File: Bahraini women wave Bahraini flag during a rally held by opposition party - REUTERS
DUBAI: Bahrain’s opposition has called for protests to mark the third anniversary tomorrow of an Arab Spring revolt led by the Shia majority that was crushed by the Saudi-backed Sunni monarchy.
The Gulf state is deeply divided, with persistent protests on the outskirts of the capital Manama that ignite clashes with police, scores of Shias jailed on “terror” charges, deadlocked reconciliation talks and simmering sectarian distrust.
The main opposition group Al Wefaq is calling for a strike today and a rally on Saturday to commemorate the February 14 uprising, which was inspired by the pro-democracy revolts that swept the Arab world in early 2011.
But even the head of Al Wefaq, cleric Ali Salman, admits there will only be “symbolic activities to protest the deterioration of the situation.”
The clandestine February 14 youth coalition has called on protesters to try tomorrow to reach Pearl Square, where demonstrators camped for a month before being violently driven out by security forces in March 2011.
The opposition says the monarchy has little interest in sharing power, much less in accepting a constitutional monarchy with an elected prime minister.