The unstoppable rise of people power after Egypt?

Middle East and Africa Contributor [primary news source: Washington Post]

Since the fall of Egypt‘s Mubarak after an unprecedented display of ‘people power’ in the region, simmerings of uprisings are erupting in to full-scale ‘people power’ protests in the middle east – Iran, Yemen and Bahrain are feeling the full force of demands for change from repressive regimes.

In the kingdom of Bahrain, even with a strong US Navy presence there, thousands of demonstrators took to the streets on Monday calling out for reforms. There were fights with police on duty who utilized tear gas and rubber bullets to keep the crowds under control.

In the meantime, in Yemen, a prominent ally of the US’s ‘war on terror’ in the region, protestors calling for the removal of the country’s dictatorial president, were attacked by knife and stick-wielding government supporters. Furthermore,  in a hitherto unheard of event in the middle east, in Kuwait last week, thousands of Bangladeshi workers went to strike to protest about their bad living conditions in the country and serious abuse and human rights violations.

In Iran’s Tehran, thousands of protesters, despite assaults upon them with tear gas by the police, were on the streets on Monday chanting ‘Death to the dictator’.   In Washington, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton praised the Iranian demonstrators, but was silent about the uprisings in Bahrain and Yemen.

Will this wave of protesting in the region persevere and catch on?  These are worrying times for dictators in the region especially as the USA appears to be allowing ‘people power’ to prevail and continues to sit on its hands whilst the oppressive rulers start to worry about their futures.


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