Yemen: The Mass Protests continue

Report from a Yemeni Supporter of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency(RCIT), 4.9.2014, www.thecommunists.net

 

Since the Yemeni government abolished fuel subsidies, which would cause an increase in fuel prices by 60% to 90%, a wave of mass protests have shattered the country. Recently, the protests have reached a new level. The Houthi movement has urged its supporters to wage a campaign of civil disobedience until their demands are met. Their demands are:

* an immediate reinstatement of the fuel subsidies and

* the resignation of the government

The Houthi leader, Abdul Malik al-Houthi, has started this campaign with what he calls an escalation step by step. The first step was calling for protests and making threatening speeches against the government. Camps were set up around the capital city Sana'a. There were three marches per day.

The government assigned a committee to negotiate with the Houthis in which they however failed. At the end of stage one, Abdul Malik al-Houthi made a speech. Everyone was expecting him to be aggressive. However, he started to talk about the situation Yemen and insisted that the protests will continue to be peacefully. At the end of his speech he asked his supporters to pray on the next day, Friday, at the highway to Sanaa’s airport near of the ministry of interior.

The second step started with camps blocking the Sanaa’s airport’s street. Abdul Malik made sure his speech at that day was directed to the ordinary people with a simple language and full with religious terms. However, he continued threatening the government. At the same day the government has called the people to line up calling against a possible civil war. They made a march on the next day which was considered to be the biggest march in the history of Yemen.

The Houthis have started now the third step which consists of demonstrations and protests against the government plus blocking main streets for an hour to stop the traffic. Abdul Malik said: "The steps will continue to the end of the week," he said, adding that "if the corrupt continue dealing in an irresponsible way, we will be forced into further steps". The UN Security Council called to end hostilities against the Yemeni government but the Houthi stands against it.

It looks like the government would never reach out to the Houthis demands and they know that. It can't be excluded that the situation transforms into a civil war.

The RCIT calls workers and youth activists to fight for:

* For the immediate revoking of all price hikes! Down with President Hadi and the Islah government!

* For the founding of popular mass assemblies to democratically lead the protest movement!

* For a mass movement which unites Sunni and Shia workers and fellahin, one which is based on solidarity and respect for all groups!

* For a Workers’ and Fallahin government defended by popular militias which will expropriate the foreign corporations and the rich domestic capitalists! For the nationalization of the key industries and banks under workers’ control!

* For solidarity with the Palestinian liberation struggle! Defend Gaza – Defeat Israel!

* Down with the reactionary military dictatorship of General al-Sisi in Egypt!

* Down with the reactionary monarchy of Saudi Arabia!

* Renew and extend the Arab Revolution which started in 2011!

* For a united, socialist Yemen as part of a socialist federation of the Middle East!

* Onward to the building of a revolutionary workers’ party as part of a Fifth International!