Crackdown paves way for more consolidation of the protest movement.
Assad security forces killed eight more people today, perhaps by way of underscoring the “official” and “intentional” character of the Good Friday Massacres that left 112 civilians dead. While international reactions remain subdued and have been restricted to mere condemnations of the escalating violence on part of the Assads with no mention of any potential international repercussions or consequences, and as the Arab World watches on silently, the protesters continue to get more organized.
Yesterday, and before the Assads unleashed their fury on the unarmed protesters a statement was released signed by the various local committees running the protests movements all over the country. While the authenticity of the statement requires further verification to see that it has indeed been approved by all provincial committees, the detailed list of demands included comes as an accurate reflection of the online conversations we’ve been having with in-country activists for the past three weeks.
But most activists would now push for the inclusion of a clear call for the immediate resignation of Bashar Al-Assad. The next logical step will be to announce the formation of a committee outside the country that can officially speak for the revolution. It is also important to see future protests raising banners and slogans endorsing the demands made by the committees.
Meanwhile, the challenge for Syrian security today was to manage the funerals in a manner that will prevent holding mass funerals. In this, they relied on the usual tactics of hiding corpses and laying siege to known hotspots and flashpoints. While, the strategy seemed to work by minimizing the number of protesters in the streets, the flipside, especially with more protesters getting killed today, is that there will be funerals for everyday of the weeks now paving the way to next Friday.
In Deraa City, security forces looted electronic and jewelry stores, behaving very much like an occupation force, thus cementing the way they are being viewed by the local residents. Tyrants as occupiers is an old theme, but one that is playing out all too visibly throughout the streets of Syria today, which is why some protesters have chosen to hoist the Independence Flag.