News / Middle East

Thousands Protest for Reform in Jordan

Protesters from opposition parties and labor unions shout anti-government slogans in Amman, January 28, 2011
Protesters from opposition parties and labor unions shout anti-government slogans in Amman, January 28, 2011
TEXT SIZE - +
Luis Ramirez

Thousands of demonstrators have taken to the streets again in Jordan. They are protesting inflation, unemployment, and corruption, and demanding sweeping electoral reforms.

The new wave of demonstrations broke out after Friday Muslim prayers in Amman and several other cities across the kingdom.  Protesters chanted slogans, including some calling for corrupt officials to be put on trial.  

Friday's protests were the latest in a series of demonstrations that began two weeks ago in the wake of steep increases in food and fuel prices.

The demonstrations have put pressure on King Abdullah, as the demonstrators call for sweeping political reforms that would result in his relinquishing the power to appoint top government officials.

The protests have not directly targeted the monarch, but rather Samir Rifai, the man the king appointed as prime minister in 2009.

The protests are led largely by left-wing groups who call attention to the disparity between the rich and poor in Jordan. Hashem Abu Hassan is part of a coalition of labor groups and was among those organizing demonstrations in Amman on Friday.  

"We are coming to help the poor people, to help our people against this corruption and the bad policies, socio-economic policies of consecutive governments in Jordan in the past 10 years, all the policies. We need real change," he said.

Abu Hassan tells VOA he wants the government to bring down high taxes that he says are squeezing the poor. "What we want is that the income tax should be raised on the rich people and also to lower the value-added tax, especially on the daily materials and daily food and drink for the people. They take about 40 percent for the gasoline, 40-percent tax. This is unbelievable. They can't tolerate this situation," he said.

Jordan's Islamists have also joined the demonstrations, calling for a democratic reforms that will lead to what they describe as a gradual transformation of the country.

At some of the demonstrations on Friday, some protesters shouted slogans saying the Quran is their constitution and calling for a holy war.

The protests in Amman on Friday were peaceful and witnesses said security forces did not intervene.

The government has rolled out new subsidies to bring down the prices of basic goods and announced increases in retirement pensions and pay for public servants.

Many of the protesters said they are watching events in Egypt closely and have been inspired by the recent popular uprising in Tunisia. They say they will keep up the demonstrations in the coming days, including a sit-in outside the prime minister's office on Saturday.

NEW: Follow our Middle East reports on Twitter
and discuss them on our Facebook page.

You May Like

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

John the XXIII and John Paul II will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square on April 27 More

Thailand Reacts to Plots Targeting Israelis

Authorities hope arrest of two Lebanese suspects will disrupt plot to attack young Israeli tourists More

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

'Once Upon a Forest' takes viewers deep into heart of tropical rainforest More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Churchi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
Jerome Socolovsky
April 22, 2014 4:14 PM
On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video Pope Francis Hopes Dual Canonizations Will Reconcile Church

On April 27, two popes - John the XXIII and John Paul II - will be made saints in a ceremony at St. Peter’s Square. VOA religion correspondent Jerome Socolovsky says the dual canonization is part of the current pope’s program to reconcile liberals and conservatives in the Roman Catholic Church.
Video

Video In Capturing Nature's Majesty, Film Makes Case for Its Survival

French filmmaker Luc Jacquet won worldwide acclaim for his 2005 Academy Award-winning documentary "March of the Penguins". Now Jacquet is back with a new film that takes movie-goers deep into the heart of a tropical rainforest - not only to celebrate its grandeur, but to make the case for its survival. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports.
Video

Video Boston Marathon Bittersweet for Many Runners

Monday's running of the Boston Marathon was bittersweet for many of the 36,000 participants as they finished the run that was interrupted by a double bombing last year. Many gathered along the route paid respect to the four people killed as a result of two bombings near the finish line. VOA's Carolyn Presutti returned to Boston this year to follow two runners, forever changed because of the crimes.
Video

Video Pacific Rim Trade Deal Proves Elusive

With the U.S.-led war in Iraq ended and American military involvement in Afghanistan winding down, President Barack Obama has sought to pivot the country's foreign policy focus towards Asia. One aspect of that pivot is the negotiation of a free-trade agreement among 12 Pacific Rim nations. But as Obama leaves this week on a trip to four Asian countries he has found it very difficult to complete the trade pact. VOA's Ken Bredemeier has more from Washington.
Video

Video Robotic Mission Kicks Up Lunar Dust

A robotic mission to the moon was deliberately crashed onto the lunar surface late last week, but not before scientists had collected data gathered by the spacecraft which was designed to self-destruct. VOA's Rosanne Skirble reports on the preliminary findings of the craft, called LADEE - an acronym for Lunar Atmosphere and Dust Environment Explorer.
Video

Video Boko Haram Claims Responsibility for Bombing in Nigerian Capital

The Nigerian militant group known as Boko Haram has claimed responsibility for a bombing in the capital on April 14th that killed 75 people. In the video message, Abubakar Shekau, the man who says he ordered the bombing, says nothing about the mass abduction of more than 100 teenage girls, most of whom are still missing. Heather Murdock has more for VOA from Abuja.
Video

Video Ukraine Developments Hang Over Obama Trip to Asia

President Barack Obama's trip to Asia this week comes as concerns over Beijing's territorial ambitions are growing in the region. Those concerns have been compounded by Russia's recent actions in Ukraine and the possibility that Chinese strategists might be looking to Crimea as a model for its territorial disputes with its neighbors. VOA's Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video Autistic Adults Face Housing, Job Challenges

Many parents of children with disabilities fear for the future of their adult child. It can be difficult to find services to help adults with disabilities - physical, mental or emotional - find work or live on their own. The mother of an autistic boy set up a foundation to advocate for the estimated 1.2 million American adults with autism, a developmental disorder that causes communication difficulties and often social difficulties. VOA's Faiza Elmasry reports.
AppleAndroid