Politics & Policy

“The March 24th Movement”

In Amman, Jordan’s capital, protesters are imitating those in Tahrir square: 

 

The group, which has taken the name “March 24th Movement” after the date they began camping out, says it wants an end to corruption and autocracy as well as an increase in economic equality. Scores of young adults had “24” scrawled in marker on their faces to indicate their affiliation with the movement, which many learned of on the Internet.

“This is my first demonstration, and I heard about it on Facebook,” said Abdullah Habiba, 22. “I study political science in the university. I want the Parliament dissolved and new elections. Now this is the only way forward.”

As in Tahrir Square and in Pearl Square in Bahrain, the site’s organizers have established cooking and cleaning services and put an emphasis on orderliness. Participants include doctors, engineers and other professionals.

Not far away were several dozen counterdemonstrators holding pictures of King Abdullah II and chanting, “We sacrifice our blood and soul for you, O King Abdullah.” Police officers linking arms kept the counterdemonstrators from interfering with the main protesters….

 

Among those clamoring for more reform include former generals, teachers seeking a union, day laborers unhappy with wages and prices, Muslim Brotherhood members and tribe members normally thought of as the bedrock of royal support.

A Muslim Brotherhood official said that his group was leaving it up to individuals whether to take part. While Muslim activists were in evidence, the thrust was for democratic government.

Jordan saw protests in early February, which inspired King Abdullah to fire his cabinet. But things calmed down after that.

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