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POLITICS: Lebanon Anti-Syrian Rally Draws Hundreds of Thousands

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posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:08 AM
Hundreds of thousands of protesters gathered for a fiercely anti-Syrian rally in Beirut today, marking one month to the day since former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was assassinated in a car-bombing. The crowds gathered at al-Hariri's gravesite, demanding, among other things, an international investigation into his death and the dismissal of Syrian-backed security chiefs. The protests came despite the upcoming implementation of a phased withdrawal of all Syrian troops from the troubled country.
Unlike previous anti-Syrian opposition protests since a bomb blast killed Mr Hariri on February 14, many Sunni Muslims joined Druze and Christians in taking to the streets. Mr Hariri was a Sunni. The opposition rally came a day after huge crowds turned out in the south for a anti-US demonstration organised by Lebanon's Shiite Muslim Hezbollah group, an ally of Syria.

Political sources said fears were growing that protests and rallies, though peaceful so far, could spill into violence amid deep political divisions over Syria's role since Mr Hariri's death. They said the authorities were pondering a ban on future demonstrations to be enforced by the Lebanese army.

President Emile Lahoud and other loyalists have called for an end to the street protests and urged the opposition to open a dialogue to seek ways out of the political crisis. Last week hundreds of thousands of people gathered in central Beirut to support Hezbollah's right to bear arms and to thank Syria for its role in Lebanon, where Damascus has kept troops since intervening in the country's civil war in 1976.

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

Political and social turmoil are not the only problems facing Lebanon. Prime Minister Hariri also left the country in serious economic trouble via his lavish reconstruction-focused spending policies in the wake of his country's civil-war-torn past. Hariri's influence and connections in the Arab world kept the debt-ridden economy afloat, but with his passing comes a massive drop in foreign financiers' confidence. The country which withstood the wounds of horrendous civil war may yet find itself crippled by financial woes.
LINK: Hariri's Legacy Includes a Massive Debt

Related News Links:

Related Discussion Threads:
Carbomb Kills Former Lebanese Primeminister
Alternative News, Why would Syria cut it nose to spite its face?

[edit on 2005/3/14 by wecomeinpeace]

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:34 AM
Very interesting situation, the Cedar Revolution moves on. This was relatively unexpected, from what I understand, the morning news sources seemed to be caught somewhat by surprise. Some of them seem to be reporting that its much bigger than the previous anti-syrian one.

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:20 AM
The initial anti-syrian demonstrations were rather small, thousands and tens of thousands. A little while later came the pro-syrian demonstrations, numbered at hundreds of thousands. Now we're back to anti-syrian demonstrations, but they too apparently number in the hundreds of thousands.

Ever since the million man march I've been skeptical of both unofficial and official numbers, they tend to be way too high or way too low; fudged numbers are a political mainstay (especially with things as hard to count as the number of people in a street). I don't suppose we have any ATS members living in Beirut do we?

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:26 AM
I do not believe that we do have such members, WrydeOne, but this may shed more light on this or more speculation?

Organizers said a million people had joined the protest. No independent estimate was available, but witnesses said the rally looked even bigger than last week's pro-Syrian demonstration organized by Hizbollah and attended by hundreds of thousands.

Anti-Syrian Protesters Flood Lebanese Capital



posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:28 AM
The BBC is already speaking of nearly million people:
'Record' protest held in Beirut
Nearly one million people have gathered for an opposition rally in Beirut, officials say - a month after the death of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.

heh, seekerof was faster

[edit on 14-3-2005 by Oblomov]

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:34 AM
Ain't Freedom Great!

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:36 AM
Well, its not like this is a demonstration to eliminate Syria. Those who still want to live under Syria rule have well..Syria. Those who want to live under Lebonese rule have Lebenon.

I suspect that many of these pro-Syrian supporters protested not for thier right to live under Syrian rule (because thats as easy as moving to Syria) but against the rights of others not to.

If the past is any guide, people are always more passionate when fighting for their own freedom than those fighting to oppress someone else.

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 11:37 AM
This is fantastic news!!! The Syrian-backed rally got out everyone they could at one shot, yet the spontaneous rallies for freedom keep growing.

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 12:07 PM
people smell "momentum" in the air, with naturally the Ukraine as example. I am glad it hasn't come to huge clashes between pro-syrian and pro-cedar groups yet.

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 12:23 PM
This is good news and I hope that the people count is correct and not inflated. My only hope now is that the USA's name will stay out of this rally and the world will see it as a grass roots uprising. Reminds me so much of the Ukraine, a snow ball rolling down hill.

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 12:36 PM
Now, lets hope Israel and the US leave them the hell alone to get on with running their own affairs

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 12:53 PM

Originally posted by Britguy
Now, lets hope Israel and the US leave them the hell alone to get on with running their own affairs

I totally concur but we can expand on that thought and hope that everyone
stays out of Lebanese business except Lebanese.

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 01:17 PM
Getting back to the original topic, I am not sure at the validity of this Turkish source, but it mentions:
Nearly 2 Million Gather for Protest in Beirut

With each passing report and article, the numbers are growing. I'm sure that thee will not ever be a known 'count', but its safe to say that this was one HUGE event.


posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 01:48 PM

Originally posted by WyrdeOne
I don't suppose we have any ATS members living in Beirut do we?

yes you have , its me , i was there 2day , as far as i can see , we were about 900.000 while in hizbolllah demonstration were 500.000 max inlcuding syiran and palestenian.....
we were 100 % lebanese.......

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 02:42 PM
Great to see a Lebanese view on this.

I know that the death of Hariri genuinly shocked and outraged many Lebanese people, while syria was an obvious suspect, don't you agree in hindsight it seems like a pretty stupid move of Damascus painting themsleves in the corner, Are there Lebanese that hold it possible that some other party helped Assad Jr in the defensive corner instead ???

In your opinion, who controls the Hizbollah, syria , iran or the Hizbollah itselve ?

the Palestines, do they regard themselves as Lebanese citizens by now or do they still pursue the dream of returning to a grand palestine state ???

Anyway, the world is watching, I hope you guys manage to set an example for democracy in the middle-east, hell I would even have to give my favourite villain Bush some credit if you succeed...

[edit on 14-3-2005 by Silenus]

posted on Mar, 14 2005 @ 10:36 PM

Originally posted by Silenus
Anyway, the world is watching, I hope you guys manage to set an example for democracy in the middle-east, hell I would even have to give my favourite villain Bush some credit if you succeed...
[edit on 14-3-2005 by Silenus]

So, are you saying that Bush ordered the murder of Hariri then?


posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 12:19 AM
Not necessarily , there are a number of other suspects, somebody could be playing Assad & Bush at the same time, even the iranians

For all parties, syria included, one could come up with reasonable motives.

It would be best if evidence surfaces, is not produced by a party that could be a suspect themselves (or let the un do it on their behalve), I would think that the u.n. lost its good name long time ago.

It's just that there has been set a bad example by various "evidence" to jumpstart the war in iraq, is it fair to ask we examine new evidence carefully this time ?

also the U.N lost much of its credibillity, first to a large number of american public for not playing ball and rubberstamp the iraq war and shortly afterwards to the public in the rest of the world when usa government punished them by letting out their dirty laundry and corruption scandals, wich they must have known for a long long time, but saved it for a rainy day.

I say Kofi Anan is currently suspectible for various kinds of blackmail, why should he be the vehicle to present evidence ? Will Kofi Anans sun be off the hook if he plays ball this time ?

The problem is, I wouldn't know another credible vehicle to come up with the evidence. Independant journalists seem to be a dying breed.

I we can look back at a democratic middle-east in a few years, maybe the end did justify the means....

[edit on 15-3-2005 by Silenus]

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 02:46 AM
I woke up this morning to a CNN special report on ths protest, and my heart warmed. I saw one of the leaders of the cedar revolution a man named allak (selling?) Thanking the US for its pressure against syria, I saw the same lebanese man with tears in his eyes speakng out gainst his opressors, a man given the courage to stand up against those who have occupied his country for longer than his 23 years of life, by the Iraqi elections. It was those mages he sad which made him realise that freedom could be his and his peoples.
To quote this brave young man
"god Bless George Bush"

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 03:22 AM
On clintonian CNN of all places, now thats truely touching!

posted on Mar, 15 2005 @ 03:57 AM
Dude, just pointing out the issue of perspectives.

A lot of people across the world regard CNN as being right-wing.

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