Yemen students to politicians: Don't hijack our revolution
Yemen's political opposition joined youths on the streets of Sanaa for the first time today, but many young people see leaders as trying to tap their movement for the wrong reasons.
(Page 2 of 2)
Some students have softened their negative views of the JMP, which they saw as being too close to the ruling party and unwilling to bring down Mr. Saleh, but say youths must still take the lead in the uprising.Skip to next paragraph
Subscribe Today to the Monitor
“Even those who don’t want the president to go cannot stop the will of the people,” says law student Mohamed al-Thawr.
Soltan Alsamie, an independent member of parliament agrees: “The snowball of the avalanche is rolling down and its getting bigger and bigger," he says in an interview. "It’s having its own track. It will determine the passage."
“This sit-in will continue even after the revolution to make sure that we have good people in the government, like the Egyptians,” adds Mr. Thawr, the law student sitting under a blue tarp at Tuesday’s protest.
“The issue is not to fix the system. The problem is that we don’t have a system,” he says, referring to lack of centralized rule of law in Yemen.
'We have to work together'
The JMP is itself a divided entity. Some of its leaders were involved in the background in organizing the protests prior to today, especially in the central city of Taiz, home to Yemen’s largest demonstration. But other leaders, chiefly the head of the Islah party, Abdul Wahab al-Anesi, have been slow to join.
“The young people will stay here in spite of whatever the JMP decides,” says Mohamed al-Hababy, an employee at the Interior Ministry who recently resigned from the ruling party. When asked about the amount of corruption at the ministry he simply replied: “I swear, the corruption is up to here,” holding his hand to his neck.
Shaher Ali Mohamed, a doctor who belongs to the socialist party, says neither side can afford to isolate themselves. “We have to work together: the JMP and the youth because we have a very simple target: leave,” he says.
However, when Mr. Mohamed was talking, a group of young men interrupted to reiterate to the doctor that the street protests were dissociated from Yemen’s socialists, the majority of whom come from the south where there formally was a Soviet Union-backed socialist state.
“The JMP may say they will enter. But they are not the leaders of this revolution," says activist Mohammed Mahmoud, who is young and unemployed. "The revolution belongs to the youth."