Syrian Protests Fizzle, Egypt Shakes Up Government

The planned Syrian protests didn’t happen. Bad weather and preemptive intimidation by security forces may have played a role, but another factor seems to be that the social networkers calling for a protest were mostly located outside of Syria, so it wasn’t really a local indigenous proposal. Here’s one explanation for why. But the article notes the ubiquity of satellite TV in Syria (technically illegal, and all pirated, but ubiquitous and ignored by government), which means people there have a Vietnam-style view of events in Tunisia and Egypt.

Meanwhile, the heads of Egypt’s ruling National Democratic (hah!) Party have resigned. Apparently the size of the protest crowd has diminished, but I don’t how much should be read into that. People do have other things to do, and you’re not going to keep maximum crowd size indefinitely. The question is whether it continues to dwindle. As the government keeps making concessions, does the public feel like they’ve had some success and lose energy or does it embolden them?

Meanwhile protests, or threats of, continue in Yemen, Sudan and Algeria, and Tunisia has already fallen out of the news, so it’s hard to figure out how things are working out there. At least it all seems to be peaceful for the moment as they prepare for elections, and perhaps the most positive sign is that free speech and press seem to be flourishing without restraint, at least for now.

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About J@m3z Aitch

J@m3z Aitch is a two-bit college professor who'd rather be canoeing.
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