Beirut took to the streets this morning to protest the continuing occupation of Lebanon by Syrian military and intelligence forces and the existence of the puppet Lebanese government, despite a ban on such demonstrations and the intimidation of armed forces cordoning the city:
Defying a ban on protests, about 10,000 people demonstrated against Syrian interference in Lebanon on Monday, as opposition lawmakers sought to bring down the pro-Damascus government two weeks after the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri.
Hundreds of soldiers and police blocked off Beirut’s central Martyrs’ Square, but there was no violence, even as more and more protesters managed to evade the cordon and join the demonstration.
Protest leaders urged their followers not to provoke the security forces, who refrained from trying to disperse the crowd.
The Syrians must know now that the world has finally focused on their oppression in Lebanon. For over a decade, Lebanon was the dirty little secret that everyone knew and simply winked at. Now, after the brutal assassination of a leading dissident, the world has discovered the machinations of the Assad regime, and the Lebanese know that this is their one chance to be heard. They have marched past the Syrian soldiers and braved the bombs of Hezbollah to demonstrate against the Ba’athist occupation of their country — and they need the world’s help to free the Lebanese from the yoke of Syria’s tyranny.
Will the world continue to listen? Assad hopes not. Let’s make sure Assad doesn’t get his wish.