In , Opposition Encourages Protesters Yemen
By LAURA KASINOF
“When the people come to the square of change, there is no voice louder than theirs,” Yassin Saeed Noman, a socialist leader and the head of the Joint Meetings Parties, Yemen’s opposition coalition, told the crowd of hundreds. “You are the generation that will bring the revolution to
Mr. Noman was surrounded by other opposition leaders, including those from
Their appearance came a day after the worst instance of violence by government supporters against demonstrators since the protest began more than a month ago. At least 45 people were killed and more than 200 injured when gunmen fired on the crowd here in the capital.
On Saturday, a group of several hundred watched, applauded, and chanted antigovernment slogans during Mr. Noman’s speech. Still, most of the protesters, weary-looking tribesmen from outside the capital, sat in their tents, uninterested. And many of the student leaders who first organized the
Blood still stained the ground where the shootings took place down the street from Saturday’s rally.
Immediately after the noon Friday Prayer, snipers from nearby buildings opened fire on the demonstrators. According to volunteers who staff a makeshift clinic inside a nearby mosque, the more than 200 people wounded had been hurt by gunfire and rocks. The deaths from Friday’s attack more than doubled the number of demonstrators killed nationwide in the last month.
“The ruling elite has definitely committed a criminal act that people cannot forget or erase from their memories for ages,” said a high-ranking government official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity. “The excessive use of power has added to the pressure on the president because he knows very well who the perpetrators are and who gave them the orders.”
At least some of the houses from which snipers in civilian clothing fired on demonstrators on Friday belonged to officials from
In protest of the violence against the demonstrators,
“Before the horror of the massacre of Sana and respect for the sacrifices of the martyrs and the wounded from this great people in Sana, Aden, Taiz, Hadramout and other places, I find myself compelled to offer my resignation and join the ranks of the people,” said the text of Mr. Abu-Ras’s resignation letter.
On Friday night, the minister of tourism, Nabil Hasan al-Faqih, also resigned from his position and the ruling party. And on Saturday, at the demonstration here, the head of Yemen’s state-run Saba news agency, Nasser Taha Mustapha, announced that he would quit his job, as did at least two editors in chief of state-run newspapers.
Also on Saturday, four antigovernment protesters were wounded in the southern port city of
In the capital, tensions remained high on Saturday. Extra security forces with automatic weapons and tanks lined a major road. For the first time in his presidency, Mr. Saleh declared a monthlong state of emergency on Friday after the violence shut down half the capital, though
But on Saturday, the foreign affairs minister, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, told diplomats that it aims to “foil any attempts to disturb the security and stability of the country and enable the government to maintain the citizens’ security.”
Mr. Saleh declared Sunday a day of mourning for the “martyrs of democracy” who died in Friday’s clashes, according to the official
Human Rights Watch, based in
“Time and again, President Saleh promises he will stop attacks on peaceful protesters, and yet the number of dead keeps rising,” Sarah Leah Whitson, the rights organization’s
American assistance to
In a restaurant within the walls of
“We hope the American government goes on the side of the Yemeni people, not on the side of the Yemeni president,” said
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"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs