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Transcript of Arab Spring
“Violence Against the State”
Violence as "the use of physical force against people or property, including threats and attempts."
Furthermore, individuals, groups, and states count as the three main perpetrators and victims of violence.
Group violence against the state manifests in the forms of rebellion, revolution, sabotage, and terrorism.
The “Arab Spring” refers to a mass trend of protests and regime changes in the Middle East, beginning in December of 2010.
While most of the movements decreased in intensity and/or accomplished their states goals by c2012, the effects of the Arab Spring have continued to manifest in the region over the past three years. Some refer to this as the “Arab Winter.”
The Arab Spring is a controversial term in that it simplifies a diverse set of movements, each with differing methods and purposes, as a result of manifesting in the same region.
Regime Changes: Tunisia, Egypt, Libya, and Yemen
Conflict/Violence Against the State: Bahrain and Syria
Major Protests: Algeria, Iraq, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Israel, and Sudan
Minor Protests: Mauritania, Oman, Saudi Arabia, Djibouti, Western Sahara, and Palestine
January 2011 – 18 Days of protests began in Egypt pressuring for a new regime/government, specifically the removal of President Mubarak.
The government continually tampered/shut down internet access to the state, in an attempt to hinder social/media activism.
February 2011 – Mubarak cedes all power to VP Omar Suleiman, but maintains that he will remain president until the end of his turn.
Suleiman announces Mubarak has resigned as President, and cedes power to Armed Forces of Egypt.
Military dissolved parliament and suspends the constitution.
Essam Sharaf is appointed the Prime Minister of Egypt in March 2011; however, protests continue through 2011.
Mohamed Morsi becomes the first democractically elected President in June 2012.
A little over a year later in July 2013, the military overthrows the government and Morsi is removed from power.
General Abdul Fatah al-Sisi is elected President in the 2014, with a reported 96% of the vote.
December 17 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi set himself on fire in protest of Tunisian authorities and alleged harassment and unlawful confiscation of merchandise.
Many cite Bouazizi as the catalyst for the Tunisian Revolution.
High unemployment, inflation, corruption, lack of political freedoms, etc. had been problematic in Tunisia – Bouazizi sparked mass protests and demonstrations.
The protests resulted in violent deaths and injuries (predominately against the demonstrators) – however President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali went into exile in Saudi Arabia on January 14th, 2011.
As members of the former Presidents party, the Constitutional Democratic Rally, continued to establish new governments – protests ensued until the party was dissolved.
In October 2011, the first elections took place to elect representatives to a constitutional assembly.
Tunisia begins the transition into a democratic state from 2011-2014. In January 2014 the new constitution is elected, and as of October the first elections were held. The Secular Nidaa Tounes party won plurality.
In March of 2011, protests began in Damascus and Deraa with the stated goal of bringing about the release of political prisoners.
Although several prisoners were released and Bashar Assad's regime initiated a discourse of reform, anti-regime sentiment persisted.
As opposition protesters continued to organize, violent regime repression increased. Resistance that began as mass demonstrations and protests in several key cities developed into a full-scale conflict with numerous factions, groups, and actors involved.
As of 2013, the opposition may encompass upwards of 1,000 distinct groups totaling 100,000 combatants.
The Supreme Military Council of the Free Syrian Army networks many of the major forces in Syria, such as the Syrian Islamic Liberation Front. Yet even the extent to which this network constitutes a unified or coherent opposition force is unclear and continues to be a matter of debate.
The geopolitical nature of the conflict has involved various levels of military and non-military support flowing from foreign powers both near and far, such as the U.S., Russia, Turkey, Iran, and Israel.
Tuesday March 24th