Just wanted to let y'all know I'm still relatively safe.
I only use 'relatively' because I think the idea of complete safety is just silly.
Oddly, I often find myself in places where demonstrations are going on. When I was last in Rome, Bush was on his way over (that guy follows me everywhere). The anti-Bush demonstrations in Rome were, hands down, the largest demonstrations I'd ever seen. Thousands of people marching past where we were, hour over hour. Also, in Hamburg waaaay back, there was a PKK demonstration....I watched a German police officer get a bucket of white paint dumped over his head. There are photos.
So NOW... the latest demonstrations. Of course, vast and more pressing in nature.
Don't know if I mentioned this before, but Jordan's population is 40-60% Palestinan (was closer to 60% until the influx of Iraqi refugees, which now make up about 20%). So yes, there are demonstrations all over Jordan. But they are generally peaceful...more of a vigil atmosphere. The students at Jordan University protested yesterday. There was also a demonstration at the Egyptian embassy, because of Egypt's failure to open the Rafah crossing point between Gaza and Egypt to allow the Gazans to escape the bombing. Also, predicatably, demonstrators are calling for Egypt and Jordan to sever ties with Israel. It ain't easy being in charge in these parts.
So far, the only demonstration in Amman where tear gas was used was inside one of the Palestinan refugee camps in the south area of the city. My guess is, if you'd seen coverage of the demonstrations on TV, this would have been the one you saw - since peaceful demonstrations just aren't newsworthy. Al Baqa'a, the largest refugee camp in Jordan, with a population of 90,000 people, also had demonstrations that went smoothly.
So...we'll see how it goes. Tomorrow, we go to donate blood. Jordan intends to bring in casualties from Gaza since the ongoing Israeli siege on Gaza has disabled most of their hospitals.
I won't say whether I think Israeli actions are or are not justified. I will say, though, that at the moment, it sucks to be a Gazan.