“They protest with their shirts off to show they are unarmed and non-violent”
Since the start of the revolt in Yemen, young people in Taiz go out every day at 10 a.m. to protest in the streets. Very often, these protests are violently shut down by security forces. Thursday, yet another protester was killed, and several were wounded. They are now protesting with their shirts off to show they are unarmed and non-violent. I heard them chant ‘Get out!’ [referring to Yemen’s president] but also ‘We’ll kick you out with our bare chests!’. The protesters carried portraits of three men (see top photo) who they see as inspiration for their movement. The portrait on the right is of Abdul Fattah Ismail, a socialist leader who was assassinated in the 1990s. In the middle is the man we call ‘the Leader’. He was one of the leaders of the current protest movement; he was assassinated last week. On the left is Ibrahim Al Handy, a former president of Yemen, who was assassinated in 1977. He stood against tribalism, and many Yemenis feel the country was much more prosperous under his rule than it is today. Many of them now regret this time period.