Showdown Friday in Yemen, Tolerance or Departure
By Nasser Arrrabyee, 24/03/2011
The Yemeni protesters said Thursday they would not march forward to the Presidential Palace on Friday March 25th, 2011, despite an earlier call from the spokesman of the opposition who called them to march even to the “bed room” of President Saleh to force him to leave.
“Tomorrow Friday, March 25th, 2011, will be the Friday of departure not Friday of marching forward to the Palace,” said Dr Rashad Al Sharabi, in the name of the young protesters in the sit-in camps , in the Square of Change, at the gate of Sana’a university.
Earlier in the week, the Islamist leader, Mohammed Qahtan, who is the spokesman of the Islamist-led opposition coalition, which includes Islamists, Socialists, and Nasserites, called for marching forward to the Presidential palace on Friday March 25th.
“ We will march forward to the Presidential palace, to your room, to your hideout, and you can kill as many as you like,” Qahtan said referring to President Saleh on Tuesday March 22nd.
Many protesters including Islamists who earlier agreed with Qahtan retracted on Thursday the marching forward saying “Qahtan is the spokesman of the opposition coalition, and not spokesman of the young people.”
“Qahtan was speaking on a personal basis on his statement, may be, he was personally hurt,” said Adel Abdu, member of the media committee of the young people at the sit-in square at the university.
Meanwhile, the young protesters called the Yemeni people to participate in what they called “Friday of Departure”.
The ruling party, on its side, called for what it called “ Friday of Tolerance”. And it said in a statement that about 2 million people from inside and outside the capital Sana’a will participate in this demonstration in the main Parade Square of Al Sabeen, nearby the Presidential Palace.
The opposition national committee for dialogue, committee formed by the billionaire Islamic leader, Hamid Al Ahmar, who grooms himself for presidency, said in a statement “ The influential people in the ruling party will assemble thugs, criminals , and highway robbers, to make that demonstration.”
“But this will not bend us to topple the regime and put the President on trial.”
These two names of Friday (Tolerance and Departure) of the pro-anti-Saleh demonstrations came after a bloody Friday Much 18th, 2011, in which about 50 anti-Saleh protesters were killed and hundreds injured by gunmen believed to be loyal to Saleh. Events dramatically change. Emergency state was declared by Saleh for one month.
This Friday (the Friday of Tolerance and Departure) is expected to be a showdown Friday. The most optimistic scenario is finding a solution agreed by all for a safe and honored exit for Saleh who agreed on the opposition plan to step down. And the most pessimistic is collapsing into chaos after bloody conflict between the rival forces deployed in the capital since last Tuesday.