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Jordanians Confront Police After Union Leaders Arrested

Demonstrators and security forces clashed violently in Jordan on Tuesday over the jailing of union leaders by the government. According to state sources, police officers were forced to fire tear gas into the crowds to disperse the protests, in which seven officers were injured. Two weeks ago, the government began a crackdown on one of the largest opposition groups in the country, the Jordanian teachers union, numbering over 100,000 members. Dozens of its leaders were arrested, and the organization’s activity was outlawed for two years. Government officials blame the union for dabbling in incitement and corruption, while the union leaders accuse the government of reneging on their agreement, signed last October after a monthlong teachers strike that wreaked unprecedented damage on the economy. The past few weeks have seen hundreds of protesters across the country calling for the government’s resignation and the release of the teachers union heads.