Protesters announce new struggle
They say they are determined to stay until all aims of the revolution have been achieved. However, a number of youths and protesters have withdrawn from the squares over the past few months.
Ali Mohsen, a pro-democracy protester in Sana’a, told the Yemen Times that it will be better for protesters to stay longer at Change Square, as it will help them to monitor whether the new president and the newly-formed government will act.
“Currently, they are asked to do nothing but play roles in which they monitor government performance and to apply political pressure,” he said.
He indicated that a long-standing settlement in the squares will push the new president - along with the international community - towards meeting the revolution’s aims as soon as possible will help in avoiding further standoffs.
For more than one year, many protesters have lived in the camp near Sana’a University. They are provided with food and support by some tribal and military men.
Over the past few months, Sana’a’s Change Square has witnessed clashes and disagreements between political entities - especially between members of the Islah Party and Houthis.
Human rights activist Wadhah Al-Jalil rejects the idea of the youths staying at the Change Squares.
“Their staying in change squares is pointless these days,” he said. “They must organize themselves well and find other ways to struggle, rather than just staying in their tents.”
Mohammed Al-Samie, a journalist said that there are still many youths at Sana’a’s Change Square, but he pointed out that they have started to feel bored and want to leave the square.
Al-Samie expects that protesters who belong to opposition political parties will leave the square, while independent youths will remain because they object to the idea of the early presidential election.
“Many of those protesters thought seriously about leaving the square, especially after the presidential election,” he said. “But they are worried about the improvement of basic services and the restructuring of the army.”
For his part, Adnan Al-Rajehi, a youth activist and one of the anti-regime protesters who joined the revolution at its beginning, said the continued presence of the protesters at Change Squares has a real aim. “Their staying puts pressure on political parties to make changes and guarantees that the aims of the revolution will be realized,” he said.
Al-Rajehi said the political settlement between the regime and opposition may fail if youths leave the change squares.
“It’s necessary to stay at the change squares to achieve a complete revolution - not a half one,” he said.
A recent report showed that the most important demands of youths at the Change Squares are the creation of job opportunities, the building of a civil state, a revived economy, improved education, the restoring of looted properties, and trials for those involved in killing protesters.
The report, carried out by the Abaad Studies & Research Center, stated that the youths’ other priorities are the restructuring of military divisions and a solution of the Southern Movement issue.
Yet other priorities exist for the revolution’s youth. They’ve stressed the importance of the formation of a new constitution and the providing of care for wounded protesters and the families of slain protesters.
The Abaad report indicated that the biggest challenges that will face Yemen and president Abd-Rabbu Mansour Hadi are the Houthis, the Southern Movement, Al-Qaeda, and remnants of ousted president Saleh’s regime.
According to the report, the negative legacy left behind for Hadi by Saleh’s regime includes corruption, bribery, wars, bids for revenge, sectarian intolerance and the killing of innocent people.