Hundreds of Thousands of Syrians Defy Protest Ban
Assad opponents say five protesters are killed
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 22, 2011 3:16 PM CDT
Lebanese protesters march during a rally in solidarity with Syrian anti-government protesters in the northern city of Tripoli, Lebanon, Friday, July 22, 2011.   (STR)
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(Newser) – Hundreds of thousands of Syrians defied a violent government crackdown today, insisting they will not be terrified into submission through bullets, mass arrests, and more than four months of attacks by security forces. At least five people were killed, activists said. Today marked a clear attempt by the opposition to present a united front against the Assad family dynasty, the only regime Syrians have known for more than 40 years.

"One, one, one, the Syrian people are one!" protesters shouted in the capital, Damascus, in what has become a weekly ritual, with hundreds of thousands of people flooding the streets across the country demanding President Bashar Assad leave power. The regime has banned nearly all foreign media, making it nearly impossible to independently verify events or casualty figures. By some estimates, more than a million people were protesting today.
 

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