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Bahrain: tens of thousands march against Western-backed regime

Yusur Al Bahrani

October 5, 2012

Tens of thousands marched in the first major protest in months in Bahrain. Pro-democracy protesters chanted anti-regime slogans, and demanded the release of all political prisoners.  
The protest on August 31 was a very significant one. Bahrainis from different religious and political backgrounds proved that the power of people is stronger than the systematic oppression of the Al-Khalifa regime and its allies. Opposition groups and parties were present during the massive protest as well as ordinary people including children.
Since the start of the revolution in Bahrain in February 2011, the regime has been inciting sectarianism, but it has never been successful. Shias and Sunnis united together in the same protest proving the failure of the government in viewing that the revolution is a sectarian one. The different opposition groups—including Waad (representing the Bahraini left), Wefaq and other parties—marched together. One of the photos shows Shiekh Ali Salman, a Shia cleric and leader of Wefaq, marching with and holding the hand of the well-known Sunni activist Mohamed Alboflasa.
The demands of protesters varied from reforms to the fall of the regime, but all of them were united. Demonstrators demanded the immediate and unconditional release of all political prisoners including the President of Bahrain Centre for Human Rights, Nabeel Rajab, and human rights activist Zainab Al-Khawajah. Rajab has been sentenced to three years in prison for criticizing the government on Twitter. Protesters also demanded the release of all children detained for political reasons. According to recent reports, there are more than 70 children, 12-17 years, in Bahraini prisons. In addition to that, protesters demanded an end to the ongoing repression, attacks of several cities and villages and the continuous arbitrary arrests
Bahrain is home to the US Fifth Fleet. The revolution in Bahrain—following two centuries of resistance to imperialism—has received the least global attention compared to its neighboring revolts in the Arab region. US and other imperialist governments continue to supply the Bahraini and Saudi governments with arms used to attack protesters.

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