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Yemen: A Year of Revolution and a Story of Struggle

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Yemen, Citizen Media, Politics, Protest

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

Yemen's Revolution is the longest ongoing revolution of the Arab Spring. It started with a protest on February 3, 2011, and has been ongoing ever since. Here are the posts covering the main events that happened in Yemen throughout this year and the videos that tell the story of Yemen's struggle for freedom, democracy and justice.

February 2011

03 Feb – Yemen: Thousands Protest on Day of Rage [2]

One of the first pictures to emerge online of protesters in Sanaa [3]

One of the first pictures to emerge online of protesters in Sanaa. Photo Credit: @al3ini on Twitter.

11 Feb – Yemen: Protests Continue Away from International Media Eyes [4]
19 Feb – Yemen: Another Life Claimed on Eighth Day of Protests [5]
22 Feb – Yemen: Bullets, Screams and Sirens (Video) [6]

The video that follows [7], uploaded on YouTube by EBNShams, shows the mayhem and chaos as ‘thugs’ attack the protesters at the Sanaa University square on the night of February 22. You can hear gunshots clearly in the background. The protesters are also heard chanting: “The People Want to Overthrow the Regime” – which has been the rallying call of protesters against despots reigning across the Arab world during this so-called Arab Spring.

22 Feb – Yemen: Walking the Walk, One More Protester Dies [8]
24 Feb – Yemen: At the Boiling Point? (Video) [9]
25 Feb – Yemen: “Our blood is not cheap” (Videos) [10]

March 2011

01 Mar – Yemen: Thousands Protest on Day of Wrath [11]
04 Mar – Yemen: More Protesters Killed as Political Plans Multiply (Videos) [12]

The next video [13], uploaded by SuperSouthyemen, shows a protester tearing up a huge poster of Yemeni president Ali Abdullah Saleh, as protesters on the ground cheer him on:

07 Mar – Yemen: Protesters Vulnerable to Violent Attacks [14]
09 Mar – Yemen: Did Government Use Nerve Gas on Protesters? (Videos) [15]
19 Mar – Yemen: Friday Massacre in Sanaa [16]
21 Mar – Yemen: Game Over for Ali Abdullah Saleh? [17]
25 Mar – Yemen: Crowds Call for Saleh to Step Down in Sanaa [18]

April 2011

05 Apr – Yemen: Crackdown on Protestors Continues [19]
22 Apr – Yemen: Millions Protest on Last Chance Friday [20]

This video [21], uploaded by alymene1, shows protesters during the Friday Prayers sermon in the capital Sanaa, on what was called Last Chance Friday.

Like their counterparts across the Arab world, Yemeni protesters had a different name for each Friday of protest in their country.

May 2011

29 May – Taiz Massacre [22].

On this day, security forces attacked protesters and burnt sit-in tents in Taiz's Freedom Square, killing 15 people, including four women and three children. Fifty others were injured in the attack.

June 2011

03 Jun – Yemen: Confusion in Sanaa Amid Conflicting News on Saleh [23]

August 2011

09 Aug – Yemen: Pressing Humanitarian Needs and Deteriorating Economic Situation [24]

September 2011

18 Sept – Yemen to the Rest of the World: Silence Kills! [25]

A young female protester is seen in this video [26], uploaded on YouTube by FiredoglakeTV, appealing to the world community to stand by the side of the Yemeni people, who are determined to overthrow the regime:

18 Sept – Yemen: A Massacre Streamed Live Online [27]
24 Sept – Yemen: Bloodbath in Sanaa as Saleh Returns [28]

This video [29], uploaded on YouTube by 1119801, shows thousands of protesters waving their shoes as they protested Saleh's return. Their chant [ar] was:

هذه قدرك يا غالي*** اهلا وسهلا يا علي
This is what you are worth *** Welcome back Ali

October 2011

02 Oct – Yemen: Friday of Victory for Syria and Yemen [30]
07 Oct – Yemen: Celebrating the Bravery of Revolutionary Women [31]

The following video [32] features the message of a female protester to the world, urging the world to stand besides Yemeni youth and people to build a democratic Yemen:

07 Oct – Yemen: Celebrating Tawakkol Karman [33]

This video [34], posted by belaquood on March 5, shows Karman, rallying crowds at rallies in Sanaa.

11 Oct – Yemen: Saleh Stepping Down? Unlikely! [35]
17 Oct – Yemen: Azizah Abdo, Yemen's First Female Martyr [36]
26 Oct – Yemen: Yemeni Women Burn their Veils [37]

This video [38], uploaded on YouTube by YouthYemeni, shows women burning their veils on 60th Street, the epicentre of protests in Sanaa, in protest against the killing of women during the Yemeni revolution. The burning of the veils by the women in the tribal tradition is a plea for help. Yemen is a tribal society and the killing of women is a big shame in Yemen and in Islam in general, so this was a clear and loud message by the Yemeni women for their tribes and the world at large to intervene to stop the killing of protesters.

November 2011

11 Nov – Yemen: Taiz is Bleeding while the UN Envoy is in Sanaa [39]
22 Nov – Yemen: Will Saleh Sign the GCC Deal that the Youth Oppose? [40]
25 Nov – Yemen: Mixed Reactions as Saleh Finally Signs GCC Deal [41]

December 2011

04 Dec – Yemen: Taiz is Bleeding [42]
24 Dec – Yemen: The Amazing Life March Arrives in Sanaa [43]

Yemeni protesters culminated the year with a grand march from Taiz to Sanaa, covering all the 264km separating the two cities by foot. This video, [44] by moathdamar, shows the first leg of the march, which stopped at Damar on December 22:

31 Dec – Should the US Grant Saleh a Visa? [45]

Yemen's massive peaceful marches have been a symbol of Yemeni steadfast and resilience. The life march from Taiz to Sanaa was the lifeline from the heart of Yemen's revolution, Taiz, swelling with the flow of revolutionary zeal on it's route to the heart of Change Square in Sanaa. Although it was met by violence by the security forces, resulting in 13 deaths, it nevertheless pumped life back into the revolution. While the politicians talked the talk, the Yemeni people walked the walk by striking, demonstrating and spreading the revolution from the squares to the government, military and public sectors, demanding the resignations and accountability of corrupt heads.

Yemen's revolution of change is a struggle that will only end when it reaches what it set for – freedom, democracy and justice. So brace yourself for more posts in 2012 to continue the story of Yemen's struggle.

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

Featured image: ‘A young boy holds up the peace signs in Yemen with green tape across his mouth in protest’, by Yemen Eye [46], copyright Demotix (15/04/2011).