Real Demonstration trumps puppet demonstration in Beirut

Al-Jazeera (of all places):

Calls for a protest were made in every town and village in the country on Sunday, urging people to descend on Beirut on Monday to demand the truth about who killed al-Hariri along with 17 others in the bombing on a Beirut seafront street.

Many people answering the calls have been particularly offended by the reinstatement of Karami, who resigned amid opposition protests on 28 February but was brought back to office 10 days later by President Emile Lahud after the pro-Syrian, pro-government camp flexed its muscles. Karami last week said his supporters had the majority in parliament and with the people, a reference to last Tuesday’s “Thank you Syria” rally organised by the Shia Muslim group Hizb Allah in which hundreds of thousands participated. “It was a massive demonstration that asserted our legitimacy in the Lebanese street,” Karami said on 10 March in accepting the invitation to form the next government.

So people were urged by email and mobile phone messages to turn out on Monday to prove Karami wrong, show loyalty to al-Hariri and to Lebanon.

Here’s what it looked like:

Reuters adds: “Unlike previous anti-Syrian opposition protests since a bomb blast killed Hariri on Feb. 14, many Sunni Muslims joined Druze and Christians in taking to the streets. Hariri was a Sunni.” The AP on crowd size: “There was no official count of Monday’s crowd, but it appeared to reporters on the scene to be easily bigger than last week’s pro-government, anti-U.S. rally called by Hezbollah, which was estimated by The Associated Press at 500,000 people.” Publius, who covers democracy movements, has lots more.

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