A R A B I C A ارابيكا
*Video of a night rally in the northern Syrian city of Aleppo showed protesters chanting "freedom" …. "one hand" … "unity" as the popular challenge to the reign of President Bashar al-Assad continues to gain momentum. Comments on the video included: "The regime is going down, it's only a matter of time." - "Protest until the regime falls." - "We want the regime to fall."
*Elsewhere, some footage circulated from a Monday protest in the usually quiet port city of Latakia. Protesters blocked the street, chanting "freedom" over and over. They took pro-government chants and put a twist on them, making them pro-protester: "With our souls and blood, we will sacrifice for the martyrs," and "God, Syria, freedom, and that's it." In the usual script, in place of the words "martyrs' and "freedom," people are supposed to say: "Bashar al-Assad."
The Egyptian youth movement April 6 is polling supporters on Facebook to determine whether they are satisfied or not with the military junta's administration of the country. A total of 894 said no, 222 said yes and 508 checked off "I'm not sure."
Meanwhile, the Egyptian military issued Decree Number 30, in which it states support for the country's youth and denies that it was behind the use of thugs against protesters. "The Egyptian armed forces have clearly expressed their support from the beginning for the young people involved in the January 25th revolution, and has not and will not be against the free youth movement. All legal measures it has taken recently in no way included the use of thugs."
The situation in Yemen appears to be spiraling out of control as Reuters reports that "Al-Qaeda elements' control the southern town of Jaar and surrounding villages. The death toll from the explosion of a nearby munitions factory climbed to 150. The site was raided on Sunday by Al-Qaeda fighters, with local residents picking through the factory's leftovers on Monday. But a series of explosions so loud they were heard 15km away were apparently sparked by a lit cigarette in a factory that stores gunpowder. The country's leader Ali Abdullah Saleh appears to be clinging to power, though he insisted to a youth gathering that he has "95 percent" support from the Yemeni people. Meanwhile, his own son-in-law, Yahiya Mohammed Ismail has now defected and joined the opposition. Protests continued nationwide, demanding Saleh's immediate resignation.
Al Jazeera reports that rebels were forced to retreat to Bin Jawad from al-Harawa (70km from Sirte) after coming under attack with heavy weapons by pro-Gaddafi forces. Fighting continues in Misurata between the revolutionaries and Gaddafi's forces, with dozens of Gaddafi snipers deployed on rooftops all over the city. Here's a clip of an amateur video purportedly showing a sniper on the roof of a Misurata building.
March 29, 2011
photo credit: illustir