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(Original report by Tony Mitchell, at The Atlantic...)

"I returned to Bahrain, where I taught English at the small island nation's Polytechnic University, on the 2nd of April, eight weeks into the popular protests and increasingly severe police crackdown. My wife and I had taken a break from Bahrain, where society was increasingly divided, for a vacation in Thailand. But I'd found it difficult to relax, my thoughts focused on what would happen to the demonstrators at Pearl Roundabout, the center of protest, after King Hamad Khalifa had asked for outside help from the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council, the Arabian Peninsula's Saudi-dominated political collective) to send troops to control the situation with force. The GCC, originally established to defend against external threats, deployed soldiers against Bahrain's unarmed civilians, and the roundabout was cleared again while I was away.

The wonderful Pearl Monument, at the center of the roundabout, had been demolished while I was away. I found this very difficult to understand, but it only confirmed the Khalifa regime's determination to remove all traces of the peaceful protests that had occurred there. State television said the area needed to be "cleansed" and the Bahraini Foreign Minister, Khalid Bin Ahmad Al Khalifa, said the demolition was "a removal of a bad memory..."


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