UAE joined Saudi Arabia in sending Security Forces to crush Bahrain Protests The United Arab Emirates government has sacked the leaders of the Teachers Association and replaced them with state appointees The Teachers Association had signed a declaration calling for democracy in the gulf state which is the sixth biggest oil producer in the world. As a result of its wealth and relatively generous public spending UAE had been seen as less vulnerable to pro-democracy protests. In February a member of the Teachers Association board was arrested and held incommunicado for expressing pro-democracy views (see previous post) Since then it has arrested five pro-democracy acitivists and dissolved the board of the jurists' association as well as the teachers' on the grounds that according to UAE law NGO's may not get involved "in politics or in matters that impair state security and its ruling regime." The UAE is a federation of seven monarchies which have absoloute power over their people. There is a theoretical parliament which has very little power and only 2% of the population have the vote. Political parties are illegal. The UAE has close trading relations with the US in particular and has opened itself up to foreign investment with zero taxes. Apart from denying democracy to its own people it also emlpoys thousands of migrant workers particularly in construction who live in conditions of virtual slavery.