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Conflicting reports about ending Change Square sit-ins

Published on 7 June 2012 in News
Sadeq Al-Wesabi (author)

Sadeq Al-Wesabi

Independent protesters and those affiliated with the Houthis in Change Square accuse the Islah Party of planning to remove protesting camps. (Photo by Ridhwan Shareef)

Independent protesters and those affiliated with the Houthis in Change Square accuse the Islah Party of planning to remove protesting camps. (Photo by Ridhwan Shareef)

SANA’A — The Organizing Committee for the People’s Revolution denied on Tuesday ending the fifteen-month-long sit-in in Sana’a’s Change Square.

On Monday, some protesters began folding their tents and leaving Change Square, where protests have lost momentum. The step was followed by news that the protesters are gearing up to fold up the tents in the square.

“What happened (withdrawal of some protesters) aims to transform the revolution and spread it to other Yemeni governorates,” the Organizing Committee for the People Revolution said in a statement issued May 29.

The statement called for the pro-democracy protesters to actively participate in “upcoming revolutionary activities.”

Fakhr Al-Azab, a youth activist and anti-regime protester, said it’s not reasonable for the real revolutionaries to leave the square without achieving their goals.

Asked about the benefit of the revolutionaries’ presence in the square, he said, “The square is observing the performance of the government and  are considered legal observers.”

Al-Azab confirmed that the decision to end the sit-ins is very complicated, saying the Change Square protests will continue.

“Although I’m not satisfied with the performance of Change Square, I refuse the idea of leaving it,” he said. “If we end the sit-in, we will give a chance for the ousted regime to recover again.”

Ali Mohsen, a new graduate from Sana’a University, was one of the protesters who took to the streets and participated in the revolution. Later, he withdrew due to what he called provocative action from some of the political entities in the square.

“It’s no longer a square for freedom and revolution,” he said. “The square used to be one of the inspirational places for me, but unfortunately it has become a boring place these days.”

Sadeq Al-Awadhi, an independent student at Sana’a University, was highly critical of those protesters who live in Change Square.

“They don’t want to leave the street and they deal with these public streets as if they are their own,” he said. “It’s not a change square, but it’s a place for spreading anger and conflict.”

In February 2011, hundreds of thousands of Yemenis took part in the activities of Sana’a’s Change Square. However, the monopoly of some political entities on the square led many revolutionaries to withdraw.

“Please fold your tents and destroy your temporarily built room in the square. We are fed-up with the square,” posted Ghamdan Al-Yousifi, a prominent independent journalist, on his Facebook page.


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