Jordan erupted into wide-spread protests on the evening of November 13, protests that are large, spreading and increasingly violent... in what Jordanians are calling the “November Revolt” ...
Since at least 2008, I have sensed a palpable shift in the anger directed at the regime. There of course were always those who were anti-regime and against monarchs and monarchy, but what coalesced in 2008 was a growing sense that a class of elites closely tied to the regime were robbing the country’s resources under the guise of privatization, while the majority of Jordanians were struggling under the weight of increased prices in food, fuel, and basic commodities. The combination of this deepening economic crisis and the growing anger with corruption was tangible in 2008.
Significant labor actions beginning in 2006, which have grown exponentially since January 2011, were also part of this picture. Jordan was also witnessing increased incidents of violence on university campuses, among clans in different regions, and incidents of violence directed at the police.
And then came the Arab uprisings. These events of 2011 propelled and accelerated forces that were already at work in Jordan and had been for some time. Jordanians were no longer afraid to protest. . . no longer asked permission to rally, march or strike. Citizens were no longer afraid to criticize the government and increasingly no longer deterred by red lines surrounding criticism of the royal family, despite arrests aimed at policing these red lines.
Political transformations are not zero sum games. For anyone familiar with Jordan, the events of the last few days – and the anger that is being directed at government institutions and the king – are no surprise. This was long in coming. Although much is unpredictable at the moment, and Jordanians are understandably afraid that violence will grow...
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