Open Thread: World Protests

I have read so much about the various protests going on in and near the Middle East this morning, I'm not even sure where to begin. So I'm just going to throw out some links and open up comments for discussion.

The GuardianLibya's regime must now fear its people's anger: "Two months ago, the mere thought of freedom was out of the question in Libya. But today, the revolutions in Tunisia and Egypt have sowed the hope of freedom in the hearts of each and every one of us. For us Libyans, Egypt showed that what happened in Tunisia was not an exception, or something that cannot be repeated."

BBC—Libya protests: Activists call for 'day of anger': "Anti-government activists in Libya have been using social networking sites to rally support for protests on what they are describing as a 'day of anger'. ... The protests reportedly began after the arrest of Fathi Terbil, who represents relatives of more than 1,000 prisoners allegedly massacred by security forces in Tripoli's Abu Salim jail in 1996."

CNN—Many hurt in Yemen clashes, opposition lawmaker says: "At least 20 people were injured in clashes between stone-throwing pro- and anti-government demonstrators in Yemen's capital Sanaa Thursday, an opposition lawmaker told CNN. ... Yemen has been convulsed by daily protests for nearly a week, as demonstrations sweep the region."

The GuardianThe Yemen Protests in Pictures.

CNN—After crackdown, army patrols Bahrain's capital: "Army vehicles rumbled through the streets of Bahrain's capital Thursday, hours after three people died and scores more were injured when security forces stormed an encampment of protesters in the dead of night."

CNN—9 killed in Iraqi Kurdish protests: "Nine people were killed and 47 were injured Thursday when hundreds of protesters clashed with security forces in Sulaimaniya, a city in the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, according to Dr. Raykot Hamed Salih, a health official there. ... Iraq, like many of its neighbors, has been convulsed by popular protests since demonstrations toppled the leader of Tunisia last month."

The Guardian'A lot of graduates in Morocco get to 30 and still don't have a job': "Tunisia and Egypt are being watched intently in Morocco and Facebook groups have called for nationwide protests on 20 February."

El Hassan bin Talal in The GuardianDon't fear the Middle East's new wave:
The entire Arab world is witnessing a tectonic shift. There is a fragile, if for many sublime, expectation that democracy may now spread in our region. At the same time, the prospect of Arab self-determination has left some uneasy. One of the defining characteristics over the last 18 days of protest in Cairo is that no one has been able to predict what would happen next. But today some things can be said with certainty.

The first is that there is no going back. A new generation has come of age. Creativity, new communication technologies and the use of rational peaceful protest have restored Arab self-esteem. Cairo concluded what Tunisia had hinted at: that decades of realpolitik had failed. It seems to have united east and west in the understanding that true security begins with the dignity of the human being, and is based upon what we often refer to as hurriya, or "freedom".

...Recent events have shown that men and women make their own history, and are capable of controlling their own destinies. Unfortunately in our region this has not always been self-evident. It is now. Rather than fearing this "new wave", Arab governments should embrace it.
The Guardian's live blog of all these protests is here.

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