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Friday protesters to demand return of public lands

By Taylor Luck - Dec 22,2011 - Last updated at Dec 22,2011

CITIZENS from across the Kingdom are slated to take to the streets this Friday to demand a return of public lands, according to activists.

In a so-called “Friday to return lands,” protesters plan to hold rallies in
Amman, Karak, Tafileh, Aqaba and Irbid, according to so-called popular youth movements.

Activists claim ongoing corruption, privatisation and the failure of the government to follow through on pledges to study various demands of return of wajihat- state-owned lands, that were registered in the names of various tribes during the Ottoman era, are driving this Friday’s protests.

“We want to tell the world that Jordan is not for sale, not its land
and not its people,” said Muath Btoush, spokesperson of the Karak Popular Youth Movement.

Also on Friday, the Islamist movement is set to team up with
independent activists to demonstrate in support of Syrian civilians as the crisis in Jordan’s northern neighbour continues to drag on in days and death tolls.

The protests, to be held opposite the Syrian embassy in Amman, are “in solidarity with Syrian protesters”, according to a statement by the Committee to Support Syria People, headed by Muslim Brotherhood executive office member Ali Abu Sukkar.

This month marks the 11th for the pro-reform movement, which started as a small-scale demonstration over economic inequality in Theeban, some 50 kilometres south of Amman, and has since spread to the outlying governorates along with the rise of so-called popular movements.

Unlike other countries in the region, protests in Jordan have been largely peaceful; the vast majority of the some 1,000 demonstrations that have been held since the beginning of the year have ended without incident.

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