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Monday, February 28, 2005

Cedar Revolution

The dominos continue to teeter towards democracy and reform in the Middle East.

BEIRUT, Feb 28 (AFP) - Two weeks after the assassination of ex-premier Rafiq Hariri, some 10,000 people massed in the streets of Beirut early Monday in defiance of a ban as the government faced a tough test in parliament where the opposition planned to present a censure motion to bring it down.

The Lebanese opposition vowed to defy the pro- Syrian regime on the streets and in parliament on Monday, amid claims of ministerial resignations, after a top US envoy upheld demands for an immediate Syrian troop pullout from Lebanon.

Waving the Lebanese flag and shouting "Syria out!" the protesters ignored a ban on demonstrations and converged on the central Martyrs' Square as hundreds of heavily armed but good-natured troops aided by police deployed jeeps and trucks to the main crossroads leading to the square.


Publius is collecting reports, and Caveman In Beirut reports crowds could be as high as 200,000.

It's going to be a rough ride, though, as evidenced by this report of a blogger's arrest in Bahrain. Jeff Jarvis is watching Egyptian bloggers, who have justifiably mixed confidence in election reform under Mubarak.

Update - breaking reports that the Syrian-backed government has resigned.

Via Instapundit this email published at Belgravia Dispatch;

On Friday evening I headed down to the mosque where Hariri and his body guards are buried. A mosque still under construction, the outside protective walls of the site are covered with urban graffiti, people writing condolences and messages for freedom, truth and independence. At the grave site itself, the earth is still fresh over the coffins, and has become home to shrines, covered in flowers, images of christianity, verses of the koran, all of it alight with burning red and white candles. Throughout the evening and during the following day people have been streaming through paying their respects. At the foot of the mosque is the Place des Martyres, a Statue erected by the French. Since the 15th of February, the day after the assassination, a steady number of Lebanese have been setting up tents around the statue and now expanding outward in the square. Essentially a political squat, inhabited by activists making up the faces of the 8 anti-syrian coalition parties have congregated in a similar way to those involved in the Orange Revolution which just took place in the Ukraine.

Posted by Kate McMillan on February 28, 2005 in International Politics | Permalink

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» Lebanese Government Resigns from Murky View
10s of thousands are protesting in the streets. They are Muslim and Christian alike. The Pro-Syrian Lebanese government has resigned, even though they would have defeated a non-confidence vote. (BBC, ADBOI) Is this going to be the "Cedar Revolu... [Read More]

Tracked on 2005-02-28 11:55:07 AM

Comments

Hi there,

To clarify, I myself am not in Lebanon. Tony from Across the Bay, as well as Rich from Caveman in Beirut, are actually in Lebanon. I hope that clears anything up!

Posted by: Robert Mayer | 2005-02-28 3:17:52 PM



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