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Yemen: “Our blood is not cheap” (Videos)

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Yemen, Breaking News, Citizen Media, Development, Digital Activism, Freedom of Speech, Governance, Human Rights, Politics, Protest

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011 [1].

Tens of thousands of protesters across Yemen rallied for and against President Ali Abdullah Saleh [2] after Friday prayers.

Two protesters were shot dead [3] in Yemen's second-largest city Aden on Friday, February 25, in what appears to be confrontations between anti-Saleh groups and police. At least 34 others have been wounded, most by live gunfire.

In the Yemen's capital Sanaa, people were especially worried [4]about rivaling demonstrations scheduled for Friday, but no major incidents were reported. Around 10,000 pro-Saleh supporters rallied in Sanaa's Tahrir square, just four kilometers from where approximately 30,000 to 50,000 [5] anti-Saleh protesters gathered at the University of Sanaa.

For and against the government

In the roughly two weeks since protests began in Yemen, an estimated [6] 17 people have died and dozens hurt in clashes between anti-Saleh demonstrators and pro-government groups and security forces.

Since protests across the Middle East began to spread, opposition groups have squeezed concessions from Saleh, like a promise to not run in the 2013 presidential election and to enable more national political dialogue. Yet anti-government protesters (and outside observers) accuse pro-Saleh groups of hiring thugs to beat them with daggers and clubs.

After pro-Saleh groups shot and killed two anti-government protesters on Tuesday, February 22 (and wounded many others), President Saleh ordered police to offer “full protection [7]” to anti-government protesters, and, if necessary, separate them from pro-government groups.

Yemen is arguably [8] the poorest country in the region, and the mostly young anti-Saleh protesters have been demanding [9] economic development and human rights. They say Saleh has been in power for too long (since 1978) and has reigned over a notoriously corrupt government with a poor human rights record.

Saleh supporters say his downfall would bring chaos to a country only 15 years removed [10] from its last civil war with a southern secessionist movement. Yemen still faces multiple security issues, like an on-again off-again war with tribes [11] on its northern border.


Here is a photo [12] from the demonstration in Aden where one protester was killed and 19 others reported wounded. In a video [13] uploaded to Twitpic by snuraddin [14], protesters chant: “Ali you bastard, our blood is not cheap.”

#today #youth #protest in #almansurah #aden #yemen Image by Twitpic user snuraddin. [12]

#today #youth #protest in #almansurah #aden #yemen Image by Twitpic user snuraddin.

Aden is the former capital of what was once the People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [15] (South Yemen) before unifying with North Yemen in 1990 to form the current Republic of Yemen.

According to accounts on Twitter:

@aden_voice: [16]Ali Abdullah Saleh's soldiers have no qualms about killing southerners and to fire live bullets in the head#Yemen #aden

@aden_voice: [17] they are burning pictures of #President of Yemen and #Yemen Flag in alorood area Aden, #protesters demanding the independence of South #fb

@aden_voice: [18] Security opens fire on the protesters at Camp Victory in Khormaksar and news of the martyrs and the wounded. South Yemen#Aden #Yemen #fb

@snuraddin: [19]#protesters burn #tires in revenge of what happened to their #friends in AlAreesh #khormaksar #aden #yemen


The country's capital witnessed dueling protests today, and citizen caught a lot of the action in videos. A video uploaded by tomwfinn [20] shows the sit-in at the University of Sanaa.

Here is a round-up of the day's events in Sanaa:

@JamjoomCNN: [21] Prayers just finished – as soon as they were done entire crowd rose up chanting “People are calling for the fall of the regime” #Yemen #yf

@Yemen_2011: [22](Hashem @AJELive) cars w speakers infornt of pro-gov marchers #Yemen – plenty of banners – speaking of Dialogue committee by Prez -

@JamjoomCNN: [23] One sign reads: “No to dialogue, no to negotiation” This crowd has one demand… That Saleh step down #Yemen #yf

@shephardm: [24]Word on the street is that gov't loyalists getting about $20 + food and qat to stay at Tahrir Square. That's a lot of money here. #yemen.

@JamjoomCNN: [25]Oppo. politician @ anti-govt demos today:”This is a people's protest. We're joining the youth to be among them and not to lead them.” #Yemen

@tomfinn__ [26] Crowds are deafening here at Sana'a university #yemen there must be over 30,000 people

@JamjoomCNN: [27]One student :”President Saleh is stubborn but our movement is a peaceful one and we'll keep coming day after day in greater numbers.” #Yemen

@shephardm: [28] Talked with one pro-Saleh demonstrator who said wanted to show support so country wouldn't collapse. Wants to wait for elx in 2013. #yemen

@Abou_3ali: [29] dozens of thousands at #Sanaa university today! So exciting!! More and more people there and so different… #Yemen #yf


[30]@shephardm: [31] But one cop raised his baton and came toward me when he saw my camera. Guess he didn't get the “be nice to journos memo” from pres. #yemen.

@gregorydjohnsen: [32] Pro-Salih protests look fairly small on tv – anyone on the ground have a sense of numbers?ite

@gregorydjohnsen: [33] I was there a couple of hours ago, can't have been more than 10,000 pro-Saleh supporters

@shephardm: [34]Went inside military PR office known as 26th of September. A dozen video cameras. Wonder about “citizen journalists” on the street. #yemen.

@ionacraig: [35] Single panicking soldier who aimed at protesters after firing in air nearly changed course of events today. Snr officer grabbed gun from him

@yemen4change: [36] For security reasons, bloggers from #Yemen, please do NOT disclose your locations! There is gov wide crackdown on online bloggers

@ionacraig: [37]Came closer than I'd like to being shot today, lost my phone and then a pro-saleh guy hit me round the knee with a stick by mistake. Bad day

@WomanfromYemen: [38] liberals, islamists, socialists, young, old, students, unemployed, teachers, doctors, men, women etc at the protest #sanaa #yemen

@WomanfromYemen: [39] overwhelmed w/joy at the peaceful and festive atmosphere today in #sanaa, #yemen. not sure how many ppl were there but i think around 50,000

@Abou_3ali: [40] People prayed, ate, chanted, danced, chewed, at #Sanaa U. and it's still going on! LOVE IT!! Yalla ya shabab !! #Yemen #yf


News Yemen reports [41] that “tens of thousands” protested in Taiz [42], the country's third largest city. Here are some photos [43] from Friday's events.

Here [44] is a video of protests from Taiz, uploaded by sadekmaktary [45]

Another video, titled “funeral of a martyr Liberty Square in taiz,” was uploaded by sadekmaktary [45]

Finally, a video [46] of the protests beginning immediately after Friday prayers, uploaded by @kasinof

From Twitter:

@dia_assada: [47] As Freedom Sq had no more capacity, inhabitants around the Sq opened their houses’ yards n roofs 4 prayer performers. #Taiz #Yemen


Here are some photos [48] of protests in the city of Ibb, about 150 kilometers from the port of Aden.

This post is part of our special coverage Yemen Protests 2011 [1].