Syria protesters stage nationwide strike
Syria protesters have organized a 'desperate' last act of civil disobedience to try to stop the Assad regime's nine-month crackdown.
Antigovernment activists in Syria are staging a nationwide workers' strike in an effort to topple the regime of Syrian President Bashar Al-Assad, even as fighting continues across the country and the key Syrian opposition city of Homs faces a looming invasion.Skip to next paragraph
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Al Jazeera English reports that opposition leaders claimed to have used a a massive workers' strike to shut down large portions of the capital and other towns in an effort to continue topple the government crackdown through nonviolent means.
"This strike is really a desperate action, a desperate cry from the Syrian people, the last civilian action we could do," Ashraf al-Moqdad, a member of the Syrian opposition calling for civil disobedience, told Al Jazeera.
"We've been demonstrating peacefully for nine months. Thousands of us have been murdered by Assad and his thugs. We've been waiting for real concrete action from the international community ... What else can we do?" [said Mr. Moqdad.]
"This is part of our desperate action to get the attention of the international community to look at us. Please look at our situation. We are desperate now."
An AJE correspondent says that there were reports of Syrian troops burning down at least 178 stores and shops in Deraa as punishment for participating in the strike, though central Damascus and Aleppo both appeared calm.
AJE adds that the opposition is also boycotting today's municipal elections Syria, though state news agency SANA claimed that voters had "flocked" to the polls.
Meanwhile, citizens of Homs and human rights observers fear an imminent invasion of the city as the government's deadline for protesters to end their demonstrations looms. On Friday the Assad regime gave protesters 72 hours to end their resistance or else face an attack, reports the Daily Telegraph. But demonstrations continued on Friday, with reports of 10 protesters killed in clashes with state security forces.