Thousands of people participated in demonstrations in several cities throughout Jordan on 14 January 2011 to protest against rising prices in the country. Protests organized by the Social Leftist Movement were reported in Amman, as well as Irbid and Karak, and were also expected to materialize in Aqaba and Madaba. The Amman demonstration was the largest, drawing a sizable crowd near the Grand Husseini Mosque in the downtown area. Security forces were deployed to monitor all demonstrations, but there were no reports of violence or major disturbances during the events.
Another large demonstration is planned to take place near the Parliament building in Amman on 16 January. The demonstration will be supported by the Islamic Action Front (IAF), the influential opposition group and political arm of the Muslim Brotherhood in Jordan, and is expected to draw a large crowd. The IAF did not participate in the 14 January protests and is staging the 16 January protests, along with other opposition parties and trade unions, to protest for political reforms rather than against rising costs of living.
Discontent over rising food and fuel prices and costs of living has risen in Jordan, which in the past has experienced unrest related to this issue; however, thus far the issues have not inspired notable unrest in the country as has been seen of late in other countries in the Middle East and North Africa region such as Tunisia and Algeria.
The Jordanian government is aware of the potential for unrest, and earlier in the week enacted a new economic package aimed at stemming the rising costs to alleviate the impact on poorer populations in the country. Nevertheless, the 14 January protests indicate that some sections of the population regard the initiative as insufficient, and there remains a potential for further protest actions.