Since Bahrain's monarchy crushed a popular uprising last year, Bahraini activists have had a hard time getting the attention of the international community.
Now, it seems, they are getting a boost from an unlikely source — Formula One racing.
The FIA, the league that organizes Formula One, will meet this weekend in Shanghai to discuss whether or not they should cancel an upcoming Grand Prix race in Bahrain. Continuing violence in the country has sparked concerns for the safety of racers and fans.
The possible cancellation of the Formula One race has re-inserted Bahrain's unrest into the headlines. Yay sports!
Bahrain has been gripped by almost daily clashes between government security forces and protesters calling for a more democratic state. Large-scale protests in the spring of last year led to a nationwide crackdown. But smaller protests have persisted. A jailed activist who has been on a hunger strike now for more than two months has recently emboldened the protest movement, which seized on the Formula One race to draw attention to their cause — a strategy that appears to be working.