Thursday, March 10, 2011

So It Begins? Saudis Open Fire On Protesters; Injuries Reported

Saudi police opened fire on protesters with tear gas and stun grenades and at least one person was injured. The Saudis are trying to thwart protests from melding into the kind of uprisings seen elsewhere in the ME and North Africa.

Protesters are calling for a Day of Rage this Friday, and the Saudi regime is looking to head things off before they spiral out of control. Previously, the regime sought to buy its way out of trouble with financial incentives and programs, but those efforts have been met with indifference since the protesters are looking for a change in governance and not merely a change in window dressing.

The concern for the Saudis (and those who rely on Saudi oil exports) is that the protests are likely to occur in oil-producing regions of the country, and could potentially affect oil exports at a time when Saudi Arabia has offered to increase production to keep prices from rising much higher.

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