Conflict in Yemen, spurring from the increasing invasion of the Huthi rebels, has been met and restricted by non-violent protests of men and women in the area. After the fall of President Saleh, his vice president, Abd Rabbuh Mansur Hadi took control as head of the state even though it was greatly opposed by the community. This along with the resignation of major actors in the cabinet allowed a prime opportunity for the Huthi militia, which represent the minority in the north, to take over as the major power in the area. The militia soon started taking over cities by force, eventually taking over the capital of Sana’a in 2014, which lead to large non-violent protests by civilians, resisting the violent group. Several methods of non-violent protests were used by people in the Yemen community in order to combat the rebel advances. Students and employees from the Sana’a University utilized a silent protest method, on November 2, against the Huthi rebels takeover and control of the university. This silent protest created a chain of people around the universities campus with signs expressing the wants of the community to eradicate Huthi residence and control of the campus. This non-violent protest proved to be successful as the rebel forces adhered to the activists and left the university on December 10. Other forms of non-violent protests took place throughout the country in order to bolster these public demonstrations against the Huthi rebels. The Yemen people used various forms of strikes to express their resistance to the rebels, hunger strikes, as well as worker strikes have been utilized to protest in a non-violent manner. Fuel production facilities and other major infrastructure were shutdown, as well as the resignation of large amounts of government employees, as a form of resistance to the rebels as they tried to gain control of them. Even people that were captives of the Huthi contributed to the protests, this was accomplished, by implementing hunger strikes in the prison. The participation in the protests included many young people, students, as well as government officials extending all the way to the imprisoned president who protested the rebel control by means of hunger strike before he escaped.
If the people of Yemen had responded to the Huthi takeover in a violent way I believe the conflict would be much worse than it currently is. The forms of non-violent protests that the community used proved successful in removing Huthi militia from their community. If the community responded with violent opposition the Huthi rebels would have greatly overpowered them resulting in deaths of the Yemen people. The activists non-violent methods worked because when the Huthi rebels reacted to non-violent protests with violence it created a larger call for people to participate in the protests. This accumulation of protesters creates a strong force that was able to repel the violent forces.
Zunes, Stephen, and Noor Al-Haidary. “Powerful Nonviolent Resistance to Armed Conflict in Yemen.” OpenDemocracy. N.p., 11 Apr. 2015. Web. 10 Aug. 2016.