Sunday in Jordan was the sixth day since protests sparked by the government’s decision to raise prices on fuel began. In addition to his meeting with Quartet Envoy Tony Blair and condemning Israeli attacks on Gaza, King Abdullah finally addressed the ongoing crisis, and demonstrated his sympathy is with the security forces rather than the people demanding their rights. He visited injured police and security personnel in the hospital, and praised their “restraint” and their efforts to enforce the law and protect constitutional rights, the most important of which is “which is the right to demonstrate peacefully and express their opinions. I can’t help but say that if he truly believes that the people have the right to express their opinions, they should be able to express their opinions about anyone and anything, including him.
He had nothing but praise for the security forces. He said that “Members of these apparatuses are our brothers and sons who have manifested the highest levels of professionalism, responsibility, patience and wisdom during the recent riots and over the past two years in which they made remarkable efforts and did a perfect job.” In other words, to the King, the events of the past few days, when people demanded their rights are “riots.” Jordanians heard nothing from him for several days and then when they did hear something it merely confirmed what they had known for a long time – that he appears to be completely out of touch.
He seems to be attempting to follow a familiar strategy of stalling and offering vague future promises only to break them later. It’s as though, by visiting security forces he’s trying to act as though he’s a limited constitutional monarch when he isn’t, and requiring the government – his 12th since assuming the throne – to take responsibility for the fuel price increase while he appears to be a neutral arbiter. Then, in a short while he’ll make vague promises of future reform and – in a show of generosity – pardon those arrested for criticizing him, in the hope that the cycle can continue indefinitely.
The cabinet announced that independent state agencies would be restructured. This includes the Executive Privatization Commission which is going to be folded into the Finance Ministry.
Protests and strikes continued today, both in Amman and around the country. According to @Freedom_Jordan, the Teachers’ Association announced that its strike would continue for another day, and the general strike had a greater impact outside the capital, in Karak and Maan than it had in Amman. All major unions except for the nurses union participated in strikes on Sunday, including the doctors’ union, although that union made provision for emergency personnel to remain at work. The National Front for Reform announced that there would be a large demonstration in Amman on Friday, November 30th.
Once again, today’s summary includes sections about developments around Jordan. If you witness any developments, do not hesitate to tweet to us at @ImpatientBedu or email us using our contact us form. Let us know if you do not want to be mentioned by name.
According to @freedom_jordan, protests in Amman were scheduled to begin at the Abu Hanifeh mosque, and at the Hussein mosque in Jebel al-Hussein. The protest in Jebel al-Hussein walked to the Nuzha area. There was also another protest beginning at Tafaileh neighborhood, which headed downtown. Demonstrators chanted that they were proclaiming a republic, and police responded by attacking the demonstration. However, all the demonstrations in Amman ended peacefully.
Two protests were held in Karak. The general strike had a greater impact here than in Amman, according to @freedom_jordan.
According to @freedom_jordan, the general strike had a greater impact here than in Amman.
According to @taylor_luck, there were hundreds of demonstrators protesting in Tafileh today.