Sunday, October 27, 2013

Saudi women defy driving ban across country

October 27, 2013.

Dozens of women across country participate in "drive-in" campaign, despite threats and warnings from government.

Click on picture for video
More than 60 women claimed to have answered their call to get behind the wheel in a rare show of defiance against a ban on female driving in the ultraconservative kingdom, Saudi activists said.

Saudi professor and campaigner Aziza Youssef said that the group received 13 videos and another 50 phone messages from women showing or claiming they had driven on Saturday. She said they had no way to verify the messages.

If the numbers are accurate, this year's campaign is the most successful effort yet by Saudi women demanding the right to drive.

Youssef said they had not received any reports of arrests or women being ticketed by police.

A security official said that authorities did not arrest or fine any female drivers on Saturday. He spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorised to speak to the media.

A website set up by the campaigners,, in the hope of getting more women on the roads, appeared to have been hacked.

It read in Arabic, "This site has been hacked because I am against women driving in this holy country."

The Interior Ministry on its website said: "While Saudi regulations ban any offence to social peace that opens the door to sedition, the Ministry of Interior emphasises to all that authorities will follow the law decisively against violators."

"At the same time, the government appreciates calls by citizens to respect security and to stay away from any attempt to divide society."
Read the rest here.
Comment: In the week there was tantrum noise from the self-appointed leaders of this dictatorial kingdom about a distancing from its umbilical ally, the United States.

How funny hey?  The dictators think they can make it alone in the world without the billions of dollars of armed support and intelligence they have received from the empire and its adopted grandchild, Israel.

The signs are starting to become clearer.  Even inside of this medieval patriarchy there are signs that push the boundaries of its enclosed insanity.

My thinking is keep pushing my sisters.  Drive them into the 21st century.


Ps. The fact that this demonstration - even the 'movement' toward driving privileges for women - is mostly a wealthy show of defiance is not lost on me.  There are, of course, greater injustices against women in Saudi that receive much less publicity.

Still, this demand for equal access to driving privileges is enmeshed in a comprehensive system of male oversight and patriarchal dominance and, therefore, it is a legitimate cause nonetheless.

But the larger oppression of women - especially where it intersects with class, religious and foreign national status - deserves greater attention no doubt. 

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