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.

FILED UNDER: Middle East
Kate McMillan
About Kate McMillan
Kate McMillan is the proprietor of small dead animals, which has won numerous awards including Best Conservative Blog and Best Canadian Blog. She contributed nearly 300 pieces to OTB between November 2004 and June 2007. Follow her on Twitter @katewerk.

Comments

  1. I’m always a little wary of trusting crowd estimates, but it’s still interesting to note that using the CIA World Factbook’s population estimates, 200,000 protesters represents more than 5% of the population of the entire country.

    Think about that for a while.




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  2. The “official” estimates I’m seeing now are for about 25,000 people. I don’t really trust this much more than the 10,000 or 200,000 estimates that you posted earlier, but pass it along for what it’s worth. Crowd estimation is a very inexact science.

    Even at this size, it’s worth noting that that’s more than the 15,000 soldiers that Syria has in Lebanon, and more than .6% of the population – roughly the equivalent of 1.8 million Americans marching on Washington.




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  3. PajamaHadin says:

    The naysayers and pessimistic prognosticators of the impact of the Bush doctrine have another disconfirmation of their misunderestimation of the unredefeated President and his vision for change in the Middle East.

    This also a MUST READ: A condemnation of Islamic terrorism by an American Muslim




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