Bahrain: Uprising Against the US-backed Regime Gains Critical Mass
by Finian Cunningham
February 23, 2011
Bahrain’s uprising against the US-backed ruling elite is gathering critical mass, with the Persian Gulf island state seeing the biggest demonstration ever last night. Some 200,000 people took the main highway leading to the financial district in the capital, Manama, shouting in unison for the regime to go.
Their protest is now firmly established at Pearl Square, where tents have been erected and basic amenities installed to cope with the thousands who now camp there nightly. In deliberate replication of the demonstrations at Tahrir Square in Egypt’s capital, Cairo, the protesters in Bahrain are saying that they are not moving until their demands are met.
Men, women and children have lost their fear. After a brutal crackdown by the state last week, which resulted in seven civilians murdered and hundreds injured, failed to crush the uprising, the people are now increasingly emboldened and determined to demand the overthrow of the Al Khalifa regime.
People have found their voice to demand what they have been wanting for many decades – for, what they see, as an imposter regime to go; to get out of their lives and their island.
Bahrainis have long memories regarding the nature and origin of the regime. Over and over, the protesters will tell you that they have had enough of the Al Khalifas’ predatory rule.
One small, makeshift placard held by a group of young teenagers said in Arabic: “The visit is over”.
Many indigenous Bahrainis (about 600,000 of the total one million present population) can trace their family origins back to the time of “Prophet Issa” (Jesus) and beyond.
They view the ruling Al Khalifa family as something of an imposter that has abused the civility of the Bahraini people for the past 200 years. It is not a gross oversimplification of history when Bahrainis relate how the Al Khalifas originated from a Bedouin tribe in what became central Saudi Arabia and voyaged around the Persian Gulf as pirates and renegades seeking a base.