February 17, 2011
Bahrain Protests Crushed: This perhaps isn't going to help with the financial centre aspirations
Bahrain is one of the countries in the region I have very little direct experience with, so I shall limit myself
BBC News - Bahrain protests banned as military tightens grip
There were columns of tanks and armoured personnel carriers moving through the city this morning. The area around Pearl Square, which was the home of the protesters up until 12 to 15 hours ago, is now ringfenced by the security forces.
Barbed wire has been erected; there are vehicle checkpoints and roadblocks around the city, traffic is being controlled, and the authorities have said all protests have been banned.
It was a very different scene at the hospital: one of passion, chaos, mourning - and anger. Hundreds of people were gathered outside as the ambulances turned up. Crowds rushed forward; doctors were angry because they said ambulances had been prevented from attending to those people who had been injured when the police attacked them.
This kind of crack down is likely to see ongoing violence and... well I bet the Khalifas just chose dynasty over national aspirations as a financial centre.
It does rather suggest that this really is the Arab 1848. I had my doubts.
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Some buzz is about that the security fores (including added Saudis) are of quite different background than the population protesting. That can make them more comfortably vicious. Unlike Tunisia and Egypt.
Posted by: matthew h at February 17, 2011 11:52 AM
The revolts in Egypt and Tunisia didn't happen in a vacuum. The Mahalla strikes (people are still striking there again as we speak), from what I understand, were 3 years ago the clarion call to what happened in Egypt this month. I'm quite curious to hear what movements already exist in the other countries that are supposedly next in line for revolution.
Posted by: Guybrush Threepwood at February 17, 2011 02:17 PM
As Bahrain is one of those places that is about half expats, I've never really understood who, exactly, is protesting. Is it citizens, expats or both?
It's hard to imagine the citizens of, say, Dubai, rising up to overthrow the corrupt, decadent overclass.
Posted by: at February 17, 2011 02:29 PM
Citizens. And Dubai is a very different place than is Bahrain, one where the average citizen enjoys a far more comfortable life.
Posted by: Dubaiwalla at February 18, 2011 12:59 PM