Marching forward to Saleh’s Palace, last hope for frustrated protesters, despite all dangers
By Nasser Arrabyee/10/05/2011
Najeeb Al Sadi, is one of the first anti-Saleh protesters who went to set up his tent in the ‘Change Square’ at the gate of Sana’a university early last February.
But now after more than three months, the 32-year old Al Sadi is very fed up and frustrated, like thousands of young people who thought at the beginning removing President Saleh would take only few days inspired and emboldened by what happened in Egypt and Tunisia.
“I’m not bored from our revolution, I’m bored and frustrated from the leaders of the opposition who did nothing but obstructed us,” said Al Sadi,who introduced himself as an independent after he resigned from the Islamist party, Islah.
Al Sadi agrees with thousands of young people like him who say the opposition leaders were behind the failure or at least delay of the revolution.
He says, the opposition leaders turned “our revolution” into a crisis, and they prevented the silent majority of the people from joining the revolution.
“Some leaders of the opposition are even worse than Saleh, so people ask what’s the difference,” Al Sadi said.
At least from last Friday, those boring and frustrated young people have been calling each other through the face-book for marching forward to the Presidential Palace to force Saleh out, as the last thing they should do to achieve their final goal.
However, clashes with hands and sticks take place from time to time between such impatient protesters and their partisan colleagues who prevent them from even expressing their ideas publicly by inviting the protester for “marching forward” through the microphone of the public podium standing at the middle of the sit-in square at the gate of Sana’a university.
If a group of protesters insists on marching, the defected army will prevent them. “The soldiers of Ali Muhsen will ask for a permit from the regulation committee, and this committee is only implementing the instructions of the Islah party,” Said the independent leading protester Adel Abdu.
The majority of the protesters follow instructions from their own parties, although they say to media they are independent.
“Of course those who belong to parties would stick to their parties’ position, whether to march or not, but we just say to those who want to march do it, do it,” said the lawyer and leading protester Ameen Arrabyee, who belongs to the Islah party, that leads the opposition coalition.
Marching forward to the Presidential Palace is a slogan often used to threaten President Saleh by the protesters from the very beginning of the anti-Saleh protests early February. But, it is very dangerous in an armed country like Yemen, where people understand the word as a war.
The popularity of President Saleh increased when the spokesman of the opposition Mohammed Qatan, threatened last march they would march forward to the ‘bed room’ of President Saleh in the Palace. Mere saying such a thing was considered as “a big shame” by majority of Yemenis.
“We’ll do it at the end even if 10,000 of us were killed,” Said Al Sadi.
A lot of people whether those against or with President Saleh, understand the word “marching forward” to the Palace as a war.
While protesters in the street, including the majority of the opposition party, refuse the US-backed and Saudi-led GCC deal for transferring power from Saleh in one month, the ruling party and opposition leaders still exchange accusations of foiling the last hope to avoid a possible armed confrontations.
Marching forward to the Palace may mean a war against President Saleh from the defected army of general Ali Mushen, who protects the anti-Saleh protesters and controls their movements.
“The Saleh forces would start immediately bombarding the 1st armored division of Ali Muhsen, if allows protesters to march forward,” said a military expert close to Saleh’s top military leaders.
“No single tank can get out from Ali Muhsen’s division, missiles are directed to the heart of it, and ready to destroy any movement from there,” the expert said on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the subject.