On January 25, University of Wisconsin Professor Seif Da'Na headlined, "The Mideast: 'A New Era' from Cairo," saying:
"Repercussions of the Tunisia example will be deep and significant and will be felt throughout the region. The uprising signifies not only the failure of the neoliberal model that Arab regimes pursued, but also the futility of political oppression to enforce this model in the long run. The event signifies the beginning of a new era that must be seen as a process of change and might lead to the creation of a new region."
Possibilities are, in fact, breathtaking and broad, embracing political, economic, and social demands "signifying the dead-end of a system that employed excessive political oppression to enforce destructive neoliberal economic policies. Privatizing the public sector essentially reversed the post independence economic achievements of these countries," creating inequality and intolerable conditions for most people. Now they're reacting, inspired by early Tunisia successes that continue demanding ouster of all former government officials.
Most interim cabinet members, including acting Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi, are regime holdovers. For days, police showed restraint. On January 24, they changed tactics with tear gas, razor wire barriers, and other measures against protestors refusing to disperse, defying curfew orders by camping out peacefully all night, demanding a new government.
Twenty-two year-old Othmene spoke for others, saying; "We will stay here until the government resigns and runs away like Ben Ali." Teachers and civil servants went on strike joining them, assuring protests continue.
Potentially the entire region is affected. Other protests erupted in Algeria, Yemen and Jordan, at times met with deadly force. On January 22, AP said over a dozen people were killed in Algiers, Algeria's capital. Protesters said dozens more were injured. Said Sadi, head of the Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), said the group's leader, Othmane Amazouz, was arrested.
On January 21, RCD, the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH), the Socialist Forces Front (FFS), and four trade unions formed a national democracy movement for change.
In a region with endemic poverty, Yemen is the Arab world's poorest country with extreme depravation and youth unemployment levels, an explosive mix fueling unrest. On January 22, around 2,500 demonstrated at the University of Sanaa. Others occurred in Aden, Lahj and elsewhere. Police and military forces responded repressively with tear gas, live fire and mortars, arresting dozens and causing at least one death.