Bahrain: Protesters Continue to Camp at Pearl Roundabout

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

Depending on how you look at it, Bahraini protesters have either ‘liberated’ or ‘occupied’ the Pearl (Lulu) Roundabout in the capital Manama, and say they plan to stay there until their demands are met.

Inspired by popular uprisings in Egypt and Tunisia, a Day of Wrath started in Bahrain on February 14, which was soon quashed by police forces, through shotguns and tear gas. The protesters say that the use of force, for such peaceful protests was excessive, while the government stands its ground that it was proportionate.

While the protesters demands seemed to focus on political and economic reforms within a constitutional monarchy, the twist in events and the death of six protesters over the past few days, has drastically changed the demands, with some voices are even calling for the end of the rule of Al Khalifas, who have been in power since 1783.

Political parties, in dialogue with the government now, however, insist that is not the goal of the protests, and are willing to negotiate a solution, which calls for more political reforms within a constitutional monarchy.

One victim fell on the first day, followed by another killed by police during the funeral of the first.

Following more confrontation with the police, the marchers occupied Pearl Roundabout, referred to as Lulu or Pearl Square by international journalists here.

On February 17, at 3am, frantic tweets came from Lulu, which was attacked by police, and some say the army. The tragic events that unfolded that night horrified some Bahrainis, while others, including some in the government denied it even happened. Four men lost their lives in the pre-dawn attack, which stunned Bahrain, leaving an unconfirmed number of injuries and many people missing – and still unaccounted for (update: Missing people found).

The Crown Prince Shaikh Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa then appeared on state television, ordering the end to bloodshed, and the opening of national dialogue, in which all Bahrainis will be party of.

Meanwhile, some Bahraini officials continue to provoke the feelings of Bahrainis who witnessed bloodshed in their country, by totally denying the sad escalations and tragic turn of events. Here's a CNN interview with Bahrain's Special Envoy to the US telling the world that “our forces did not fire rounds” and that the “kills are not yet confirmed”:

After the protesters buried their dead, they returned to occupy Lulu, where they are still camping – many of whom are staying overnight again.

Here are some pictures of the people of Lulu from last night and earlier today:

@nadooi_wish: Found this! A woman protesting at #lulu #Bahrain #feb14

"I am a sunni & I support my people"

"I am a sunni & I support my people"

@RedhaHaji: The martyr is his cousin. #bahrain #lulu #feb14 the yought man just looks so sad. Full of heartache

@alihashemii: صور التقطت قبل ساعة من دوار اللؤلؤ #Bahrain #Feb14 #lulu

@TruthWitness:Prayers at #lulu roundabout #bahrain #feb14

@RedhaHaji: Why not talk from the start & saves lives #bahrain #lulu #feb14

@fahadjuma: Wind of Change for Democracy #Bahrain #Feb14 #LuLu

Wind of change to democracy

Wind of change to democracy

@nadooi_wish: “Our Demand Is A Constitution” #bahrain #feb14 #lulu

@nadooi_wish: “We Won't Move Until He Moves” Deih Village Youth. Written in Egyptian slang. #Bahrain #feb14 #lulu

@nadooi_wish: #lulu roundabout this morning. People are arriving there &most of them camped there. #bahrain #feb14

@queendarksideup: Scene at 3:33am #bahrain #feb14 #lulu #bh

@Bahrainiac: “One doesn't die twice” #lulu #bahrain #feb14

@khokhz: Last one for the night. Hope things calm down in beloved Bahrain soon #lulu #bahrain #feb14

@khokhz: Some of leftover tear gas cans and rubber bullet pellets found on #lulu #bahrain #feb14

@A7mdG: بعض ما وجد في ميدان اللؤلؤة بعد الرجوع إلية اليوم #bahrain #feb14 #lulu

@OhoodAbdul: Wonderful image of the #Bahrain Salmanya Hospital medical team @ #lulu roundabout today #Feb14

@khokhz: A vigil held for lost victims “I love you, my country” #lulu #bahrain #feb14

@khokhz: Stunned by the resilience of people and how euphoric they seemed to b back #lulu #bahrain #feb14

@anmarek: The mother of martyr. Earlier at #lulu circle #bahrain #feb14 #PearlRevolution

@emoodz: From #lulu.. An hour or so ago.. #bahrain #feb14 #lulu

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.


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