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Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: The Launch of an Opposition?

A woman with a Bahrain flag and then other protesters defy security forces, who respond by firing tear gas

See also Syria Video Special: The Protests of Eid Al-Adha

Syria 1st-Hand: A Motorcycle Ride to Homs
Syria Video and Transcript: The Speech by Opposition Leader Ghalioun
Saturday's Bahrain, Syria (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Running Down a Protest

2040 GMT: A special video from Syria today, with tens of thousands of people turning out for a protest rally in Jebel el Zawiya in the northwest:

1720 GMT: Activists have raised today's death toll at the hands of Syrian security forces to 11 --- nine in Homs, one in Hama, and one in Idlib Province.

1550 GMT: Activists in Bahrain claim that Ali Al Zayir, a 13-year-old from the village of Abo Sabi, has been arrested.

1530 GMT: Claimed footage of Syrian security forces firing on protesters in the Damascus suburb of Qaboun today:

1525 GMT: An image of Bahraini security forces firing tear gas near women marchers today --- the video of the incident is posted at the top of the LiveBlog:

1445 GMT: Interesting Twitter messages from Bahrain's Ministry of Interior trying to re-present and minimise the marches --- and the security forces' reaction to them --- today (see 1355 GMT): "Around 600 went in illegal procession after the end of funeral of Ali Aldaihi, they blocked roads and hurled stones and Molotov at police....Police forces interfered to reopen roads and bring situation back to normal....Three vandals were arrested in Jid Hafs and procedures would be taken to refer them to the Public Prosecutor."

Footage of the march before security forces moved to disperse it and shaky footage of the clash:

1355 GMT: We have been getting reports of marches in Bahrain, including those remembering the "martyr" Ali Hassan Al Daihi, being confronted by security forces. Claimed images of tear gas over the villages:

Some shaky video has also been posted.

1345 GMT: We have moved a selection of today's videos from Syria to a separate feature.

1325 GMT: The International Freedom of Expression Exchange summarises concerns, raised by an observer for a coalition of five human rights organisations, over the trial in the United Arab Emirates of five activists accused of "publicly insulting" top officials.

Civil liberties lawyer Jennie Pasquarella, who monitored the trial in September and October, asserted, "This case has been riddled with legal and procedural flaws right from the beginning, which have made it grossly unfair in favor of the prosecution. UAE authorities should show a basic commitment to international legal standards by releasing these men without delay and initiating an independent review of why and how they’ve been prosecuted on these transparently politicized charges."

The five men detained since April and on trial are Ahmed Mansoor, an engineer and blogger who is also a member of Human Rights Watch's Middle East advisory committee and a member of the Arabic Network for Human Rights Information; Nasser bin Ghaith, an economist, university lecturer, and advocate of political reform; and online activists Fahad Salim Dalk, Ahmed Abdul Khaleq, and Hassan Ali al-Khamis.

1320 GMT: Dramatic footage of the Syrian military attacking a school in the Bab Amr section of Homs:

1249 GMT: Global Voices Online offers a useful overview of the forthcoming elections for Egypt's Parliament.

The first of threee stages of balloting for the lower house, The People's Council, will be 28 November, while voting for the upper house, the Shura Council, will start on 29 January.

1245 GMT: Back from a weekend break to find activists claiming that the death toll today at the hands of Syrian security forces is now six --- five in Homs and one in Hama.

0758 GMT: A protest in Ibb in Yemen this morning calls for the fall of the Saleh regime:

0755 GMT: As the Muslim holiday of Eid al-Adha begins, Syrian activists report at least three deaths in Homs and one in Hama.

The opposition Local Coordination Committees of Syria claims that security forces have dispersed protests in Daraa in the south and that demonstrations have occurred in Aleppo, normally seen as a centre of regime support.

A demonstration this morning in Tal Rafaat in Aleppo Province:

And President Assad makes a public appearance at prayers in Damascus:

0745 GMT: The Washington Post headlines, "Muslim Brotherhood Sells Cheap Food Ahead of Holiday and Egypt Parliament Vote": "For the first time, Egypt’s Islamist powerhouse is able to campaign openly under a new party banner, and it is using its long-standing charity networks to gain an edge over more liberal and secular candidates ahead of parliamentary elections scheduled to begin in two weeks."

The distribution of subsidised food is a long-standing activity by the Brotherhood; in this case, it's the timing that takes on signficance. An observer notes, "Nobody else has the distribution network to hand out the cash" in Egypt.

0615 GMT: A lengthy clip of the candle-lit march on Saturday night for Ali Hassan Al Daihi, the father of the Bahraini opposition leader who died on Wednesday, allegedly after a beating by police.

Al Daihi's funeral on Friday brought out thousands of mourners, chanting against the regime, and ended in clashes with security forces firing tear gas and trying to run down protesters.

0600 GMT: Another day of protest and death in Syria --- activists claimed at least 27 people died across the country, many of them in the continued shelling of Homs --- was punctuated by a speech by Burhan Ghalioun, the professor who has become the head of the opposition Syrian National Council, trying to reach the Syrian people

We will soon post the video and text of the television address. It is notable that, beyond the general invocation of the wish for a "free Syria" and the denunciation of the regime, Ghalioun reached out with greetings to the Free Syria Army, the developing military opposition which claims to have up to 15,000 defectors. 

So is this the launch of a co-ordinated campaign which not only includes political manoeuvres to link opposition inside and outside Syria but also armed resistance? And how effective will any of Ghalioun's words be in bringing together what has been a persistent but disaparate challenge to the rule of President Assad?

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