The Revolutionary Lesson Gleaned from Yemen

After reneging on his promise to sign an agreement that would mark a transition of power and after months of protest and consequent regime attacks on revolutionaries, parts of the opposition were provoked to armed action, which has led to President Ali Abdullah Saleh’s injury and his departure to Saudi Arabia for surgery.  The opposition has declared that this marks the first stage of a revolutionary victory as they pledge to block his return. This should be a lesson to all dictators who fail to relinquish power in the face of protracted protest movement: The longer you ignore your people’s demands and the more you seek an armed solution to peaceful demonstrations, the more you risk provoking your people to take armed action against you. After what just transpired in Yemen, the Syrian, Bahraini, and Iranian authorities must be trembling.  The lesson learned in Egypt and Tunisia was that peaceful mass protest can bring down dictatorships. The lesson learned in Yemen is that if peaceful mass protest fails to bring down the dictatorship, an armed uprising is a viable second choice. This will have a major repercussions in the region for the immediate and long-term future of revolutionary activity that seeks to bring all these dictatorships crashing down. Here’s a video update on Yemen.

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