While deadly protests in Africa have been largely ignored, because, well, they are in Africa, and they don't even have iPads there and Kindle WhisperNet coverage is spotty if any, the world may be forced to start paying just a little more attention as food riots get ever closer to the center of the oil extraction infrastructure in the Persian Gulf. From BBC Monitoring, which discusses the latest outbreak of protests sweeping Oman "Most participants in the protest were reluctant to be quoted as they were government employees. However, some said they protested against low salaries and soaring prices." Luckily, for now the protest is still peaceful. The thing about hunger is that it doesn't go away if you ignore it. And as Oman borders the UAE, all it takes is for the riots to jump one more border and then it gets interesting. And to all those observent enough to note that soaring prices continue to occur in countries with "growing unemployment" i.e., economic slack, and wonder how this is possible, after all the Fed said record slack can never lead to inflation, don't worry - you are certainly not alone.
A large number of young Omanis took to the streets in a peaceful protest march in the Al Khuwair district where most of the
government offices are located.
The youth, protesting against the general conditions such as soaring price rise and growing unemployment, were allowed to walk in a procession although there was heavy police presence.
According to witnesses, the youth dispersed peacefully after an hour-long protest near the Ministry of Housing and Interior Ministry building.
Though the ministry area was deserted when the protest was held at government department as the staff work only up to 2.30pm. the main Sultan Qaboos Highway saw a huge traffic jam of office goers from the private sector heading home. The curious drivers slowed down the traffic, triggering congestion.
"I could see a huge crowd in the ministry area and the traffic was crawling," an expatriate, who wished not to be named, told Gulf News.
Most participants in the protest were reluctant to be quoted as they were government employees. However, some said they protested against low salaries and soaring prices.
The police kept track of the protesters even as some joggers continued with their routine. The police did not interfere and the protest ended as peacefully as it had started.
The Royal Oman Police (ROP) had no comment to make when Gulf News contacted for details about the protest.
This is not the first time such peaceful protest was held in Oman. Recently some young graduates led a delegation to the Education
Ministry, demanding teaching jobs.
Meanwhile, social media was abuzz with the news about the protest.
While it is still too early, we believe that sooner or later, the riots will reach the Iraq/Iran/Saudi/UAE oil quadrangle, following which Europe will fall next. And then the catch 22 of rising food prices leading to reduced oil production, leading to even higher food prices will really get out of hand. Thank you Ben.
h/t John Lohman