“June 17th Saudi Women Drive” Organizer Manal Al-Sharif Arrested, Facebook Twitter and YouTubes Scrubbed

May 22, 2011

Update to this story: https://gendertrender.wordpress.com/2011/05/15/“on-june-17-we-will-drive”-saudi-women-plan-mass-protest-for-freedom-to-drive/

One of the organizers of the June 17th Saudi Women Drive protest has been arrested, and also family members. The Facebook page, Twitter account, and YouTube channel have been deleted by Saudi government authorities. The facebook page had over 13,000 women who committed to participating in the driving protest before it was deleted. The arrested are Manal Al-Sharif, the woman shown driving on the now deleted YouTube video, and her brother.

Saudi police arrested the woman even though there is not actually any law against female drivers. It is on the authority of conservative religious zealots that the ban is in place, even though there is no such prohibition in Islam. Saudi Arabia is the only country in the world with such a ban against women.

According to Arab News there is an anti-women driving campaign now started which advises men to beat women who drive: “Among these calls is a campaign demanding all men to beat up women attempting to drive. The men have been told to use their igals (head bands) to strike women behind the wheels in the streets.”

Another campaign was started by men pledging to protect women drivers, including a Facebook page called Protecting Saudi Females on 17th June.

The Saudi Women’s Revolution FB page is still up, and a page showing worldwide support of Manal Alsharif- https://www.facebook.com/pages/We-are-supporting-Manal-Alsharif/229788737035282 

The page states:

“Manal AlSharif
founder of “I will drive starting June 17”
a campaign which encourages and enables saudi women to drive.

She is an inspirational leader that will be remarkable for future generations as the first Saudi woman ever to announce driving a car by herself

Manal Al sharif, is one of hundreds Saudi women who seek their rights, justice, and dignity. She’s now another victim to the oppression of the Saudi police men. Manal in her attempt to challenge women driving ban in Saudi Arabia by the most pacifist way, through an event on facebook, has been arrested twice late at night Sunday, May 22, by the hands of the religious police and without any apparent legal reasons.

We’ve been fighting for so long in a country where human rights are barely applied. We ask for your help and media support to our essential case.

Spread the news and join us.”

New twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/ManalFree (Pro-tip to Saudi Authorities: YOU ARE NOT GOING TO SHUT THESE WOMEN UP.)

21 Responses to ““June 17th Saudi Women Drive” Organizer Manal Al-Sharif Arrested, Facebook Twitter and YouTubes Scrubbed”

  1. Loup-loup garou Says:

    I’d like to supply all those women with tanks.

  2. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel Says:

    This will indeed be a very dangerous protest for all the women involved. I am shocked that males are so open about their violence and need for dominance that they would have a ‘beat up all women attempting to drive’ group.

  3. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel Says:

    Anyhow, I have liked both the FB pages you supplied, to show my support. Will promote the pages from my FB thingy. Don’t have/do the twitter thing.

  4. Ella Ludwig Says:

    Ummmmm They don’t want their society to be westernized? Maybe look at the history of the car. If the men really felt that way they wouldn’t drive a western machine like a car! It is just about control. Women are strong and these men know it. Just another way to keep women under their thumb. Ugh!!!

  5. FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel Says:

    btw, there is a supporting petition up now:

    calling for Manal’s immediate and unconditional release.

    Please everyone sign it.

  6. […] and counting purportedly showing Saudi women driving cars. Bloggers are voicing their support here, here, and here, and so are some Twitter […]

  7. Paulina Bejar Says:

    When the goverment is planning to release her?
    How can We help in USA?

    I respect other countries’s rules, but let’s don’t forget that rules were created to resolve or prevent conflicts.. ! I don’t see any problem or future problem on letting women to drive !

    Why Saudi men is so affraid of Women? Women can be really smart huh ?

    I know a looot of guys that are more dangerous behind a car that a women.

    I am a latin women that been driving for 5 years without any car accident….!

    DRIVE IS A NECESSITY.. Woman can not be depending on man for everything..

    I understand that Saudi men tries to protect woman a lot and it is nice but CAREFUL !


    • GallusMag Says:

      Thank you for your comment Paulina. She has been released on bail after ten days on condition that she does not drive or speak to other women of driving. What we can do is support the women who intend to proceed with the june 17 driving. We can make sure everybody watches- all the women in the world. And we can make sure the media covers their efforts. The women can and will change their own countries rules but we can support them. I think the Saudi men are afraid to “let the bird breathe” because the men are very weak and cowardly. That is my opinion.

    • FAB Libber aka Dave the Squirrel Says:

      Do not forget to sign the petition Paulina:

  8. jilla Says:

    The leader of this protest will never be able to drive again.

    “And what about the recently released Ms. Al-Sharif, whose decided to defy the ban one night when she was trying to get home to her five-year-old son and couldn’t find a cab, or reach her brother to pick her up on the street where men had begun to harass her as she walked alone?

    “She is back to her normal life,” Ms. Al-Huwaider answers.

    The elder feminist said she will not take part in Friday’s protests because her driver’s licence, obtained while on holiday in Bahrain, has expired.

    Nor will Ms. Al-Sharif.

    As a condition of her release, she was forced to pledge never to drive a car again.


    • GallusMag Says:

      The hell she won’t! She was never “allowed” to drive in the first place. She’s probably driving right now, doing donuts in from of the police station. (At least that’s what’s happening in my mind’s eye 😉
      Burnin’ rubber down the block baybee!
      The pigs made them all sign that useless pledge. At least six others have been busted driving since Al-Sharif. As long as the women stick together, and stick to the plan for driving on June 17th, ALL TOGETHER, they will BEAT THIS THING! YOU CAN DO IT WOMEN!!!!!!!! YOU HAVE THE RIGHT!!!!!!!!! And TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  9. GallusMag Says:

    TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! KICK ASS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! HAVE PRIDE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! DO IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  10. put the “pedal” to the “metal” ladies
    woooooooooo hooooooooo !!!!

  11. KatieS Says:

    What my mother told me when I first started to drive, “Stay safe!” And I’ll add “Stay brave!” (Which I don’t doubt that you will). You have many women around the world on your side.

  12. jilla Says:


    I wanted you all to see the photo. I had to stare at it for a long time, with extra light, even cleaning my glasses !! before I could separate the black figures from the blackened windows.

    God and Allah forbid any man should see a sliver of skin! Just so desperately stupid.

  13. DaveSquirrel Says:

    Some updates on the situation for Saudi women:

    Given the right to vote (in four years, wtf?)

    And, one woman who was found ‘guilty for driving’, has had her sentence of 10 lashes overturned by the king.

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