Kuwait is Making Moves, Will Bahrain Follow Suit?
2019-11-14 - 10:09 م
Bahrain Mirror (Exclusive): Many events have taken place in Kuwait amid fresh calls to hold protests at Al-Erada Square. The judicial proceedings against opposition leaders, and the use of citizenship revocation, crush the Homeland Dignity (Karamat Watan) movement, which began in 2012, coinciding with the Arab Spring uprisings. But once again calls for protests and sit-ins have appeared in Kuwait to confirm that resorting to security or police measures to deal with internal political issues only has a short-lived effect.
This time the fight against corruption is their demand while the demand of the previous stage was amending the voting mechanism in the election law. It is the same demand of the new wave of Arab protests that erupted in the cities and capitals of Lebanon and Iraq.
Kuwait is responding to the chemistry of politics in the Arab world and its emerging interactions, as did Bahrain when it was the first to react in 2011. New figures and groups of people that had reservations about the 2012 movement are now engaged in the movement. A person like Dr. Abdulhamid Dashti, a Kuwaiti lawyer and former parliamentarian, was one of the most prominent opponents of Homeland Dignity marches, but here he is joining his colleague Saleh Al-Mulla in calling for a sit-in at Al-Erada Square.
Kuwait is fortunate that despite the harsh measures taken against opposition activists and leaders, its elites, society and public sphere remained cohesive, not as what happened to Bahrain. There is still a vibrant society, a ceiling for politics and national sovereignty.
In Bahrain, the country was handed over to Saudi Arabia and the UAE military. Political life came to an end and was followed by fall of the economy.
Bahrain is shaken on a daily basis by stories of corruption, discrimination and nepotism, from bankrupt economy taxes to land grabs, corruption of ministries and large corporations to forged certificates, discrimination in scholarships, high unemployment and preference of foreigners.
There's a long list of open issues that has no end. People are hopelessly desperate and struggling from oppression from the severity of the situation, due to the lack of change and the indifference of the government. Amid the crackdown on the opposition, the situation is being criticized by new groups and voices that previously had many reservations about the 2011 movement.
If there is an Arab arena that is qualified to catch up with the new wave of movements along with Kuwait, Lebanon and Iraq, it would inevitably be Bahrain.
The existing iron security grip and the wounds of the 2011 crisis, as more than 4,000 political prisoners are held in prisons with thousands of affected families, is delaying this. But that is only temporary.
Bahrainis may delay their movement and wait for a couple of years or even more to catch up with the second wave of uprisings, but they have reasons for this.