It is going to be a “hot Friday”, pro-reformists said on Wednesday, describing the rally they are planning for this weekend to mark the first anniversary of the start of the protest movement in the Kingdom.
Members of popular movements will join Islamists in a march from the Nakheel Square in downtown Amman to the Interior Ministry Circle, where a confrontation between sit-in participants and counter-protesters broke out last year. The march will then turn into an “open sit-in”, according to activists.
Leaders of pro-reform movements across the Kingdom received invitations to take part in Friday’s march from the event’s organisers, according to Hassan Khazaleh, an activist from the Mafraq Popular Youth Movement.
“Although we have our own protests this Friday in Mafraq, we kept the door open for anyone to join the event in Amman, and will send individuals from our movement,” he told The Jordan Times yesterday.
Khazaleh added that the group’s activities in Mafraq will begin with a march starting immediately after the noon prayer and culminate in a demonstration focused on renewing the call for real reforms and fighting corruption, in addition to denouncing the confrontations that took place between Islamist demonstrators and counter-protesters in the city two weeks ago.
The Karak Popular Youth Movement, however, will not join Friday’s march Amman, according to Muath Btoush, one of its members.
“We can mark the anniversary of the start of our activities here in Karak and do not need to go to Amman to do so,” he told The Jordan Times yesterday.
Noting that the popular youth movements are independent of the Islamists, Btoush noted that their aim is to make sure that things in the country get better, not to enter into political games.
The planned protests come one week after a rally in downtown Amman last Friday, which was described as the strongest show of force yet by members of the Islamist movement.
The announcement of Friday’s protest activities also comes one day after right- and left-wing political parties issued statements to announce they plan to adopt a new strategy to “speed up and stimulate reform efforts”.
While most of the Kingdoms’ governorates and towns will witness pro-reform rallies this Friday, opponents of the Islamists will gather today at the gates of the headquarters of the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood movement, to voice opposition to the weekly demonstrations.
By Khaled Neimat