On February 11, 2011 millions of Yemenis took to the streets protesting the 33 year reign of Ali Abdullah Saleh's presidency. With 63% of the Yemeni population under the age of 24 years old, the revolution from the outset was heavily influenced by the Youth movement alongside the opposition alliance. These groups broadly outlined the goals that were announced in February 2011 only to have the demands change as the revolution bore on.
On February 14, 2011, a statement was issued by the main opposition alliance which consisted of six demands: 1) the construction of a non-centralized state for all Yemeni citizens in which justice and equality would reign supreme; 2) admitting that there was an issue in the South and reaching a just resolution to the conflict;3) bringing a complete stop to the wars in the Saada region; 4) providing for an equitable distribution of resources and the resolution of Yemen's economic problems in order to achieve fairness and equality in distributing public sector jobs; 5) to put an end to corruption, and to create meritocratic national institutions on national grounds, and not on alliances or cronyism; and 6) making the war against terror a national issue by removing it from the circles of opportunism and martialing all possible national resources to not only combat it but eliminate it.
On April 2, 2011, the opposition parties taking part in the Joint Meeting caucus announced that they had decided upon a shared vision for the period of power transfer: 1) The president should announce his resignation, and his powers and privileges should be transferred to his deputy; 2) The deputy, upon assuming power, must work towards restricting the roles of the national security and central security forces, and the presidential guard by defining their duties according to the constitution and the law, and finding able leaders with high nationalist and professional standards who have attained their posts through merit rather than tribal considerations or cronyism; 3) That an agreement would be reached with the interim leader (the former deputy, Hadi) over distribution of power during the transition period, based on the foundations of national unity, in which the following would happen: a) the formation of a transitional national council that represents all the elements of political and social life that would function to propose solutions for all major issues affecting Yemen, including the Southern issue, and formulate a vision for constitutional reform that would guarantee political and cultural freedoms, and the construction of a modern civil state which would be a civic state with a decentralized system; b) the creation of an interim national unity government chaired by the opposition in which all political actors are represented, including businessmen and youthful protesters; c) the formation of an interim military council whose members would be military leadership figures known for their competence and honesty, and who would be respected and appreciated by the rank-and-file military; d) the formation of a Higher Council for Elections and Referendums that would undertake referendum on constitutional reforms and parliamentary and presidential elections based on the new constitution's guidelines; e) the public affirmation of peaceful expression, the right to peaceful protest, and other civil rights for all Yemeni citizens. The launching of an investigation into the hostile actions taken against protesters across Yemen, but especially the massacres in Aden, Sanaa and Ibin, and other situations in which live ammunition and tear gas were used; those responsible must be brought to court, and those injured and disabled, as well as the families of the martyrs, must be compensated.