Amman, Jordan: Clashes erupted on Friday in Jordan's capital between government supporters and opponents at a protest calling for more freedoms and lower food prices,injuring eight.
It was the seventh straight that Jordanians, inspired by uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, took to the streets to demand more say in decision-making. The Amman protest drew about 2,000 people, including hard-line leftists, Muslim conservatives and students calling for reduced powers for the king and the chance to elect members of the Cabinet.
Students from the growing Jaayin or "I'm Coming" movement chanted "we want constitutional reforms; we want a complete change to policies."
Jordan's king enjoys absolute powers, ruling by decree and he can appoint and dismiss Cabinets and parliament whenever he wants. About 200 government supporters trailed the protesters, chanting: "Our blood and souls, we sacrifice for you Abu Hussein" - a reference to Jordan's King Abdullah II - before clashing with the opposition march.
"They beat us with batons, pipes and hurled rocks at us," said Tareq Kmeil, a student at the protest. "We tried to defend ourself, to beat them back."
He said at least eight people were injured. He said the injuries included fractures in the head, arms and legs.
"Police didn't do anything to protect us," he said. "Police forces just stood on the side watching us getting beaten." Police spokesmen were not immediately available for comment.