SANA’A, July 20 — One protester was killed, five wounded by life ammunition and 65 exposed to tear gas on Monday in an attack against anti-government protesters, the first since the announcement of a transitional council on Saturday.
The youth who vowed to escalate and strengthen the “revolutionary action” marched on Monday demanding that the international community accept the transitional council. The council consists of 17 members, eight of which are from the south. The youth also called for the removal of what they call “the rest of the regime,” specifically meaning President Saleh’s sons and nephews.
“We went out on a march. We were in the hundreds, and the Central Security stopped us at Kintaki Bridge. But then they let us continue on our way,” said Radhwan Al-Himi, one of the protesters. After the protesters passed the bridge, however, they were attacked by ‘thugs’.
Protesters managed to take a photo of the alleged killer of protester Hassan Al-Hawri that was soon was distributed on social networks. Many facebook users posted Al-Hawri’s picture as their own to show their support for the cause he was killed for – the end of Saleh’s regime.
“We retreated back from Kintaki bridge and again clashes started. They [thugs] hit us with rocks and fireworks, then the Central Security joined them and attacked us,” said Al-Himi.
Some youth said that although they are losing more than they are gaining from these marches, it is the price of freedom and they are willing to pay it. “Tomorrow we have another march. We are willing to sacrifice until the revolution returns to its right path. We also know that losing martyrs can also make more people show their solidarity with the revolution,” said Al-Himi.
Other pro-protest youth think that marching nowadays is not safe, and the organizers should concede that the loses out-weight the benefits. “I think marching now is only going towards death. The protesters should first gain more power from inside, rather than exposing themselves to the regime’s thugs and the security forces,” said Feras Shamsan, another protester.
The first armored division, that defected from the government forces after the killing of protesters in Sana>a on March 18, have previously vowed to protect the youth from attacks forces loyal to the state. However, they no longer seem willing to back this pledge with action, and indeed, there have been reports of violence against the youth from the division since the youth started demanded a transitional council and the removal of the remnants of the regime.
Political analyst, Ahmed Al-Zurqa, said that the violence is increasing against the protesters in these marches due to their small numbers. He says that the security forces that are spread in nearby neighborhoods will use violence against such small gatherings.
“The security forces are filled with the wrong information. They have been filled with hatred and violence,” said Al-Zurqa.
There have been divisions across the political opposition on how to deal with the developing political situation. Some have showed their support of the transitional council chosen by one of the coalitions in ‘Change Square’. Other opposition political parties who condemned the attack against the youth on Monday still do not support their demands, and do not approve of the transitional council.
“The Joint Meeting Parties [the coalition of opposition political parties] have lost its popularity, and lost the means of effective communication with the youth,” said Al-Zurqa.
According to Al-Zurqa, the political scene in Yemen is vague and getting harder predict as the number of active players increase. “The US and the European Union support the Gulf countries vision for Yemen, and the JMP have rejected the transitional council,” he said.