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PORTSIDE  October 2012, Week 4

PORTSIDE October 2012, Week 4

Subject:

Kuwait: The Country's Biggest Protest?

From:

Portside Moderator <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask]

Date:

Wed, 24 Oct 2012 21:57:21 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (146 lines)

Kuwait: The Country's Biggest Protest?

By Mona Kareem
Global Voices
October 23, 2012

http://globalvoicesonline.org -

Tear gas and stun grenades were used to disperse a
protest in Kuwait against changes to the electoral
law. The call for the Karamat Watan (A Nation's
Dignity) march, which took place on Sunday, was
made on Twitter, and attracted about 150,000 out of
the country's population of 3 million. Media outlets
considered this number to be the biggest in the
small Gulf emirate's history.

The protest came in reaction to the Amir Sheikh
Sabah al-Ahmad al-Sabah decree [1] to change the
electoral law, making a citizen vote for one
candidate instead of four, as it used to be in the
elections of Kuwaiti parliament. The protest was not
only an objection for making such a change but
more importantly to protest the change of a law
without the parliament or the people having their
say in it. Since last June, Kuwaiti parliament has
been frozen by the Amir and then dissolved by the
constitutional court for `wrong procedures' in
dissolving the parliament before it.

The opposition has been protesting since but was
never able to gather such a huge crowd; even the
liberal "Tahalof" and Pan-Arabist "Manbar" took part
in Sunday's demonstration despite their
disagreement with the Islamist-Conservative
opposition.

In a unique step, this demonstration was organized
through Twitter. The account @KarametWatan [2]
[ar] (which translates to A Nation's Dignity) was
started to call for the protest. It suggested an orange
avatar (in reference to the 2006 youth movement
that changed the electoral law from 25 districts to
5), and organized the meeting points with the
following map: The protest route [3]

The protest route shared by @KarametWatan [3] on
Twitter

As usual, Kuwaitis used Twitter to post pictures and
videos of the protest. Here are some of the pictures:

One of the signs the police asked its holder to drop
[4]

On Twitter, @NforNaser [4] says the police asked
him to drop this sign or else they would beat him
up. The sign reads: Believe in the people; disbelieve
in the system. [5]

Picture of the crowds marching posted by
@nourah_ibrahim [5] [6]

A protester with a head injury (photo posted by
@BuNaWaFF [6]) [7]

Another injured protester with his feet cuffed
(posted by @3asalaswad [7]) [8]

Protesters running away from tear gas bombs
(posted by @JanarlySpeaking [8])

To show the numbers, crowds, and chants, this
video was posted on YouTube by Q8jo7a [9]:

Here is another video of the crowds marching, from
a distance, posted by jozifanto [10]:

Blogger Alziadi [11]posted this video showing
protesters running from the tear gas bombs:

On Monday [Oct 22], Sabr Online Newspaper
reported that all detained protesters have been
released:  @Sabrnews

Article printed from Global Voices:
http://globalvoicesonline.org

URL to article:
http://globalvoicesonline.org/2012/10/23/kuwait-the-countrys-biggest-protest/

URLs in this post:

[1] decree:
http://www.reuters.com/article/2012/10/19/us-kuwait-emir-idUSBRE89I11V20121019

[2] @KarametWatan:
https://twitter.com/KarametWatan

[3] Image:
https://twitter.com/KarametWatan/status/259951683902255104

[4] Image:
https://twitter.com/NforNaser/status/260114637863931905

[5] Image:
https://twitter.com/nourah_ibrahim/status/260123709879246849

[6] Image:
https://twitter.com/BuNaWaFF/status/260111632309575681

[7] Image:
https://twitter.com/3asalaswad/status/260144311180603392

[8] Image:
https://twitter.com/JanarlySpeaking/status/260121903317000193

[9] Q8jo7a: http://youtu.be/H2mWtVzwJrk

[10] jozifanto:
https://www.youtube.com/user/jozifanto

[11] Alziadi :
http://www.youtube.com/user/ALZIADIQ8

[12] @Sabrnews:
https://twitter.com/Sabrnews/status/260424807735255042

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