Tension and dark humor among protesters in Bahrain
A protester holds a sign at Pearl Roundabout in Bahrain's capital on Monday.
February 21st, 2011
08:26 PM ET

Tension and dark humor among protesters in Bahrain

Editor's note: CNN's Tim Lister reports the following from Bahrain, where thousands of protesters have been in the capital's Pearl Roundabout, preparing for a massive demonstration on Tuesday. Protesters took to the streets of the capital last week to demand reform and the introduction of a constitutional monarchy, but some are now calling for the removal of the royal family, which has led the Persian Gulf state since the 18th century.

I was down at the Pearl Roundabout on Monday - the epicenter of Bahrain's protest movement, where the demonstrators' encampment has taken on an air of permanence, with tents, makeshift kitchens, even a rudimentary field hospital.

And some dark humor. We bumped into one young man who wore a placard saying "Wake Me Up Before You Kill Me," a reference to the security forces' assault on the roundabout in the early hours of last Thursday. Nearby, a cartoonist had set up a "Democracy Wall" - Gulf style - with all sorts of sketches lampooning the royal family. Relatives of those injured or killed last week carry photographs of their loved ones. Above it all, a giant Bahraini flag hoisted by a crane.

Not to be outdone, thousands of government supporters rallied in another part of the city on Monday night - thankfully, a long way from Pearl Roundabout. While there has been no violence reported since Friday night, and the crown prince has committed himself to dialogue with opposition groups, there is still plenty of tension here.

Occasionally rumors sweep through the crowd at Pearl Roundabout - that pro-government marchers are headed that way, or that army units have left their base. All of them are unfounded, but they make for a sometimes edgy atmosphere. With the planned arrival from London on Tuesday night of a leading opposition figure who is charged with trying to overthrow the government, the political see-saw in Bahrain continues to swing between negotiation and confrontation.

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Filed under: Bahrain
soundoff (26 Responses)

    @ 777 I may may not have anything ON you , but I do have something that belongs to me IN you ! YOUR SOUL BELONGS TO ME !!!!! ha Ha Ha Hauh!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 12:47 am | Report abuse |
  2. Six Hundred and Sixty-Six

    Come on people let your hate and anger flow-w !! , it is like food for me to feed off your energy (hate-anger) !!!

    February 22, 2011 at 1:06 am | Report abuse |
  3. raven

    The only thing I really truly hate are brussels sprouts ,you can have em.

    February 22, 2011 at 2:04 am | Report abuse |
  4. Jim Brieske

    I love the photo shown here. Because the words of the sign, "We are people of peace", match the expressions on the faces of the Bahrainian protesters.

    February 22, 2011 at 4:00 am | Report abuse |
  5. Cesar

    Early to bed, early to rise.

    February 22, 2011 at 5:25 am | Report abuse |

    Let's just that the people of Bahrain rid themselves of their king who is no more than another stooge of the West.

    February 22, 2011 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |

      Sorry folks,I left out the word "hope" in the above statement. Forgive me,please.

      February 22, 2011 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  7. Six Six Six

    Shut up ruff nutt u got the wrong person idiot im not posting under your name u retard and im not a funny boy u knuckle head !!! U know u r my servent so quit pretending like u are in Gods love and r going to heaven when u die nuff rutt !!!! U r gonna be slaughtered like the rest of them in armeggedon !! OH WHAT A RUSH !!!!

    February 22, 2011 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse |
  8. mad hater

    I think that is gay Israel is becoming a nation, stupid buttholes.

    February 22, 2011 at 6:03 pm | Report abuse |
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