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Bahrain: Inside an Opposition Gathering on the "Path to Democracy"

Friday's two-hour gathering, organised by four main political societies, in the Bahraini village of Ma'ameer, "The path for democracy"

An EA source inside Bahrain summarises Friday's two-hour rally, organised by four main political societies, in Ma'ameer:

The event started at 4:00 pm with reading some of the Qur'an, after which two speeches where given, the first by Waad political society member, the lawyer Mr. Isa Ebrahim, and the second by Al Wefaq member and former member of Parliament, A. Aljalil Khalil.

Lawyer Isa Ebrahim, Waad Party: 

I would start my speech by asking, what are the human right demands which the Bahraini people have been demanding since 1923, passing through all the political movements until we reached to the Arab Spring?

- All the movements since that time were asking for reform. All the movements in Bahrain has been peaceful, people demanding to participate in the political, economical, and society decision making. The demands of all the political movements  have not changed since the early 1920s.

- Even under the current circumstances of the Arab Spring, where other countries asked for the fall of their regimes, Bahrain's political opposition parties continued to ask for reform. Also, despite the campaigns of distortion, treason, and the regime attempts to disrupt and discredit the movement through inciting sectarian conflict, the opposition remained committed to asking for the same demand of reform and did not adopt any sectarian or radical act.

- We, as the opposition, have always insisted on the Arabic identity of Bahrain, and on its independence, as well as the existence of institutions that establish the people as the source of power.

- Therefore, the "Manama Document" came, which confirms those demands and presents a vision of the peaceful people's movement for real political reform.

After Mr. Isa completed his speech, the Al Wefaq National Anthem band performed two songs, with the participation of the 12-year-old son of one of the martyrs.

A. Aljalil Khalil, Al Wefaq Party:

- Khalil started his speech by paying tribute to all Bahrain's martyrs.

- "With our blood we will redeem you, martyrs", he continued. "A tribute to all the political figures who still remain behind bars, a tribute to all the medics, to the detained teachers and a special tribute to those who are holding the hot coals of freedom and dignity."

- Khalil congratulated the revolutions in all the Arab world, starting with Egypt, Tunisia, and Libya, saying, "Congratulation to the people on the fall of dictators, kings, and Tyrants, one after the other."

- After this, people started chanting, "Down with [King] Hamad," although the political societies always ask people not to say this specific chant.

- Khalil then continued wishing Syria and Yemen all the luck to win their own fight for freedom and dignity.

- After that, A. Aljalil continued, "Bahrain, the smallest country in size but huge in history, is the land of Awal, Taylos and Aradus. It is Bahrain after Islam, a history that goes deep inside this land. Bahrain, where our grandfathers been buried and where we have been born, has a long history of seeking freedom and democracy. It has a history that cannot be replaced or erased."

- "Bahrain's history has always been written by those who are strong, the faithful, not the weak. You (pointing to the crowd) are writing the history."

- "He who believes that the Bahrain movement is demanding only food and work is very mistaken . This movement is an extension to our parents and grandparents pervious movements for freedom, dignity and democracy."

- "In 1923, a Muharraq Document was issued" --- he was holding it in his hand, and waving it --- "demanding the participation in managing the country, and in 1934 another document was issued, asking the same demands. Also, in 1956 the first national political society in the [Gulf countries] was organized in Bahrain, by Sunni and Shia activists. In that year a new epic was created by our ancestors, demanding national rights, a parliament that represents the people, and the replacement of the existing police with a Bahraini police. The response by the regime for all these movements was repression, and a security solution."

- "We ask, 90 years later, have the repression and the security response succeeded? The people's will to change has never been broken and still remains."

- "Brutality failed in 1956, when the society was broken down and its leaders were abandoned. The security solution continued to fail in the following years, through the '60s, '70s, '80s, and '90s, but the demands have always stayed alive."

- A. Aljalil asked the crowd, "After the brutal attacks, have you surrendered and given up?" All the crowds replied, "NO!" Then he continued, "Our message is clear, the security solution will FAIL!"

- "We say 'no' to dialogue that is only a formality, and 'no' to failed elections. The people have insisted on a radical solution, the insurance of people's rights."

- "The revolution is a pure Bahraini revolution and has been created, from the inside, by Bahrainis, so please stop accusing it of being Iranian. Stop accusing it of being financed by Iran, or other outside countries. The Bahraini people have set their compass direction, therefore this revolution is not linked to Iran by any means. The Bahraini demands had already begun before the Iranian revolution started."

- "Our revolution is not sectarian, and enough playing with the false sectarian allegations. Those are funny claims and are a means to run away from facing the people's demands."

- "All the wise people in the Arab world know that. The writer Mohamed Hussanein Heikal said that Bahrainis are oppressed, and [former Secretary-General of the Arab League] Amr Moussa said that the change is coming and nothing can stop it.

- "To all our Suni brothers, do not listen to the untruthful voices, this revolution is for all the people and does not raise any sectarian agenda."

- "Our demands are clear, we demand an elected government, a council with full power, fair election circles, an independent judiciary, and security for all. Are those demands only for Shites without Sunis?

- "This is a letter to all the truthful people, let's all put our hands together for a better Bahrain."

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