How to alienate sympathisers to your cause

Like just about everybody in Bahrain, I’ve been caught in traffic due to roads being closed either by physical objects, oil spilled on the road or a combination of both. The end result of course is that the demonstrators want their message to be received by those in charge that they have legitimate demands and they will do whatever they can to disrupt daily life to get those demands addressed.

Fine. Ok.

But guys, why should you endanger the road users in this manner? What you’re doing is simply bolstering the position of those who oppose you and turn those who possibly sympathize with you into new enemies!

I completely understand that you have legitimate demands and those are being brought out in the open on a weekly basis in the various authorised and unauthorised demonstrations and gatherings, why do you have to resort to an activity that not only inconvenience road users, but put them in jeopardy as well?

There are other ways to get your message across in a peaceful manner without endangering others. I don’t mind you inconveniencing me to make me aware of your needs. I completely understand inconvenience, but when it comes to putting me in danger that’s a bit much.

So quit this please before you alienate many people who once were your supporters. Find other ways to make your voice and demands heard.


  1. FYI

    100% agree Mahmood. They want to put pressure on the government by hitting the economy; that’s just stupid. The government makes its money mainly from oil and the price of oil isn’t affected by roadblocks (if anything is goes up due to instability in the middle east). In the end it’s the private sector that’s dying from these morons.

    1. Sardin

      Not really, it makes most of its money from aluminum. Less than 10% of Bahrain’s exports are oil or oil related. And the fact that Alba is bleeding hundreds of millions says a lot about where the government is likely to end up.

      So yeah, I guess calling the protestors morons is, how should I say this..somewhat moronic.

  2. James Benson

    Whilst I in no way condone pouring oil on roads, I can understand the frustration they and you Mahmood have at the current situation. There have been virtually no concessions so far by the GOB, other than reinstating the jobs of a few of the sacked workers and under foreign pressure the doctors “retrial”. One must consider what happened in Ireland for decades. Things could get very much worse in Bahrain than just pouring oil on roads. If this is to be avoided, the govt must act quickly and decisively. I do have to disagree with FYI in that I consider that the economy should be affected (e.g. pulling the grand prix) if the govt fails to listen.

  3. exclamation mark

    The problem is that those people do not have anything to loose, do they have jobs? Wealth?
    Do they have a twin tower that only costs 1 BD?

  4. Bill

    I agree that running into the middle of a highway is dangerous and endangers motorists. I also agree that randomly throwing oil onto highways would endanger motorists. But in the videos I’ve seen, protesters seem to be trying to avoid such reckless behavior, and are only using oil to make roads harder to re-open once closed. Could protesters be doing a better job at safely closing off roads? Probably. Could the Traffic Directorate be doing more, such as posting reduced speed limits or warnings in areas prone to roadblocks? Probably. I agree there’s steps that both sides can take to improve motorist safety.

    Look, we can sit here all day debating the appropriate tactics for protesters to maximize sympathy for their cause. But at the end of the day, the Bahrain protesters don’t own their cause, nor do they have any special “needs,” nor do they bear any special responsibility for gaining sympathizers. Just like protesters all over the Middle East and now, all over the world, they’ve carried the banner of humanity, fighting for a world that lives up to the universal promises and ideals enshrined in its highest documents. Certainly, some individuals may engage in tactics like blocking roads that you find objectionable, but that is reason to discount only the actions of those individuals, and not their cause. Recognize the failings of the world, and recognize too that if you believe in correcting those failings, you’re all fighting on the same side.

    1. Post

      Certainly, some individuals may engage in tactics like blocking roads that you find objectionable, but that is reason to discount only the actions of those individuals, and not their cause. Recognize the failings of the world, and recognize too that if you believe in correcting those failings, you’re all fighting on the same side.

      I’m completely behind the Oppositions’ demands declared in both the Manama Document and agreed to by the Crown Prince. I disagree with some of their methods, of course, but have never discounted their cause nor shall ever do so. The demands are legitimate and much needed for us to progress this country and its people into a better future.

  5. MadMike

    But I thought that throwing stones thru windows, lighting tires on fire, and just generally make an arse of yourself was the standard methods of exercisings one’s “democratic rights”?

  6. exclamation mark

    Our condolences to Sh. Ali Al Daihi, VP of Al Wefac political bloc, on the death of his father, after being attacked by the police, the MOI says that the death was due to a normal cause – Heart attack, but that does not mean that the attack was the result of this assault.

    What is the average now? one person to be killed per month? other than the mass punishment on the villages and the casualties of suffocation because of the heavy use of tear gas?? All this going on on a daily basis. So why complain about blocking the roads that might even not have an effect on anything??
    I know it is a wrong practice but 100% of the responsibility falls on the back of the Govt on whats going on!!!

  7. Sardin

    Good thing you don’t live in Egypt or Libya, Mahmood. Despite being the poster childs for democratic civic movements, they actually set fire to police stations there, they burnt police cars, they dragged police officers through the streets and hardly left a part of their cities that they didn’t destroy.

    And we’re complaining about some barefoot unemployed teenagers pouring oil on the street or blocking highways?

    I really don’t get it. This is a revolution right? 45 people didn’t just die because we’re all having a laugh right? Thousands didn’t get injured, tens didn’t lose their eyes and limbs, thousands didn’t lose their jobs because we’re messing about right?

    To lose sympathy for a cause because we’re half an hour late to dinner says more about us than about the people putting their lives on the line for your and my children and grandchildren.

    1. Post

      People don’t understand that my friend. They might sympathies with the cause and a little delay but will lose patience when faced with these situations. I hear it all the time. They’ll silently support the “revolution” but will change that active opposition if this continues. There might be other ways of keeping both going; insisting on the demands for change while not jeopardizing people’s lives unnecessarily and in this fashion.

      1. Sardin

        Indeed, that’s a reasonable point, Mahmood. And one that the opposition parties, I believe, made a while back.

        Admittedly, being reasonable these days isn’t all that easy (at least for me) as the government’s atrocities continue.

        Be well, my friend.

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