This video is called Jordan protests leave several injured.
From daily The Guardian in Britain:
Ian Black in Amman
Friday 11 May 2012 19.24 BST
It was only his second day in office, but Fayez al-Tarawneh, Jordan’s brand new prime minister, was already getting a hard time from the demonstrators streaming out of the mosque, shouting slogans against him, against corruption, price rises and the peace treaty with Israel.
Tarawneh – and the watching police – need not have worried: only a few hundred people turned out earlier this month to attack the government – the country’s fourth such demonstration in 18 restive months. As Syria bleeds and Egypt faces its first post-revolution presidential election, Jordan’s political elite is playing what opposition critics dismiss as “musical chairs”.
Protests, in the capital and beyond, remain small and peaceful, and state repression is mild by Middle Eastern standards. “It’s true there has not been much violence because Jordan has not yet reached the tipping point,” said one young civil society activist. “But I think it will happen.” …
Yet many doubt the king’s commitment. “The results so far show the appearance of reform rather than real reform,” argues political scientist Mohammed al-Masri. …
Blogger Naseem Tarawnah admits that he does not know whether the king is serious. “But whether he wants reform or not, he and everyone else wants stability,” he says. “If that means sacrificing reform he will do it. Stability means buying as much time as possible.”
Elections will not resolve a severe economic crisis in a country that is heavily dependent on aid from the US, the EU and Saudi Arabia. Jordan, as the wry saying goes, has a “caviar budget” when it can barely afford hummus and falafel. In 2011, 15% of the population lived beneath the poverty line. Opulent west Amman, with its smart shopping malls, palatial villas and Filipino maids, is the glittering exception. The new prime minister’s first serious crisis looks like handling a long-postponed hike in electricity prices.
Belt-tightening is risky because of Jordan’s enormous public sector – providing the livelihoods of perhaps 40% of the entire 6.5m population. …
The crisis is writ large in Tafila, a grim southern town that has seen protests by al-Hirak, a movement that expresses the “dignity deficit” that unites all the Arab uprisings. Unemployment – perhaps 30% nationally – is especially high among graduates and there is no sign of the wealth generated by the nearby newly-privatised potash mines. The arrest of tribal activists charged with insulting the monarch was an exception to the “soft containment” policy masterminded by the Mukhabarat secret police. Twenty were pardoned after elders paid homage to the king.
Topping the list of popular concerns is corruption, with a rash of unresolved cases that, it is whispered, may lead back to the palace.
Claims that the king ordered MPs to block an investigation landed one journalist in a state security court for incitement. Mohammad al-Dahabi, a former Mukhabarat chief, faces charges of money laundering, abuse of power and embezzlement – though some suspect he may be a convenient scapegoat.
“Five years ago, none of our listeners would dare talk about politics,” says Daoud Kuttab, who runs the independent Radio Balad. “Now the phone is ringing off the hook. We hear about corruption on air, on the record, all the time. There is a new public discourse about holding people responsible. In many ways the genie is out of the bottle.”
Even the king, once beyond public criticism, is coming under direct attack. Comments and caricatures posted on social media sites mock him and his penchant for Harley Davidson bikes – a savage contrast to a culture of official deference symbolised by the golden crown logo of Petra, the official news agency. Abdullah’s close links to the US and firm support for his father’s 1994 peace treaty with Israel are other weak points.
“Now young people are cursing the king and that’s a problem,” muses Laith Shubeilat, an outspoken opposition leader who urged Abdullah to change to save his throne. “We are tumbling economically and, in terms of corruption, it’s a farce.” …
Abdullah, say critics, seems to think the tide has turned in favour of the Middle Eastern status quo: factors include Bashar al-Assad’s survival in Syria, Islamist disarray in Egypt and, crucially, the lack of US pressure on Jordan. Those who reject this assessment include Awn Khasawneh, Tarawneh’s predecessor, who resigned after being blamed for moving too slowly on reform when his real crime, many feel, was reaching out to the IAF and thus falling foul of the palace and the Mukhabarat. “Spring is a seasonal thing,” Khasawneh quipped, “it keeps coming back”.
Lamis Andoni, a columnist for al-Arab al-Yom, put it more bluntly: “The regime has reached the conclusion – I think it’s a miscalculation – that it can carry on without making fundamental changes. It’s betting that the protest movement will get weaker and that it can fall back on its traditional power base of tribal leaders. It also feels certain that the majority of Jordanians of Palestinian origin will not turn against it. But the risk is that the economic situation will undermine those assumptions.”
Dozens of activists launched a hunger strike on Sunday at the Egyptian Press Syndicate’s headquarters in Cairo to protest against military rule and the continued detention of dozens of activists by military authorities: here. See also here.