Photo: freedomessengerworld via YouTube
Syrian protestors are gathering today in the city of Hama in what is probably the largest rally yet against the rule of President Bashar Al-Assad.According to the New York Times, today’s turnout—reportedly in the tens of thousands—marks a “new stage” for an uprising that has so far struggled to spread through the population as pervasively as the protest movements did in Egypt and Tunisia.
The scene in Hama was reportedly one more of celebration and jubilation than of violence or anger. One resident said it felt like a “carnival.”
After the rally, supporters reportedly picked up garbage and cleaned the site of the protests, a plaza they have renamed Freedom Square, echoing the spirit of protests in Egypt’s Tahrir Square in February.
Hama was the site of a massacre by the Syrian government in 1982 in which tens of thousands of civilians were killed. The military withdrew from Hama a few weeks ago, and the protests have grown steadily since.
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