‘No surrender,’ vow Syrian protesters

Filed on August 31, 2012

Thousands of defiant demonstrators took to the streets across Syria on Friday for protests after the weekly Muslim prayers, according to amateur video posted on YouTube by activists.

“We will not surrender, despite your tanks and guns!” protesters chanted in Assali, a Damascus district where anti-regime sentiment is strong, pledging their commitment to the 17-month revolt in the face of the worsening violence.

Security forces blocked roads leading into Damascus on Friday, an AFP correspondent said, adding that roadblocks were also set up across the capital.

Elsewhere, protests were staged despite fierce fighting between rebels and the army, and ongoing sieges of several rebel-held towns and villages.

“Death is better than humiliation!” chanted protesters including children in Kafr Zeita in the central province of Hama, according to amateur video.

The southern province of Daraa, cradle of the uprising against President Bashar al-Assad, proved just as defiant. “We do not kneel except before God,” protesters chanted. “Martyrs, you are heroes!” cried others.

“Treacherous soldier, shame on you!” shouted demonstrators in Daraa of the army that is accused of killing dozens of civilians daily.

“How beautiful you are, O freedom!” chanted children at a protest in the northern province of Aleppo.

The demonstrations were held in response to calls by Syrian activists rallying under the call “Daraya, a flame that will never die,” in reference to a town near Damascus where the opposition says more than 330 people were killed in an army offensive last week.

In Daraya itself, the mood was sombre days on from what the opposition described as a “massacre,” an activist told AFP via Skype.

“There is almost no one on the streets,” said the activist identifying himself as Abu Kinan. “Of course there are no protests here today. Our wounds are still all too fresh.”

Violence across Syria on Thursday killed 119 people, including 79 civilians, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights.

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