Day 4: Still No Word from King Abdullah (Update 1)

Protests against the government’s fuel price hike have entered their fourth day, and still we have heard nothing from King Abdullah even as protesters in Amman called for his removal. Protests today continued in Amman, as well as throughout Jordan. Still, despite the fact that the King has increasingly become the target of protesters’ anger, he still has yet to make a statement or public appearance since the crisis began.

There were only a few pieces of news that came out about the King today. The first was that he has cancelled his visit to the United Kingdom that was scheduled to take place next week. He also received a call from US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, and according to Petra, the state news agency, the King expressed his concern over Israeli aggression in Gaza and warned against escalation, and also urged regional and international efforts to help ease the crisis. The end of this article is the interesting part. It says “She also hailed King Abdullah’s roadmap for political reform as well as the government’s efforts to achieve economic reform, stressing the importance of the Jordanian-US partnership.” and that they agreed to continue coordinating on regional developments, “Especially the situation in Gaza” (emphasis ours). Another article discusses the comments made by a state department spokesman indicating support for King Abdullah and his governments reform measures, while acknowleding the right to peaceful protest.

There is another, perhaps more ominous article on Petra, which discusses a conversation that King Abdullah had with the King of Bahrain, Hamad Bin Issa Al-Khalifa. It says that they discussed events within the region “especially the situation in Gaza.” Bahrain, if you recall, was where GCC forces led by Saudi Arabia suppressed demonstrations as part of “Operation Peninsula Shield.” Did they talk just about Gaza? Or was anything else discussed?

What is going on? There’s no news from the King, nothing. Is he trying to ride out the situation, planning to repress demonstrators, or simply in denial? There’s no information. It’s this sort of denial that the people outside the palace and well-connected circles actually exist that serves as a catalyst for those out on the streets demonstrating.

The opposition Muslim Brotherhood and its political wing supported the demonstrations today and said they would participate until the government reversed its decision. The Muslim Brotherhood also emphasized its focus on dialogue, especially regarding reform of the electoral law. A spokesman for the Muslim Brotherhood says that the group “Isn’t against the King.” Pro-government groups also demonstrated in Jordan.

For this daily update, we have created sections for each area where events have taken place. As we obtain more information we will add it to the respective section.

If you witness any developments don’t hesitate to contact us or tweet to us on Twitter @ImpatientBedu, and we can add the information here.

Amman

At least 6000 people protested, with many calling for the removal of the King. This included a crowd estimated at 4000 at the Husseini mosque, where minor clashes with police were reported. There were also protests at Istkilal street and at Dakhliyya Square, which is near the interior ministry. This where previous protests were violently dispersed by police using water cannons.

Police closed streets to demonstrators, including  between Abdoun bridge and 4th circle, and between Blue Fig and Abdoun Circle, according to @LumaQ

Aqaba

Here is a video posted by @Freedom_Jordan of a large crowd protesting in Aqaba.

Irbid

According to Ammon Times, there were two protests in Irbid, both of which were held after Friday prayers. One of them was organized by the Muslim Brotherhood, and called for modifying the election procedures, reversing the subsidy cuts, and taking measures against corruption. The second protest was organized by youth and popular reform activist movements, and called for political, social, and economic reform. Security forces were present but no clashes were reported.

Demonstrations took place at the funeral of Qais Al-Omari, who was killed by the police during a demonstration on Tuesday.

Also in Irbid, the student union at Yarmouk University declared an open-ended strike.

Karak

Large protest reported. Here’s a video posted by @Freedom_Jordan.

Also, @che_palover tweeted numerous photos of the demonstrations today, including this one of protesters rallying on Friday night in Karak.

Tafileh

Protest calling for reforms held by youth and popular activist groups, which pledged to continue protesting until demands were met. Security forces were present but no clashes were reported.

Thiban

Police forces fired on protesters according to activist Mohammad Alsneid (related by @freedom_Jordan), though we have not seen other reports of this. We will keep you updated if we have confirmation.

Zarqa

Large protests were reported according to @freedom_Jordan. Here is a link to a video of demonstrators.


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