Protesters in Jordan offered cold beverages by police


Thousands of people gathered Friday in the Jordanian capital of Amman in an orderly demonstration calling for an end to absolute monarchy.

The crowd at the Friday rally, the eighth in a row, was polite and neat, dispersing quickly and leaving little trash behind, Voice of America reported. Police gave demonstrators juice and water instead of confronting them.

Protesters said they will keep returning to the streets until they win an elected government and called for the ouster of Prime Minister Marouf Bakhit, recently appointed by King Abdullah II. Abu Rasah, one of the protesters, said they want what the English won with the Magna Carta in the 13th century.

“We want to keep the kingdom, we want to keep the king, but we want the authority for the people,” he said.

Tariq al-Hmedy, a Jordanian journalist, told VOA the protests have become larger as time has passed. But he said the group this Friday also has changed character somewhat.

“It’s the first time people come from the Bedouin, from outside Amman, from the other cities, and say, ‘No, stop. We want to do something. We won’t allow for you to steal our money and steal our freedom,'” al-Hmedy said.