Thousands of Jordanians have marched through the streets of Amman today demanding Prime Minister Samir Rifai to resign. In Egypt, some police officers started to disobey orders to attack protesters, according to Al-Arabiya.
Demonstrations ripple through Egypt and Jordan
(Los Angeles Times) — Thousands of people took to the streets of the Jordanian capital to protest against the government. According to the Associated Press, around 3,500 people from across the political spectrum marched in Amman, Jordan demanding that Prime Minister Samir Rifai resigns and voiced their anger at unemployment and high commodity prices.
“Rifai go away, prices are on fire and so are the Jordanians,” the news agency quoted protesters as chanting.
Agence France-Presse reported that the demonstrators also chanted slogans in solidarity with Egyptian demonstrators, calling on them to oust Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak from power.
“Egypt, the Arab nation salutes you. We urge your men to get rid of (President Hosni) Mubarak,” they chanted while waving national flags according to the news agency.
There were also reports about 2,000 demonstrators gathering in the Jordanian cities of Irbid and Karak in similar rallies.
The protests come two days after the country’s ruler, King Abdullah II, called for more political and economic reforms following weeks of what appears to be escalating protests against government policies in the desert kingdom.
Pan-Arab news network Al-Arabiya is reporting that some Egyptian policemen are refusing to obey orders to clamp down on the protesters and that some police men have defected and joined the demonstrators.
The Egyptian authorities imposed a near complete web and information lockdown on the country earlier in the day. People in Cairo told Babylon & Beyond that mobile phone and Internet networks have been suspended.
U.S. officials, who quickly condemned the Iranian regime’s violent crackdown on dissidents opposed to President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in 2009, were noticeably tight-lipped about their staunch ally Mubarak’s rigid clampdown on civil liberties.
– Alexandra Sandels in Beirut