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Reformers Fight to Save the Arab Spring

Thousands of Egyptians protest outside the police headquarters in Alexandria.

Thousands of Egyptians protest outside the police headquarters in Alexandria.

AFP/Getty Images)

Six months after a wave of popular revolt swept over the Arab world, toppling one, then two dictators, and putting on notice the region’s other repressive regimes, protesters have returned to the streets protest the slow pace of political change. (Elections in Tunisia and Egypt have been put off. Offers of reform in Yemen and Syria have been rejected as too little, too late.) The Guardian has a useful roundup, drawn from dispatches from its reporters. Here’s the short version:

Egypt: Thousands of demonstrators, afraid that the revolution is being “betrayed by conservative forces,” massed in public squares around the country to offer a “Friday of final warning” to the ruling military junta. Rallies and hunger strikes were reported throughout the country

• Tunisia: Heavily-armed riot police armed with batons, teargas launchers and dogs squared off against demonstrators protesting that the caretaker government that replaced dictator Ben Ali, has done little to carry out the revolutionaries demands

• Syria: At least 19 deaths and dozens of injuries were reported throughout the country as people gathered for Friday prayers, traditionally a launching pad for street protests. The crowds in the capital Damascus were some of the largest seen since the uprising began, in April.

• Jordan: Ten people, mostly journalists, were injured when police tried intervened in clashes between pro-reform demonstrators and government supporters in Amman.

These scenes, says the Guardian, “serve as a reminder that following the euphoria of the Arab spring, little concrete progress towards reform has been made.”

‘The fight to rescue the Arab spring’ [Guardian]

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