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Bahrain: The One Dinar Protest

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

Protesters in Bahrain are gathering outside the Bahrain Financial Harbour (BFH), waving one Bahraini dinar (worth US$ 2.6) notes and chanting for the overthrow of the government.

The protest comes days after Shaikh Ali Salman, the head of the opposition Wefaq society, presented a purchase agreement which shows that Bahrain's Prime Minister Shaikh Khalifa bin Salman Al Khalifa bought the land the BFH was built on for one dinar, at a rally held in Pearl (Lulu) Roundabout, the epicentre of anti-government protests since February 14, 2011.

Protests calling for wide ranging political, economic and social changes in Bahrain follow hot on the heels of similar movements across the Arab world, where people shook off decades of fear and oppression and took to the streets to make their voices heard.

After an initial clampdown on the protests, which saw seven Bahrainis killed by police and army forces, Bahrain extended an olive branch to protesters, opening a chapter of National Dialogue led by Crown Prince Salman bin Hamad Al Khalifa, who promised an end to government violence and called all the stake-holders to the negotiation table. A small cabinet reshuffle followed, as well as a promise of 20,000 new jobs, in the country where unemployment figures vary, depending on which source you try to get your figures from.

Following are reactions from the protests outside the BFH today:

@TruthWitness: Privileges of royal family: #Bahrain PM bought Financial Harbour district for 1dinar ($2.65) #change #feb14 #lulu http://twitpic.com/46s4gq

@anmarek: Protester reading document proving that PM bought land of financial harbour for 1BD #bahrain #feb14 http://twitpic.com/474l32

@anmarek: Protesters near financial harbour holding a big note of 1BD having PM pic on it! #bahrain #feb14 http://twitpic.com/474g7y

@anmarek: Protesters raising 1BD notes and chanting “financial harbour for 1BD only!” #bahrain #feb14 #lulu http://twitpic.com/474k3e

@mahmood: Joining the throngs just passing the BD1 BFH. Protestors demand the dismissal of the government. http://t.co/Aqhpklj

@mahmood: Announcer: for BD1 BD1! http://t.co/FSldC5D

@anmarek: 10 coins of 100 fils LOL did Khalifa pay the 1BD in 10 installments of 0.100 BD?? #bahrain #feb14 http://twitpic.com/474mds

@RedhaHaji: #BFH #bahrain #feb14 More ppl seem to b heading to BFH now.Traffic police directing traffic.All Calm http://yfrog.com/gz66ywmj

@Redbelt: Pic update of #BFH. I can hear them chanting at the 10th floor! http://plixi.com/p/82270251

@RedhaHaji: Ppl still heading to #BFH #bahrain #feb14 http://yfrog.com/h4iyvuij

@anmarek: Big tent near financial harbour #bahrain #feb14 #lulu http://twitpic.com/474kji

@fredwillie460: #bahrain #BFH latest pic choas poor traffic policeman – this many people holding a nation to ransom – http://twitpic.com/474n16

@fredwillie460: #bahrain #bfh taken around 4 pm no more baby tents but people walking up from pearl roundabout enjoying an afterno http://twitpic.com/474fu5

@fredwillie460: http://twitpic.com/473y3o – #BAHRAIN #BFH at numbers at 3pm for comparison

@chanadbh: This ‘BD1 for the BFH’ Prime Minister scandal has become quite a hilarious meme: http://plixi.com/p/81992756 (from yest) #bahrain #feb14

@chanadbh: The BD1 story isn't even the major issue. The real question is why is a serving govt official allowed to buy so much commercial property?

@MunaFakhroo: So.. What's the point of all of this? #bahrain

@Almalood: Dear protesters please find a bigger area to take over & camp. We will soon join you as we will all be jobless #Bahrain #Lulu #Fateh #Feb 14

@yasminofbahrain: I don't blame the cattle who are mocking PM about the BD1 story, I blame Ali Salman for bringing out false info to a stupid crowd. #bahrain

@yasminofbahrain: To all ppl on twitter making a joke out of themselves about the BD1 story, watch out. Ur accusations r false and you'll regret it. #bahrain

Meanwhile, the government Bahrain News Agency carried an article today praising the achievements brought by the PM to Bahrain, since becoming Prime Minister in 1971. It adds:

Regarding the Bahrain Financial Harbour, the spokesman said that the issue had been studied by the ministerial committee in tandem with the parliamentary probe committee in charge of state properties. “The transaction has been sealed via the pricing committee in accordance with legal procedures”, he said.
“Any party questioning the legal procedures may resort to courts for justice be done”, the spokesman.

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

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