Sudanese protesters denouncing austerity measures imposed by President Omar Al-Bashir are gearing up for what they are calling “Elbow-licking Friday,” according to reports from the Guardian and others.

The term is a reference to “Bashir's habit of calling opponents wishing to overthrow him elbow-lickers, people who attempt the impossible,” the Guardian writes.

Protests in Sudan began in mid-June, when the Sudanese government announced it would end oil subsidies, raise taxes and other measures in order to fix a gaping budget deficit. The actions should save the country billions, but they have also raised food and fuel prices.

Demonstrations are in part organizing over social networks, where activists are edifying themselves ahead of what they hope will be the country’s third revolution, according to Al-Jazeera.

A Sudanese activist living in Cairo tweeted:

a Sudanese princess is showing that licking elbow is not impossible, Bashir are you watching this?,LEAVE #SudanRevolts

— Fattou Sakory (@fatmaemam) June 28, 2012

Tomorrow is “The Friday of Elbow Licking” in Sudan = meaning mission impossible Sudani style! #SudanRevolts#Sudan…

— Monira AlQadiri (@moniraism) June 28, 2012

In some cases, the activists are turning Bashir’s words against him, taking his remark that overthrow is “impossible” as a challenge. Sudanese writer who goes by “Nada” wrote:


ELBOW LICKING, a universal term. soon itl be in OXFORD dictionary: Licking ones elbow is a Sudanese metaphor for achieving the impossible.

— nada (@untamednada) June 28, 2012

Police have met previous protests with tear gas and mass arrests.

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