Apparently the protest that was scheduled on Thursday night against the arrest of the Bahrainonline crew was called off. This was after rows of police were called in to make the message clear that no protest will take place. Four people were detained and then released without charge. If you went an in detail report, go to Chanad.
Intimidating and asking the protesters to leave is unreasonable on the part of the officials, and they should not have done so. However, is it the smartest idea to hold the protest on Exhibition Avenue?
Isn't this somehow just playing into the hand of officials? I am of course referring to the events more than two years (English)ago on New Years Eve 2003. Infamously, a big gang of youth that gathered in Exhibition Road to "celebrate" New Years ended up smashing several cars and shops. Several other Gulf Nationals, particularly Saudis, who were in Exhibition Road to enjoy "tourism" in Bahrain, got beaten up as well.
In that incident, there were many accusations that the Police have become too lenient, as they were right there in Exhibition Avenue and did nothing. Furthermore, the state media machine wasted no time in trying to connect the political opposition somehow with these attacks, and that somehow, even if they did not actually directly order them, they were responsible for them. Many people, with the stereotypical belief that these youths were poor shia and therefore must be opposition followers, believed this.
Ever since then, the government has disallowed gatherings and demonstrations in Exhibition avenue. There probably are many people in Bahrain and in the Gulf who are saying, "too right this demonstration was stopped. Last time there was a gathering, people and property got damaged, not to mention Bahrain's reputation with other Gulf Nationals."
Keep in mind as well that the demonstration was being held on a Thursday, the busienst week night in terms of other Gulf nationalities flocking to Exhibition Road. It is is conceivable that the police were just itching for something to go wrong in the demonstration and a clash to be started. Then they could say, "Look, what did we tell you? These guys want nothing but trouble and to cause havoc in Bahrain. Remember New Years' two years ago? Well they're at it again."
I understand that the Bahrainonline crew is being held in the Hoora Police Station, but why play into the official's hands? This is unless confrontation is actually being sought with the government, and a message of taking it to the next level was the goal?
Anyway, the court case on the BahrainOnline issue is due in a couple of days, so let's wait and see what happens there. Any chance of the court case being thrown out and them being released?