Nationwide strike named 'Karama' takes off in several Syrian towns

Ahram Online , Sunday 11 Dec 2011

A number of cities close shop and keep their children at home in a nationwide strike called for on Sunday by Syrian revolutionaries

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Demonstrators gather in Hula, near Homs November 13, 2011 (Photo: Reuters)

Cities across Syria on Sunday have participated in a country-wide strike organised by the Local Popular Committees under the name Karama the Arabic word for "dignity." The strikes aim to paralyse the repressive regime of Bashar Al-Assad.

According to the Twitter account of @RevolutionSyria, the strike has taken effect in a wide range of cities and their neighbouring villages, including Idlib, Aleppo, Hama and Homs. Students have not gone to school and all shops are closed.

The General Authority of the Syrian Revolution (GASR) has reported that 21 people on Saturday were killed by Syrian security forces.

Bourhan Ghalioun, head of the Syrian umbrella opposition group, the Syrian National Council (SNC), called for immediate pressure on the Syrian regime by the international community and the Arab world.

In a press conference held in Rome before a meeting with the Italian foreign minister, Ghalioun underlined that the protection of the Syrian people is the responsibility of the United Nations.

He added that the country is not facing a civil war. He said this despite the growing presence of armed resistance from army defectors and some protesters taking up arms.

The Italian foreign minister, Giulio Maria Terzi di Sant Agataassured that his country will continue to place sanctions on the Syrian regime. An Arab League Coordination Committee meeting that was set to be held on Saturday was postponed to mid-December.  

According to the UN figures, the death count in Syria in the government crackdown on protests has now reached 4,000. Source also say that at least 20,000 refugees have fled since the uprising that is now entering its ninth month.

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