MIDEAST PROTESTS CONTINUE – AT 9:37 A.M. ET: CNN, whose Mideast coverage has improved somewhat now that propagandist Christiane Amanpour has gone to ABC and ruined its ratings, reports on continuing, though limited disturbances in Iran and Arab countries:
On Wednesday, thousands of people gathered for a peaceful funeral procession for a Bahraini man killed when clashes erupted during the another protester's funeral procession, the president of a human rights group said.
Demonstrators picked up the body of Fadhel Matrook, 31, from a morgue Wednesday and marched to a cemetery with no police presence on the streets, said Nabeel Rajab, president of the Bahrain Center for Human Rights.
Bahrain is headquarters to the U.S. Fifth Fleet, so we have a defense interest as well as a commercial interest in this Gulf state.
Libyan police clashed with protesters chanting anti-government slogans and demanding the release of a human rights activist early Wednesday, an independent source in the country told CNN.
The about 150-200 protesters in the coastal city of Benghazi were supporting human rights activist and lawyer Fathi Terbil, who had been detained earlier, the source said.
Several people were arrested after police confronted the protesters, the source said.
Too few demonstrators to make a difference. It's tough to get TV cameras in. The key question in Libya, as elsewhere, is whether there's enough fire to build a protest.
Thousands of people, many of them Iranian government supporters, turned up in Tehran on Wednesday for the funeral of a man killed in anti-government protests.
The gathering near Tehran University comes amid tension following a crackdown on anti-government protests.
Government officials said 26-year-old Saneh Jaleh was shot to death Monday by members of an outlawed group called the People's Mujahedeen of Iran. The group, which is also known as the Mojahedin-e Khalq Organization, has opposed the Iranian government for decades.
Government officials have also said that Jaleh was part of the pro-government Basij militia. But some who knew Jaleh dispute that account.
Odd story. We usually hear of anti-government protests, but they've been put down violently in Iran, and Iranian leaders yesterday called for the execution of protest leaders. However, there is a hard core of government supporters, and they're in the streets today.
And from Yemen:
A protest by Sanaa University students Wednesday started out as a demonstration calling for an improved curriculum but transitioned into an anti-government protest, and pro-government demonstrators threw rocks, two participants said.
Despite the rock-throwing, violence did not break out and there were no reports of injuries in the protests, the participants said.
The rally began with several hundred students protesting inside the university gates. Aside for calls for a better curriculum, they demanded the removal of the university dean and called for security forces to remain off-campus. The demonstration was organized by the head of the university's student union, said Omar Al-Nihmi, a third-year media student at the university.
COMMENT: There are disturbances, yet. But, so far, none of the despotic governments outside Egypt seems to be in danger of falling. Protest movements sometimes take months to build. That happened in Iran in the late 1970s, leading to the fall of the shah, an event hailed at the time by pro-democracy forces, but which ended tragically with the rise of the Iranian mullahs.
February 16, 2011