Yemen: The Amazing Life March Arrives in Sanaa

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

Yemen's revolutionaries are not deterred nor did they give up on their demands despite the signing of the strongly rejected Gulf Cooperation Council's initiative proposed in April and finally signed by Saleh on November 23rd, providing a so called mechanism for him to “relinquish” power. They went out on a 264km march on foot from the city of Taiz in the south to the capital Sanaa in the north to send a message to the world, the UN, US, the GCC and Saleh that they reject the newly formed unity government and are determined to demand that Saleh, who was granted immunity from prosecution for his involvement in an 11-month crackdown on protesters demanding democracy, gets punished for his crimes.

@marimehdi tweets how the martyrs are never forgotten:

#LifeMarch #Taiz2Sanaa ppl r marchin on a distance of 260km 4 tell da world they can't forget their martyrs as #GCCdeal & Saleh wants #Yemen

James Gurdan points in his blog The Trench the protesters’ view:

“These GCC states are not at all competent to deal with popular requests for liberty and freedom, not to mention democratic government, because they themselves are mostly despotic regimes,” observed Yemen’s Coordinating Council of the Youth Revolution of Change (CCYRC). “They themselves would never welcome such requests from their own people, let alone be ready to accommodate such demands by people in neighboring states.”

The Life March continues to Sanaa. Photo credit: The Life March Blog

The march includes men, women and even a few handicapped, reportedly seems to have started with 700 men and 18 women. It left Taiz on foot on December 20th and passed by many villages and towns. Along the way, the marchers were greeted by fireworks and cheered by chants, welcomed and offered shelter and food and joined in each city by protesters on their way to Sanaa, swelling their numbers.

@Abe_Alansy proudly tweets:

Very proud of my people, Yemeni People are showing the world powerful examples of peaceful struggle. #Yemen #LifeMarch #SupportYemen

@wsaqaf adds:

Life March of 260km+ from #Taiz to #Sanaa a reminder of resilience & perseverance of #Yemen people. Proud of being a #Yemeni!

This video posted by Almobdieen shows the march as it left the city of Taiz on the 20th of December.

@crazyyafai tweets:

#Lifemarch left #Taiz knowing many dangerous routes & terrain land & undeveloped roads ahead of them but freedom couldn't stop them. #Yemen

This next video posted by Almobdieen shows the difficult terrain from Taiz to Ibb:

The procession also includes a kitchen and medical unit. However, generous banquets of breakfasts, lunches and dinners were offered in each city they stopped in, as shown in this video, also posted by Almobdieen:

The impressive march and powerful chants on the outskirts of the city of Dhamar, half way en route to Sanaa from Taiz, shows the resilience and power of the people. This feeling is captured in this video posted by moathdamar:

The people of Yemen proved to be people of resilience and steadfastness and keep impressing the world with their civil peaceful resistance in their struggle for freedom, democracy and building a new Yemen.

An impressed and hopeful @Dilmunite tweeted:

You people will have trouble believing it… but #Yemen might be one of the star surprises of this year, against all odds. #LifeMarch

As impressive as the march has been yet there has been a disappointing and evident lack of media coverage to the historic 264km Life March, which is the longest since Mahatma Gandhi's Salt March in 1930 which was 390km long.

@Yemen4Change wonders:

How come #LifeMarch is NOT being covered the way it should? #Yemen

..while @wsaqaf tweets in dismay:

Shameful Arab & Intl #media blackout of the ‘Life March’ of #Yemen protestors crossing 260km+ walking from #Taiz to #Sanaa

Blake Hounshell @blakehounshell Managing editor of Foreign Policy magazine tweets:

Tens of thousands of Yemenis marched peacefully from Taiz to Sanaa — 260 kilometers — and got zero coverage. #LifeMarch

Yemeni are heroically writing their own history and are making sure that the world gets to see it while it is written despite the mainstream media blackout throughout the revolution, with the use of social media, such as blogs, Facebook, YouTube, Storify and, of course, Twitter.

@NasserMaweri tweets:

Let's all participate in the #LifeMarch by covering every event in it..No media coverage so let's keep #LifeMarch alive on #Twitter. #Yemen

@NajlaMo posted on her blog an update of the first three days of Life March here.

And @NotUntilHeFalls blogged also about the March of Life here.

@Abe_Alansy uses Storify to curate the story. The link is available here.

And finally, this is my Storify version of the march: The Amazing March of Life #Lifemarch.

Adel Mozip @shabadel set up an interactive map and website to follow the Life March:

A page documenting and following #LifeMarch in REAL-TIME & Interactive @Google Map or !!

After four days of walking a route full of steep mountain paths and difficult curves, a usually dangerous drive by car, the march of tens od thousands finally reached Sanaa today, December 24th. (video posted by: FreeDomTaiz)

The protesters were greeted with chants from the people of the capital and with security forces’ heavy tear gas and live bullets who tried to disperse and stall their procession from reaching Change square. A number of deaths, the first victim a woman shot in the head, and some serious injuries were reported and the numbers keept increasing reaching 13 deaths by the end of the day.

@NajlaMo tweeted:

So far 2 killed and several wounded, some are trapped and some are kidnapped. #LifeMarch #Yemen

@wsaqaf wonders until when will the world turn a blind eye on Yemen:

At least 2 protesters in #Yemen's #LifeMarch killed today by Saleh forces & world remains silent

The march pumped life into Yemen's ongoing revolution and gave many Yemeni lots of hope and pride. It is a fine example of passive resistance and of Yemeni resilience and steadfastness.

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


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