Thousands of Jordanians call for King Abdullah II to stop “playing with fire”, protesting against corruption and a sharp increase in gas and petrol prices. The US is supporting the Jordanian monarch urging protesters to be “peaceful.” With more than 158 people arrested, 71 injured and one killed since the start of Jordanian protests on Tuesday, tonight Amman saw the escalation of the unrest in a way Jordan has never seen. Angry crowds have been shouting out Arab spring slogans and demanding King Abdullah go.
“Freedom, freedom, down with Abdullah,” protesters chanted, despite public insults of the Jordanian King being punishable with time in jail.
Several thousands demonstrators were reportedly blocked by riot police on the way to King’s Palace, the police later dispersing the crowd with rubber bullets, water canons and tear gas. The people were calling on the Jordanian government to cancel the price rises and carried banners with slogans like “playing with prices means playing with fire” or “long live the revolt of Jordanians,” AFP reports.
Protests flared up in Amman on Tuesday after the Jordanian government said it had removed fuel subsidies aimed at cutting the budget deficit. The resulting 53% rise in household gas price and 12% in petrol prices was deemed “necessary” by Jordan’s Prime Minister Abdullah Nsur. Smaller demonstrations were underway all across the Arab kingdom, embracing at least 7 Jordan’s municipalities, media reports.
Read on: US not impressed with Arab spring reaching Jordan? — RT
(AFP Photo / Khalil Mazraawi)