The unrest that began in Tunisia and is now roiling Egypt spreads to Jordan. Leftist/Jihadist Alliance Update: “Jordanian protesters demand political reforms,” by Suleiman al-Khalidi for Reuters, January 28 (thanks to all who sent this in):
AMMAN (Reuters) – Islamists, leftists and trade unionists gathered in central Amman Friday for the latest protest to demand political change and wider freedoms.
A crowd of at least 3,000 chanted: “We want change.”
Banners and chants showed a wider range of grievances than the high food prices that fueled earlier protests, and included demands for free elections, the dismissal of Prime Minister Samir Rifai’s government and a representative parliament.
The protest after Friday prayers was organized by the Islamic Action Front, the political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood which is the only effective opposition and biggest party, but included members of leftist parties and trade unions….
“After Tunisia, Arab nations have found their way toward the path of political freedom and dignity,” said Zaki Bani Rusheid, a leading Islamist politician….
King Abdullah told lawmakers Thursday the government must do more to ease the plight of Jordanians and urged a faster tempo of political reforms….
“Everything should be put in front of people. There is nothing to be afraid of,” said the 49-year-old monarch, who has faced stiff resistance from a conservative establishment to reforms they fear will empower the Islamists….