180,000 Attend Yemen Pro-Democracy Protests

Largest Protests Yet Against US-Backed Regime

by Jason Ditz, February 25, 2011

Though the nation’s Tahrir Square was the home to a pro-regime rally, where the government orchestrated a march by some 10,000 supporters, bused in from across the nation, the streets of Yemen clearly belonged to the anti-regime protesters today.

In fact, the near daily protests in front of Sanaa University swelled to 30,000 today, and another 150,000+ were reported demonstrating elsewhere across the country, making today the largest pro-democracy protest in the nation’s history.

Once made up almost exclusively of student protesters in the capital and secessionists in the south, tribesmen joined the protests today en masse, committing their support to the ouster of long-time dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh.

Saleh had once been able to buy the support of key tribes to guarantee his rule, but that time appears to be long over, and as secessionist movements in both north and south crop back up, the mass protests against the regime look to have reached a size impossible to ignore, and impossible for the US-backed Saleh to crush.

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