Anti-war protests continue [Archives:2003/630/Front Page]

April 7 2003

Mohammed Al-Qadhi
As the war on Iraq enters its third week, protests in Yemen against the war continued last week. Thousands of Yemenis from different governorates and of different social and political backgrounds took to the streets of Sanaa last Wednesday in massive protest demonstrations to denounce continuation of the war and the killing of innocent civilians and the silence of Arab regimes and the world.
Civil society organizations staged a protest that headed for the Iraqi embassy in Sana'a to show solidarity with the Iraqi people. The organizers demanded President Ali Saleh and other Arab regimes to expel US and UK ambassadors from their countries and sever all sorts of relations with the aggressors. They demanded that all goods from these countries should be boycotted and prevented from coming into Yemen through customs outlets on borders and that all possible assistance should be provided to the Iraqi people at these moments of suffering. They also urged Islamic religious scholars to declare Jihad against the invaders and that Arab leaders should stop land and sea facilities offered to the US-UK troops. The protesters also sent similar messages to the UN Secretary General, demanding an immediate action to stop the war. The protest demonstration on its way to Iraqi Embassy was highly guarded by riot police.
They raised banners painting US with terrorism and that its aim is to control oil of Iraq. They also carried pictures of civilian victims, calling angrily that resistance should continue. Some protesters were carrying their passports and tickets, being ready to go to Baghdad for fighting against the invaders.
A similar protest took place in Taiz on the same day where protesters staged strike at al-Ujainat cemetery to show their complete frustration over the Arab regimes which could do nothing to stop the war, rather some of them are facilitating the war against Iraq. The protesters who were around 10000 burned a stuffed effigy as a symbol of the Arab political regimes.
Mr. Eiz Eddin al-Asbahi said that the strike “stressed the deadness of a positive Arab stand against the aggression on Iraq, Palestine and all Arabs.” Another politicians said that addressing the dead people might bring a result for the Arab leaders have been completely deaf to the calls of their people. Yemeni political parties and other civil society organizations discussed the possibility of sending some doctors to Iraq as well as Mujaheedin. After the strike, the protesters including men and women students went angrily in the streets denouncing the war and the US aggression.
Thousands of Yemeni college of medicine students at Sana'a university also staged a strike last Sunday for four hours in protest against the war. They burnt US-UK flags and a stuffed effigy for US president, George Bush. They also said they would start a blood donation campaign for Iraqi people.
School students of Sana'a also protested the war last Thursday and shouted death for the US and UK. They strongly denounced in a gathering at al-Dhorafi stadium the killing of children and civilians in Iraq.
Moreover, the Yemeni opposition parties demanded that no people from the invading countries should come to Yemen to monitor the upcoming elections.