University Demonstrations Mark 5th Day of Protests across Jordan

AMMAN —AlGhad— Students at the universities of Jordan (JU) and Mutah carried out synchronised demonstrations today, Sunday, over the government’s proposed income tax bill and the price hikes which followed, in show of support for the masses holding protests across the country every night over the past five days.

Thousands have taken to the streets in protest for five days in a row since last Wednesday, when the labour unions’ held a strike which snowballed into nation-wide protests and demonstrations.

Despite His Majesty King Abdullah’s directives to retract the hikes on Friday, the demonstrations continued.

Earlier on Friday, the labour unions association threatened further escalations if the government did not retract the income tax bill and drop the entire approach to the economic and political crises of the country.

The House of Representatives and the union leaders met on Saturday, in the presence of the Prime Minister, and agreed to keep the dialogue open on the income tax bill.

House Speaker Atef Tarawneh pledged to the unions and the public to revoke the bill during the expedited extraordinary session after Eid al Fitr.

The national boycott campaign committee rejected the agreement and revived the call to protest. Thousands joined in.

Notably, the protests began with the general strike and have been going on and off every night, as Jordanians across the Kingdom protested all at once in Amman, Irbid, Zarqa, Mafraq, Karak, Maan, Jarash, Tafileh, Salt and elsewhere.

Gendarmerie forces stepped in to disband the protesting masses using batons and tear gas in various parts of the country, as protestors generally maintained a pacifist tone.

Multiple injuries were reported among protestors and police, but to none reportedly critical.

In the meantime, a record low amount of vandalism has occurred since the protests began, as signs of civil disobedience intermittently surfaced in the distant and remote governorates over the past few days.

Protestors blocked several main roads and highways in Amman, Salt, Irbid, Dead Sea, Mafraq, Karak and Maan, as passer-by cars responded to the protestors’ calls to pull over.

Hundreds of cars blocked the streets during the first two nights. Bridges and circles in Amman and the Dead Sea area were reportedly blocked as reports confirmed similar blocks around the Kingdom.

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