Thousands rally on the 45th Anniversary of 14 October 1963 Revolution [Archives:2008/1199/Local News]

October 16 2008

By: Foud Musid
and Mohammed Bin Sallam

SANA'A, Oct. 15 – The Radfan district of Lahj governorate witnessed on Monday a huge popular rally on the 45th Anniversary of the 14 October 1963 Revolution. At the Jubail Jabr district of Radfan, participants in the rally also marked the first anniversary of the Al-Jabalin incursion that killed 4 citizens and injured 15 others last year.

Organized by the Lahj-based Peaceful Struggle Organization in cooperation with martyrs' families and relatives, the rally was attended by tens of thousands of citizens who came from various areas. Several speeches were given at the event before clashes between policemen and rally participants, who took to streets protesting against the government, injured four protesters when they threw stones at a security soldier.

Witnesses noted the clashes occurred in an area between Hebail Jabr and Al-Jabalain districts, adding that policemen fired live bullets and teargas at protesters and arrested many of them. Information obtained from witnesses revealed that as many as 23 protesters were arrested by the police during the event, while other sources indicated that 30 protesters were arrested after hurling stones at policemen.

Participants in the rally chanted slogans criticizing the government while driving their cars on the road leading to the area of Rasd, but they were intercepted by a military checkpoint and clashes broke out between protesters and army members at the checkpoint. They called on lifting security check points and random arrests which targeted civilians from the south. A statement by the protestors demanded an international tribunal for the crimes committed against people from the south. It also emphasized that the coming elections are rejected absolutely and does not concern the people from the south because their main concern is acknowledgement of their political struggle.

Speakers at the popular rally urged all participants to come together and continue their peaceful struggle against the regime in order to press it reform course of the unity and reconsider both October and September revolutions in Yemen. They said that military retirees in the southern governorate are ready to conciliate with other political groups.