View Protests across the Middle East in a larger map
Written by John Liebhardt
News organizations and people on the ground have reported that Libya’s army have shot at demonstrators in Benghazi protesting against the 42-year-rule of Muammar Al Gaddafi. Located 1,400km east of Tripoli on the Mediterranean coast, Benghazi is the country?s second largest city.
Written by Tarek Amr
This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.
All of a sudden, many ageing Arab regimes found themselves under the fire of their protesting peoples. The previously predicted wave of revolutions that is taking place in the Arab world has forced the rulers there to try all the tricks they know in order to save their thrones. However it seems that all dictators think alike, and copying each other is the dictators best plan.
Some other stories I?m trying to follow, in addition to the news from Bahrain:
There?s very little news from Libya, as protesters take to the streets, especially in the eastern city of Benghazi. Libya tightly restricts press coverage, and the New York Times observes that while Libya hasn?t been able to prevent news from Tunisia and Egypt from inspiring protesters to take to the streets, it has been pretty effective at restricting news from Libya from reaching the global press. There are reports that Libya began blocking access to social media sites, and last evening, Libya disconnected from the internet.
Muammar al-Gaddafi came to power in Libya on the 1st of September 1969 through a military coup which proclaimed the Libyan Arab Republic, now he is the longest serving national leader that does not belong to a royal family. His stance on international affairs has mostly been conflictive and aggressive in nature, although after a long list of disputes such as financing terrorism worldwide or military clashes with the U.S. he moderated his policies seeking collaboration with international corporations, especially with the Bush Administration.
Written by Jillian C. York
Since the fall of the Egyptian regime, Moroccans have been planning a movement of their own. Taking place tomorrow, February 20, the ?movement for dignity? encapsulates some Moroccans’ frustration with a government that they believe has done little to combat corruption. The protesters are demanding constitutional reform, the dissolution of parliament, and the lowering of food prices, among other things.
from Mashable! by Charlie White
Events in Libya, Yemen and Bahrain are moving fast, but the Guardian’s moment-to-moment coverage has me glued to my screen today:
View Mapping Pro-Democracy Protests in Libya in a larger map
from Wiki Leaks by David Kenner
Like anyone else trying to keep track of the revolutions in Egypt and Tunisia, the protests in Libya, Bahrain, Iran, Yemen and elsewhere, a pivotal election in Uganda, the ongoing collapse of the Ivory Coast, I?m feeling a little behind, a little lost, a little overwhelmed. In 2011, history has apparently accelerated ? it feels like a decade?s events are happening in a few weeks. I?m watching friends write books in weeks ? Micah Sifry on Wikileaks, my friends at Foreign Policy on the revolutions in the Middle East ? rather than the years these works usually require. It?s the opposite of the end of history ? everything is happening so fast that it?s hard to stop to reflect without missing the next chapter.
Written by John Liebhardt
Protests in Yemen against President Ali Abdullah Saleh entered into an eighth day on Saturday with more demonstrations throughout much of the country. Clashes between protesters and the military seem to be worsening by the day since the demonstrations began on February 11.
Every day the constant flow of leaks reveals why the people are fighting so hard to tear down the regime and write a new constitution: they show Bahrain as a country based on media manipulation, government lobbying and all sorts of corruption and trafficking of influences.
from CenterNetworks by Allen Stern
from EUobserver.com – Comment
Revolutionaries in Benghazi, Libya’s second largest city, have taken over a radio station and are broadcasting their message on the Internet. Benghazi has long been a center of dissent against the rule of Muammar al-Qaddafi, who has ruled Libya with a mercurial iron fist for more than four decades
2011-02-18 Cables: Human Rights Watch’s Torture Allegations Threaten Bahrain Government’s Credibility
from WL Central by kgosztola
Written by Afef Abrougui
News of the murder of a Polish priest near the capital Tunis on February 18 was received with shock and grief by Tunisians. The Polish foreign ministry have said they are treating the murder as ?an individual criminal case? without connection to the current state of affairs in Tunisia, but in Tunisian blogs and social media, many theories prevail of who could be responsible and what the motive would be.
The world watches in horror as peaceful protesters particularly in Libya and Bahrain (but also in Iraq and elsewhere) are attacked by police or military forces using live ammunition. Even worse, in Bahrain, firstly at the Pearl Roundabout, not only did those armed forces prevent many injured from being removed from the streets for medical attention, they beat up the paramedics attempting to remove those injured. Here are graphic videos at Wikileaks Central the first of which is another Bahrani incident, (horrific scenes of dead and dying).
Written by Amira Al Hussaini
It’s revolution time across the Arab world, with people rising and calling for political, economic and social reforms. Rallies, demonstrations and protests across the region are flooding our timelines, with heartbreaking news of how one Arab government after the other is using the same tactics to quash protests and silence the voices of dissent.
Written by Jillian C. York
In the broader context of the Arab world, Morocco has one particularly unique feature: Whereas other countries in the region often have two cities of importance (Aleppo and Damascus, Algiers and Oran, Cairo and Alexandria), Morocco has bustling hubs of activity in its four imperial cities: Meknes, Fez, Marrakesh and Rabat, not to mention in its largest city, Casablanca, and the Mediterranean city of Tangier. Today, as protesters step out onto the streets to call for an end to corruption, constitutional reform, and the dissolution of parliament, their strength in numbers is distributed across these cities, as well as in smaller towns.
A recent cable, from 2010, announces: ?Jordan continues to face some of the most troubling challenges of King Abdullah’s 10-year reign.¨ These problems are a deficit of USD 1.43 billion, unstable regional politics, originated from the continuous privilege of rural communities in the East Bank over urban communities with larger Palestinian populations, rigged elections and unequal political rights (09AMMAN813). The cables also reveal that this inequality is created by the government and pushed through by force: ?The King’s economic and political changes face domestic opposition from tribal leaders and an array of entrenched East Bank interests. The latter include many in the military, security services, and bureaucracy, who enjoy a disproportionate share of the current system?. (10AMMAN329).