Enough War: Living Beneath Bombs, Yemenis Refuse to be Collateral Damage

Nearly two weeks into a Saudi Arabia-led military assault on Yemen, that has rained down bombs on civilian neighborhoods and infrastructure while locking out food and medical aid, people within the country and across the global diaspora are turning to social media—and to the streets—to send a message to the world: Enough War.

The online campaign Kefaya War (“enough war” in Arabic) calls for people across the globe to “end ALL fighting in Yemen & stand with The People, who refuse to be collateral damage in a battle for Power.” Since the bombings began March 26, the hashtag has received an outpouring of messages, from Scotland to Mexico to Yemen to the United States.

— كفاية حرب KefayaWar (@KefayaWar) April 7, 2015

Rooj Alwazir, activist and co-founder of Support Yemen Media, told Common Dreams over email that she and several friends launched #KefayaWar to “share with the world what is happening in Yemen” and amplify the humanity of the actual people who are impacted. To do so, she said, requires people to consider Yemenis as more than mere victims.

“It’s important to recognize their fight for dignity, justice and freedom,” Alwazir explained. “People in Yemen are not just poor helpless human beings, but they are people with stories who in their own different ways have been working towards social political change in their own communities. They are Yemen’s future and right now they need all the solidarity and support they can get.”

Meanwhile, people in Yemen and around the world are staging public protests to demand an immediate cessation of the bombings. According to the World Health Organization, Yemen’s conflict has killed at least 643 people and wounded 2,226 since March 19, with 334,000 internally displaced and 8.4 million estimated to be in immediate need of health care services. The United Nations Children’s Fund estimated Monday that the dead include at least 74 children.

Pakistan has seen large civil society protests pressing the government to refuse involvement in the ever-expanding military coalition, which is led by Saudi Arabia and now includes the United States, Kuwait, Qatar, the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain, Jordan, Egypt, Sudan, and Morocco. Demonstrations have also been reported in Lebanon.

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