Yemen Protests: Demonstrations Against Ali Abdulla Saleh (Video)
Yemen Protests Against President Ali Abdulla Saleh Inspired by Tunisia & Egypt
The wave of protest that started in Tunisia and spread to Egypt has now reached Yemen. People in the Yemeni capital of Sanaa have taken to the streets to demand the ouster of President Ali Abdulla Saleh, who has been in power for 32 years.
The Yemeni president is elected for a seven-year term, but legislation is in motion to allow the current president to remain in power for life.
- Tunisia Protests
- Egypt Protests: Beating the Media Blockage
- Guardian Reporter Jack Shenker Beaten by Egyptian Police
Poverty and Unemployment in Yemen
Protestors are also voicing their anger over Yemen's 35% unemployment rate, and its 45% poverty rate.
Unlike Tunisia and Egypt, Yemen's government has scrambled to organize counter-demonstrations.
"Enough being in power for [over] 30 years," protesters shouted during the demonstrations.
They also referred to the ouster of Tunisian president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, saying he was "gone in just [over] 20 years".
Yemenis complain of mounting poverty among a growing young population and frustration with a lack of political freedoms.
The country has also been plagued by a range of security issues, including a separatist movement in the south and an uprising of Shia Houthi rebels in the north.
In a related article, written before the unrest in Yemen began, Tom Molinowski posits that WikiLeaks cables have done more for democracy in the Middle East than decades of US foreign policy, questioning the Western tendency to support the citizenry only once cars are on fire and demonstration videos are on Youtube:
If you think there is only a 10 percent chance that Egypt's post-Mubarak transition will usher in a government that answers to its people, or that in the next few years the Burmese military junta might compromise with the democratic opposition, or that a popular movement might successfully challenge political repression in Iran, then why not do what you can to help raise the odds to 20 or 30 percent? In foreign policy, as in baseball, .300 is a Hall of Fame average.