Kuwait: Protest Against the Prime Minister

Kuwaiti Prime Minister Sheikh Nasser Al-Mohammed Al-Sabah had not had a break from attacks from the parliament and continuous sit-ins since February 2006. Beginning on March 8, and thanks to the Arab Spring, Kuwaitis have continued to protest to demand the removal of the prime minister, who had just formed his seventh cabinet. On Friday, May 27, Kuwaiti opposition held another protest for the same purpose, calling it The Friday of Anger.

A lot of confusion was going on over the past days; the protesters insisted on going to Safat Square while the Interior Minister warned them not to go there, which led the opposition to have two different opinions; one was insisting on going to Safat Square to make a clear statement and another asking to change the place to Irada Square to avoid clashing with security forces.

Picture of protesters near the parliament as posted by The Voice of Kuwait blog

The protest, at the end, happened and moved from one square to the other, ending in Safat Square without any clashes reported with security forces, who did not want a confrontation. Protesters burned the pictures of the parliament members who support the prime minister, while the Interior Ministry stopped Mubashar TV Channel from broadcasting the protest live.

Kuwaiti tweep Abdullah Al-Shatti complimented the youth on their protest saying:

بين ساحة الارادة وساحة الصفاة تجمع الشباب بإراده قوية ونفس صافية. هدفهم التغيير للافضل. البعض يسال الى متى ستستمر جمعة الغضب؟
@abdullahahmad81: Between Irada Square and Safat Square, the youth gathered with a strong will and pure soul aiming for a better change. Some wonder, until when should the Fridays of Anger continue?

Another Kuwaiti tweep, Naser AlMutairi, asked a question addressed to the prime minister saying:

هل ينتظر ناصر المحمد أن يقوم كل الشعب الكويتي بالتظاهر والإعتصام في ساحة الصفاة أو ساحة الإرادة حتي يقدم إستقالته لمصلحة الكويت
@q87ar: Is Nasser Al-Mohammed waiting for all the Kuwaiti people to protest and sit in Safat or Irada square to resign for the sake of Kuwait?

On the other hand, Kuwaiti tweep with the nickname Aladly has criticized the youth who participated in the protest saying:

شباب راقي يريد أن يرسم المستقبل السياسي للبلد فاقد أبسط لغة الحوار ضاع فكره بين الصفاة والإراده
@aladly: Civilised youth, who want to draw the political future of the country, lack the simplest dialogue language and got lost between Irada and Safat square.

Another tweep called Aqeel Al-Qallaf criticized Salafi parliament member Walid Al-Tabtabi who participated in the Angry Friday saying:

وليد الطبطبائي الذي يصر على التجمهر في ساحة الصفاة هو نفسه يستنكر هذا التصرف عام ٢٠٠٦ بسؤال موجه للحكومة !


@aqeelov: Walid Al-Tabtabi who insisted on protesting in Safat square, has objected to this behavior in 2006 in a question addressed to the government!

Lawyer Mohammed Fahad Al-Ajmi wrote a tweet demanding the departure of the prime minister:

كثيرة هي الساحات في بلدي.. الصفاة الإرادة التحرير الحرية العلم التغيير المجلس.. سبع ساحات وسبع حكومات.. تعددت الساحات والهدف واحد.. ارحل
@DrAlajmi: There are many squares in my country; Safat, Irada, Tahrir, Horiya, Al-Alam, Taghier, Majles.. seven squares and seven cabinets.. there are many squares but there is one goal.. Leave.

Young tweep Abdulrahman Alshaibani wrote his comment on the Friday of Anger saying:

ساحة الصفاة: هي ساحة الشباب – ساحة التظاهر السلمي – ساحة التعبير عن الرأي – ساحة الأنتصار للدستور وقت لا يكون للدستور هيبه – ساحة الشهداء
@A_Alshaibani: Safat square: is the youth square – the peaceful protesting square – the freedom of expression square – the constitution square – and the martyrs’ square.

Kuwaiti blogger, Hamad, wrote a post evaluating the Interior Minister's position towards the protesters. Many have complimented the minister's decision not to clash with protesters despite entering Safat square. Hamad, though, says this cannot really tell us the truth about the minister's position:

أن ما حدث في ساحه الصفاة لا يعد امرا جديا وبالتالي لايمكن ان يقرأ موقف وزير الداخلية كقراءة نهائية لموقفه من التظاهرات!
What happened in Safat square is not a serious matter, therefore, we cannot read the Interior Minister's position towards the protests.

Kuwaiti blogger Mohammed Alhujailan wrote a post defending the protesting youth from those who described them as unpatriotic:

أجدر بكم يا من تهاجمونهم أن تدعموهم بكلمة أو موقف.. فإن لم تستطيعوا ولن تستطيعوا فاسكتوا واتركوهم ينقذون البلد التي لم تستطيعوا أن تنقذوها أنتم… فهم أفضل منكم.
Those who are attacking the protesters should have supported them with a word or a stance instead. If you cannot, and you will not, then you should remain silent and let the youth save the country that you could not save because they are better than you.

Another blogger, 3ajel, wrote a post regarding the issue of where the protests should take place:

ساحة الصفاة مصيدة، وساحة الإرادة حجة عليهم لا عليكم، وطالما أن الهدف هو التعبير عن غضبكم فالمكان أي مكان يكفي

Safat square is a trap, Irada square is an advantage for you not against you, and as long you aim to express your anger, then the place does not matter.

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