanaa, Dhamar and Dhale’. The demonstrations were caused by anger due to the government’s decision of raising the prices of petroleum directive products between 50% and 100%.

Thousands of angry men took into the streets in the capital Sana’a and set fire to tires, blocked streets and hurled stones at the prime minister’s office while shops closed for fear of looting.

Demonstrators shouted slogans attacking Bagammal and the ruling party of President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Police, using tear gas and water cannon to control the crowds, blocked off the house of Vice President Abd-Rabbu Hadi where protesters converged.

“This is a natural reaction because the government’s reforms are a lie and we can’t take it any more…This government is making the rich richer and the poor poorer,” said one young man in Sanaa.

Opposition parties say such measures will increase pressure on the poor and demand instead a crackdown on corruption, which they blame for Yemen’s economic problems.

These are not the protests begging Saleh to stay in power that some of his loyalists were predicting here yesterday. This the people putting the blame where it belongs.

YO: Eight deaths have, as of Wednesday mid-afternoon, been confirmed following violent confrontations between police and protestors against the rise in fuel prices…

Soldiers entered a building in search of a journalist who had been on the roof taking photographs of the scenes below, but they did not find him. “The taking of photographs is not allowed,” declared one solider.

“This is our only option to make our feelings known and exercise our rights. What else can we do to make government listen?” said one of the protestors.

The price of petroleum for has risen by around 90%, while the price of gas has gone up to 400 YR a cylinder, an increase of almost 80%.

I’m very worried. There’s 20 deaths already and over a hundred injured.

Quoting other coverage: Mad Dog Vinnie: We need to stand up and support these people in their quest for freedom.

Willisms: These demonstrations are not about poverty itself, nor about gas prices. These demonstrations, targeted against Saleh’s rule, were nothing less than the early stages of revolution.

Don Surber: One victim was all of 12.

Searchlight Crusade references this LGF post. And Thanks Glenn.

Strata-sphere: The protestors have done what they needed to do at this moment – gain world wide attention. They are paying a price for these acts in lives and injuries. But they need to also make sure they can control the outcome towards a peaceful end.

Guardian: “Critics said that curbing general public expenditure, including military spending, would have been a more effective way of tackling the budget deficit.” (ed: oh yes, enough toys for Ali Mohsen already: Russian copters, arms from North Korea, if I recall correctly there’s a $400 million dollar deal with Russia for various weapons. The blackmarket Yemeni weapons pipeline is taking food out of the mouths of starving children. ) Loads and loads more about Yemen all over this blog.

additional coverage:

In recent news report, Al-Sahwa website of Islah party reported demonstrations all over the country, including Sana’a were people headed towards presidential palace in Sana’a and governors offices elsewhere.

As the deaths in demosntrations of Djhale’ are reported to be 5, a man
called Mohammad dal-Ra’i was shot dead in Hezyaz (Taiz Road) in Sana’a
when demonstrating with others against the new price hikes. Tens of wounded are also reported.

There were riots in Sana’a down town areas, including attacks on shops
and public buildings. The police is using batons and tear gas , as well as shooting in the air to spread the demonstrators. Car burning incidents were reported.

The prices of basic commodities like rice and sugar multiplied, while it
is very difficult to find a public transportation means like minibuses
or taxis. Many drivers and gas station owners are on strike.. Personal news from Rada’ say that some shooting is taking place as well,
so is in Mareb
.

About half of the people in Yemen are at the malnutrition level of poverty, due to years of corruption and mismangement. A reform “dose” increasing all commodities including gas and food just went into effect. Petrol went up from 35YR to 74YR, diesel from 15 to 65 rial, cooking gas from 234 to 400.

e Nasserite Unionist party, reported in its website now that demonstrators in Hail and Raqas streets in Sana’a are shouting “there is no God but God, the government is the enemy of God”.. At 11:00 AM, smoke of fires is seen in Hasaba, Qahira, Sheraton, and Taiz road, the website said, saying that police shot at demonstrators in Hasaba in front of GPC’s headquarters.

In Mareb , citizens were said to cut off main roads calling people and the army to confront the new price madness. At the airport road , news of demonstrators trying to force people out from cars and buses are reported.

A photographer of Al-Wahdawi paper in Saba round are (Qiyuada road) was arrested, while security troops heavily damaged the car of correspondent of Al-Khaleej paper of the UAE who was trying to cover the demonstrations.

more: Tribes of Mareb block roads

A tribal source in Mareb told RAY news that Obeida tribe has banned 11 oil tankers from leaving Mareb to other governorates. AL-Shabwan tribe of Obeidah are also occupying the Wadi district which overlooks the road in and out of Mareb. The source told the news service that there are news that the tribes are surrounding oil refineries as well.

Meanwhile, Nasim tribes in Markha are blocking the passage of any government car until the government cancels its yesterday’s decision.

Hundreds of tribal sheikhs and men are gathering in front of the Jawf
governorate HQ and are planning to address a letter of protest to the government on the recent price hikes. Jawf tribes had cut of roads as well.

30 Comments

1

Trackback by Free Thoughts

7/20/2005 @ 7:50 am

Huge Riots in Yemen
Jane writes about huge riots all over Yemen

2

Comment by Jane

7/20/2005 @ 8:01 am

Stef, this is scary. There’s 20 million weapons in Yemen in the hands of the people. It could wind up as a blood bath. Theres lots of people killed and injured today. The peaceful transition of power through free and fair elections is a good strategy. A public protest over government policy is reasonable but Im worried about the reactions of the government forces.

3

Comment by Stefania

7/20/2005 @ 9:30 am

I am too. Would it be like Saddam’s in 1991? Where os the West ?

4

Comment by Stefania

7/20/2005 @ 9:31 am

* Where is*

5

Comment by Jane

7/20/2005 @ 9:34 am

Its not even on the TV. Where is the west? Praising this reforming democracy. Dollars to donuts Saleh will use this as an excuse to stay in power.

Meanwhile his 25 year corrupt regime is what impoverished the people and enriched the ruling cadre, so the solution is to raise the prices on the already starving people.

From what i can tell, its not calming down yet.

6

Trackback by The Jawa Report

7/20/2005 @ 12:01 pm

The Yemeni Tea Party
The long suffering populace of Yemen is mad as hell and they’re not taking it anymore. Jane, as per usual, has the details. Why should we care? Because despite what we’ve been told, the government of Yemen is not our…

7

Trackback by Vince Aut Morire

7/20/2005 @ 12:49 pm

Hey State Department…WAKE UP!

8

Comment by Improbulus Maximus

7/20/2005 @ 2:09 pm

Jane wrote: “Stef, this is scary. There’s 20 million weapons in Yemen in the hands of the people. It could wind up as a blood bath.”

I think someone else has already come up with the best reply to that:”The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants.” — Thomas Jefferson. To which I will add this; where liberty is denied, blood shall most surely flow, and the longer and more violently it is denied, the more blood must flow to atone.

9

Trackback by http://donsurber.blogspot.com

7/20/2005 @ 2:25 pm

Suddenly $2.25 A Gallon Ain’t Bad
UPDATE: No sooner do I post when I notice Jane at Armies of Liberation is all over this one: “Twenty dead, hundreds injured, no photos allowed.”

AP has the death toll at eight in its initial report. Aussie press has it at 13.

10

Comment by Yemeni

7/20/2005 @ 3:56 pm

the people of yemen are starving.
Oh Lord. Bless Yemen

11

Comment by Rancher

7/20/2005 @ 4:00 pm

MSM won’t cover this, we have to. Great blog Jane, I have not seen it before today even though I try and list all Lizard Blogs. It’s great to have someone like you putting out the word on what is going on in the world’s fight towards Democracy. I’ve linked you twice on my Blog, under your lizard nic and under Armies of Liberation in the Freedom Fighters section. I’ll also try and post on what’s going on in Yemen.

12

Comment by Will Franklin

7/20/2005 @ 5:18 pm

Keep up the good work in following this important story.

13

Comment by Eric

7/20/2005 @ 5:21 pm

The wire services are on it, but it’s bland and without any background as to WHY the Yemenis are protesting. It ain’t fricking gas prices.

14

Comment by Jane

7/20/2005 @ 5:31 pm

No its about a throughly corrupt, brutally repressive regime that has stolen everything from the Yemeni people for 27 years and left them powerless.

The regime exports most the the oil and keeps the money for itself, and now is raising prices domestically by 100% when the people are already starving, but not doing anything about the rampent corruption-the outright theft- of the Yemeni economy, as the people are actually starving, without schools, doctors, free speech, or a future.

Thats what its about.

15

Comment by Tom

7/20/2005 @ 5:58 pm

“Petrol went up from 35YR to 74YR”

74YR=$0.38

Presumably, that’s a liter, but still…

16

Trackback by Searchlight Crusade

7/20/2005 @ 6:24 pm

Today’s Links and Minifeatures 2005 07 20 Wednesday
Now I know I’ve arrived. Just got spam offering a link exchange for an online pharmacy. No thanks. I’m trying to avoid advertising here, because it would damage the business model I’m trying for.

**********

17

Trackback by WILLisms.com

7/20/2005 @ 6:47 pm

Yemeni Riots.
The political situation is heating up in Yemen. Freedom House notes that the Yemeni people cannot change their government democratically: Yemen’s government suffers from the absence of any real system of checks and balances of power and any significan…

18

Trackback by WILLisms.com

7/20/2005 @ 6:51 pm

Yemeni Riots.
The political situation is heating up in Yemen. Freedom House notes that the Yemeni people cannot change their government democratically: Yemen’s government suffers from the absence of any real system of checks and balances of power and any significan…

19

Comment by middleroad

7/20/2005 @ 7:18 pm

will be interesting to see if fox carries this story. my guess would be no.. or at most a brief mention similar to other networks

20

Comment by Eric

7/20/2005 @ 8:07 pm

But still what, Tom?

21

Comment by Rosemary

7/20/2005 @ 10:29 pm

Okay, Tom. So it is $.38/liter. For us, that is nothing. Do you happen to know their GDP? It is $508/yr, including the rich tyrants. That would leave $42/mo. and $1.04/day. Would you prefer they work w/o food? You may find this info at The State Dept. We must stop thinking in terms that apply to YOU and me. Really, now.

Sorry about that Jane. I just get a little perturbed when some people don’t seem to understand that you can take any statistic you like and by itself, means nothing!

Great article. Great job. Keep it up.

22

Comment by Jane

7/20/2005 @ 10:39 pm

Oh please Rosemary, rant away. The poverty is shocking. These price increases will make some children starve. And the comparisons with US gas prices really dont make any sense when the US GDP is so much higher as you point out. $500/year? the whole year? for a family? when theres millions and millions in the pockets of the corrupt officials. I can understand their fustration.

23

Trackback by Dean's World

7/21/2005 @ 2:43 am

Protests In Yemen
Enormous protests in Yemen. Jane is all over it.

24

Trackback by Cao's Blog

7/21/2005 @ 4:44 am

uh oh more trouble in Yemen
Jane has the scoop.
The BBC reports it here:

At least 12 Yemenis have been killed when armed men exchanged fire with police during protests over a rise in fuel prices, witnesses have said.

Clashes broke out in the capital, Sanaa, and several oth…

25

Trackback by The Strata-Sphere

7/21/2005 @ 7:50 am

Yemen In Upheaval, Huge Protests
The Armies of Liberation site has been posting for weeks on events taking place in Yemen. The latest post is a tour de force on the massive protests and upheavels there. Some excerpts
After 25 years of President Saleh’s brutal rule, Yemen is amon…

26

Trackback by Searchlight Crusade

7/21/2005 @ 12:36 pm

Today’s Links and Minifeatures 2005 07 21 Thursday
China revalues currency. Well, sort of. China is at least forty percent low, and they revalued by about two percent. Malasia pulls the same nonsense. This i…

27

Trackback by Searchlight Crusade

9/9/2007 @ 1:56 pm

Today’s Links and Minifeatures 2005 07 20 Wednesday

Now I know I’ve arrived. Just got spam offering a link exchange for an online pharmacy. No thanks. I’m trying to avoid advertising here, because it would damage the business model I’m trying for. ********** A sad day for Trekkies…

28

Trackback by Searchlight Crusade

9/9/2007 @ 2:01 pm

Today’s Links and Minifeatures 2005 07 21 Thursday

China revalues currency. Well, sort of. China is at least forty percent low, and they revalued by about two percent. Malasia pulls the same nonsense. This is the rough equivalent of placing a small bandaid on a severed leg that…

29

Pingback by President Saleh bribes Yemeni protesters again with promise of salary increas | Armies of Liberation

1/27/2011 @ 3:59 pm

[...] previously and successfully promised wage increases in order to short circuit civil unrest. During the 2005 fuel riots, Saleh enacted the revised Wages Strategy which purported to offset higher fuel costs with salary [...]

30

Pingback by In Yemen, Many Protests, One Villain

2/12/2011 @ 12:03 pm

[...] response to the 2005 fuel riots, President Saleh enacted the revised Wages Strategy which purported to offset higher fuel costs [...]

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