Revolution Journal – Rounding Up February 2011
Near the end of February, just before the candle sit-in near the Libyan embassy, people in Harika in the old city in Damascus gathered and started chanting: “Thieves, thieves, thieves. Syrian People will never be insulted and humiliated”. A few minutes later, the minister of interior came and told them “We will meet up with delegates of you, just leave now.” People started talking to him until he said: “This is wrong. This is called a demonstration.” So they started chanting for Bashar.
People in Harika obviously didn’t want to start a wave of protests. It simply happened because of police brutality against someone who owned a shop in that area. He was parking his care in that area when a police officer told him to move his car, but the guy showed him a permission to park there because he was an owner of a shop there. The corrupt police officer only wanted a bribe but the guy refused to give him any money. The officer called upon his friend and started beating and insulting the guy. People were outraged and started chanting their chant, with intervals of chants for Bashar just to give the impression that this particular protest was against police corruption.
Nothing else was said on that demonstration except “Thieves, thieves, thieves” referring to the policemen, and “Syrian people will never be insulted and humiliated”. The government’s response showed actually how frightened they were of people protesting against them, since within minutes a minister arrives to the area and start calming people down.
We made a lot of jokes about what the minister said and how the people reacted. It was hilarious that people actually started chanting for Bashar when they were told this is a protest. This shows how much people were afraid from a brutal reaction by the regime.