Bahrain State’s Lethal Crackdown Backfires on the Regime
By: Finian Cunningham
Feb 21, 2011
There was an uneasy calm in Bahrain’s capital, Manama, last night following nearly a week of lethal repression by state security forces which has left eight civilians dead and hundreds injured.
But the appalling violence inflicted by state forces seems to have now galvanized the protest movement and radicalizing its calls for the entire regime to go.
“No dialogue before this regime is removed,” is now a rallying call among protesters who are gathering in increasing numbers every day.
If the bloody crackdown last week was aimed at terrorizing pro-democracy demonstrators off the streets, then the gambit has backfired spectacularly for the US-backed regime of
King Hamad Al Khalifa in this tiny Persian Gulf oil-rich state.
Tens of thousands of pro-democracy protesters are camping at the Pearl Monument – now dubbed Pearl Square – in defiant mood after facing down riot police on Saturday afternoon. Military helicopters could be heard over the city, but it seems that the authorities have ordered the army and police to withdraw after shocking scenes of state violence in recent days failed to quell the demonstrators.
Medics at the main public hospital at Salmaniya said they were still struggling to cope with the numbers suffering from gunshot wounds, some of the victims in a critical condition.