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Jordan: #March24 Protest Camp in Amman

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Jordan, Digital Activism, Politics, Protest, Youth

Hundreds of pro-democracy Jordanians, mostly students and young people, gathered to protest at the Dakhliyeh Circle (Ministry of Interior Circle) in Amman on March 24, 2011.

Demands from the protestors [1] [ar] included the dissolution of parliament, a new representative election law, the dismantling of the General Intelligence Department, and the removal of Prime Minister Marouf Al Bakhit in exchange for a democratically elected prime minister instead of one appointed by the King. Calls also came for public freedom, as well as an end to corruption and autocracy.

@tarawnah: It is ALL about who is more patriotic right now. The music and Dabkeh competition is amazing to watch. #march24 #jo [2]

@tarawnah: It is ALL about who is more patriotic right now. The music and Dabkeh competition is amazing to watch. #march24 #jo

Protesting through the night

Under heavy and peacefully controlled police and security, the youth of March 24 movement stayed up throughout Thursday night and set up a protest camp, a livestream [3] [ar] of the event, and a clean up crew.

They have been met by a smaller group of counter-demonstrators holding up pictures of King Abdullah, chanting aggressively at the pro-democracy protesters that the King is their leader. The counter-demonstrators also blared music at the March 24 youths while they were performing their dawn prayer.

AmmanNet [4] [ar] reported that one of the March 24 youths, Abdallah AlRamahi, was arrested and later released. Meanwhile, stone throwing has resulted in some injuries [5].

Nearby hospitals reported treating at least 50 injuries, according to AmmanNet [6] [ar], other than the injuries treated at the on site camp clinic.

Injured March 24 protestor. Image by Yfrog user @JournalistErsan. [7]

Injured March 24 protestor. Image by Yfrog user @JournalistErsan.

Twitter reactions

Here are some of the reactions to the protest on Twitter:

@lina18 [8]: كيف يعني هدول اللي بفكروا حالهم “موالين” شايفين إنهم عم بخدموا البلد والملك بإنهم يرموا حجار على المعتصمين ويسبوا عليهم؟؟

@lina18: How is it that these people believing themselves to be ‘loyalists’ see that they are serving the country and King by throwing stones at the protesters and cursing at them??

@Dima_Alashram [9]: the baltajeyye [counter-demonstrator thugs] are holding a picture of the king, and passing it to everyone to kiss it #march24. as if the other party is not pro the king!

@Dinablues [10]: This cannot turn pro/anti king or urduni [Jordanian]/falasteeni [Palestinian] or pro/anti reform. we are all so much better than this.

@SaeedOmar [11]: الله يقوي اللي قاعدين ومعتصمين على دوار الداخليه. قلوبنا معكم ودعاءنا الكم

@SaeedOmar: God give strength to those sitting in and protesting at Dakhliyeh Circle. Our hearts are with you and our prayers for you.

@Qwaider [12]: Today, is one of the very few moments in my life that I'm PROUD TO BE JORDANIAN #Mar24 الله يحيي الشباب… اسقطوا جدار الخوف

@Qwaider: God salute the #Mar24 youth…bring down the wall of fear.

@MohannedA [13]: أفكر بالعودة جديا..عيوني تدمع على بلدي..الله يحمي الأردن

Dakhliyeh Circle protest camp. Image by Twitpic user @fhilal, posted March 25, 2011. [14]

Dakhliyeh Circle protest camp. Image by Twitpic user @fhilal, posted March 25, 2011.

@MohannedA: I'm seriously considering returning to Jordan… my eyes tear for my country, God bless Jordan.

@theMJ_92 [15]: just left interior circle, shocked to see two sides and police in between

@Zaidababneh [16]: اتمنى لو انني لم اذهب الى دوار الداخليةواشاهد مناهضين الاعتصام،لانني ما كنت لاصدق المستوى الهابط من الهتافات لولا اني سمعت

@Zaidababneh: I wish I didn't go to Dakhliyeh Circle to see the protesters because I wouldn't have believed the pathetic chanting had I not heard them myself.

@farahghniem [17]: To anti-reformists & status-quo-lovers, think about this: If u love ur country so much, why do u settle for mediocrity?

@tarawnah [18]: just asked by loyalist whose side I was on. Said I was just a citizen. Told me “ma binfa3″ [that doesn't work]. Threatened 2have me beaten if I took pix. #mar24

@7ammoud [19]: The government is still less than a couple of months old. For God's sake give them a chance before judging them!!

@odoudin [20]: its sad to read some of the comments @ #mar24 facebook page. Enough with the divide, we shud unite to help

@jamal_bat [21]: #ReformJO ppl saying #Mar24 is wrong coz its causing traffic jams, why didn't we hear abt [about] it when they were closed for Kings bday [birthday] parade?

@tarawnah [22]: #mar24 ppl fairly diverse. Saw a mother holding up photo of her Jordanian son who was a #jo policeman that died in line of duty.

@AmmanNet [23]: مسيرة الحسيني غدا تتضامن وتغير مخطط سيرها للداخلية حسب معتصمون

@AmmanNet: According to protesters, the Husseini [Mosque in downtown Amman] protest tomorrow [Friday 25 March] has changed its route and will head to Dakhliyeh Circle instead.

As day breaks into Friday morning, follow on Twitter, hashtags #March24 [24] and #Mar24 [25] and the livestream here [3].