After 'Bloody Friday’ last week, pro-change protesters in Yemen today called for a ‘Friday of departure'. But as he addressed a throng of supporters near the presidential palace after midday prayers, President Ali Abdullah Saleh spoke of a 'Friday of tolerance', one of peace, stability and security. He told the crowds that he was prepared to hand over power, but only to "clean hands". He warned that the anti-governement protesters had been influenced by the Houthis and "drug traffickers".
There are those Yemenis who genuinely support the president, but also tens of thousands - now backed by senior army commanders and high-profile resignations - who continue to call for him to step down like Bin Ali and Mubarak before him. Yemenis advocating for change have been increasingly creative in rallying support over the last weeks. There have been improvised songs, satirical performances, hymns, and even reggae! On Youtube, here is one more pro-change voice with a difference.
And here is a translation:
No one will do but Ali [Abdallah Saleh]. Who else but Ali? Imagine if Ali left. There would be a civil war! We’d become Somalia!(Looks for encouragement to his left.) What else?Ali holds Yemen like this! He holds Yemen like this! (Pretends to hold Yemen.) What would happen if he loosened his grip? Yemen would escape and smuggle itself into Saudi Arabia!(Is handed money that he quickly stuffs into his shirt pocket.)There was nothing before him, and there will be nothing after him. Just look at the others who don’t have Ali! There can only be Ali.
If Ali goes, then Ali goes. Are we going to close up shop? Is Yemen a shop? 25 million people! Are there really no leaders, no managers, no cadres among them?(Sighs.) People! In 1962, the revolution was against ignorance, poverty and illness. In 2011, it’s against ignorance, poverty, illness, employment, corruption, and dictatorship!And yet we won't have anyone but Ali...