2011-02-02 Will Saudi Arabia protest?

ImageKing Abdullah of Saudi Arabia, who has provided a new home for ex-Tunisian president Ben Ali, has been calling Egyptian protesters "infiltrators" who seek to destabilize their country, the state-run Saudi Press Agency reported.

Saudi King Abdullah called Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak and "was reassured". "During the call, the king said, 'Egypt is a country of Arabism and Islam. No Arab and Muslim human being can bear that some infiltrators, in the name of freedom of expression, have infiltrated into the brotherly people of Egypt, to destabilize its security and stability and they have been exploited to spew out their hatred in destruction, intimidation, burning, looting and inciting a malicious sedition.'".

Saudi Arabia "strongly condemns" the protest. Whether Saudi Arabia is itself at risk of revolution or mass protests remains to be seen. On November 13, the Saudi Arabian government declared that facebook had "crossed a line" and restricted access to their approximately 27 million people for a few hours, on morality grounds. It would be unlikely that the Saudi government would tolerate mass protest organizing on social media. But there was reportedly a recent protest below, a very rare event, that may be either an anomaly or a precedent.

Protest in Jeddah, Saudi arabia against govt corruption via @_x4o and @_ummah

Video description: This is rare protest footage of a procession held in Jeddah, Saudi arabia, with protestors chanting Allahuakbar and other islamic invocations over the government's corruption generally and general handling of the 2011 January Jeddah floods. From an arabic website, this video was described as being footage of not just anger about these floods specifically, but more generally government malfeasance. This is VERY VERY rare in saudi arabia, and seldom do people protest against the government in any way shape or form. It is also said to be driven in part by what has happened in Tunisia and Egypt.

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