Cedar Revolution

Cedar Revolution

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The Cedar Revolution or Independence Intifada (Arabic: انتفاضة الاستقلال- intifāḍat al-istiqlāl) was a chain of demonstrations in Lebanon
Lebanon
Lebanon , officially the Republic of LebanonRepublic of Lebanon is the most common term used by Lebanese government agencies. The term Lebanese Republic, a literal translation of the official Arabic and French names that is not used in today's world. Arabic is the most common language spoken among...

 (especially in the capital Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

) triggered by the assassination
Assassination
To carry out an assassination is "to murder by a sudden and/or secret attack, often for political reasons." Alternatively, assassination may be defined as "the act of deliberately killing someone, especially a public figure, usually for hire or for political reasons."An assassination may be...

 of the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

 on February 14, 2005.

The primary goals of the original activists were the withdrawal of Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n troops from Lebanon and the replacement of a government heavily influenced by Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n interests with more independent leadership, the establishment of an international commission to investigate the assassination of Prime Minister Hariri, the resignation of security officials to ensure the success of the plan, and the organization of free parliamentary elections. The demonstrators demanded the end of the Syrian influence in Lebanese politics. At the start of the demonstrations, Syria had been maintaining a force of roughly 14,000 soldiers and intelligence agents in Lebanon. Following the demonstrations, the Syrian troops completely withdrew from Lebanon on April 27, 2005. The Pro-Syrian government was also disbanded, accomplishing the main goal of the revolution. (For background information on Syria's involvement in Lebanese politics, see the articles History of Lebanon
History of Lebanon
This article deals with the history of Lebanon, and the nations previously occupying its territory.-Phoenicia:The coastal plain of Lebanon is the historic home of a string of coastal trading cities of Semitic culture, which the Greeks termed Phoenicia, whose maritime culture flourished there for...

, Lebanese Civil War
Lebanese Civil War
The Lebanese Civil War was a multifaceted civil war in Lebanon. The war lasted from 1975 to 1990 and resulted in an estimated 150,000 to 230,000 civilian fatalities. Another one million people were wounded, and today approximately 350,000 people remain displaced. There was also a mass exodus of...

, and Syrian occupation of Lebanon.)

The opposition has taken the white and red scarf, and the pro-Hariri blue ribbon, as its symbol. Popular motto
Motto
A motto is a phrase meant to formally summarize the general motivation or intention of a social group or organization. A motto may be in any language, but Latin is the most used. The local language is usual in the mottoes of governments...

s of the movement were Hurriyya, Siyada, Istiqlal (Freedom
Freedom (political)
Political freedom is a central philosophy in Western history and political thought, and one of the most important features of democratic societies...

, Sovereignty
Sovereignty
Sovereignty is the quality of having supreme, independent authority over a geographic area, such as a territory. It can be found in a power to rule and make law that rests on a political fact for which no purely legal explanation can be provided...

, Independence
Independence
Independence is a condition of a nation, country, or state in which its residents and population, or some portion thereof, exercise self-government, and usually sovereignty, over its territory....

), and Haqiqa, Hurriyya, Wahda wataniyya (Truth
Truth
Truth has a variety of meanings, such as the state of being in accord with fact or reality. It can also mean having fidelity to an original or to a standard or ideal. In a common usage, it also means constancy or sincerity in action or character...

, Freedom, National unity).

Goals


The main goal of the cedar revolution was the ending of the Syrian military occupation of Lebanon which had lasted about 30 years (since 1976). In addition, many Lebanese called for the return of former Prime Minister Michel Aoun
Michel Aoun
Michel Naim Aoun is a former Lebanese Army Commander and he is one of the allies of Hezbollah. From 22 September 1988 to 13 October 1990, he has served as Prime Minister of the legal one of two rival governments that contended for power. He declared "The Liberation War" against the Syrian...

, in exile since 1991, and the release of the imprisoned Lebanese Forces leader Samir Geagea
Samir Geagea
Samir Farid Geagea , born October 25, 1952, is a Lebanese politician. He is also a senior figure in the March 14 Alliance, alongside Saad Hariri and Amine Gemayel....

 as a goal of the revolution.

Some goals whose accomplishment is sometimes cited in order for the revolution to end include:
  • Uniting all Lebanese in their fight for freedom and independence
  • Ousting Karami's Pro-Syrian regime
  • Firing the six Lebanese commanders of the nation's main security services along with the State Prosecutor
  • Executing the complete withdrawal of the Syrian troops and their security services from Lebanon
  • Unmasking the killers of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
  • Running free and democratic parliament elections in spring 2005 free from Syrian interference

Origins of the name



The name "Cedar Revolution" is a term that was coined by the U.S. Under Secretary of State for Global Affairs Paula J. Dobriansky in a news conference, and used to draw a comparison with the Rose Revolution
Rose Revolution
The "Revolution of Roses" was a change of power in Georgia in November 2003, which took place after having widespread protests over the disputed parliamentary elections...

 of Georgia
Georgia (country)
Georgia is a sovereign state in the Caucasus region of Eurasia. Located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, it is bounded to the west by the Black Sea, to the north by Russia, to the southwest by Turkey, to the south by Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. The capital of...

, the Orange Revolution
Orange Revolution
The Orange Revolution was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which was claimed to be marred by massive corruption, voter...

 of Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, and the "Purple Revolution
Purple Revolution
Purple Revolution is a term that some have given to the end of Saddam Hussein's governance in Iraq and the coming of democracy to the nation. The name is after the color revolutions trend of democratic revolutionary movements in authoritarian states—the Rose Revolution in Georgia, the Orange...

" of Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

.

In the Arab world
Arab world
The Arab world refers to Arabic-speaking states, territories and populations in North Africa, Western Asia and elsewhere.The standard definition of the Arab world comprises the 22 states and territories of the Arab League stretching from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Arabian Sea in the...

, including Lebanon, it is better known as Lebanon's Intifadat-al-Istiqlal (Independence Uprising). The term was coined by Democratic Left Movement Leaders Samir Kassir
Samir Kassir
Samir Kassir was a Lebanese professor of history at Saint-Joseph University and journalist. Born to a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother, Kassir received his degree in philosophy and political philosophy in 1984, in 1990, Kassir earned his PhD in Modern History also from the University of...

 and Hikmat Eid; they stressed the term Intifada to give the uprising an Arab meaning by linking it to the Palestinian Intifada
Palestinian Intifada
The Palestinian Intifada may refer to:*The First Intifada began in 1987. Violence declined in 1991 and came to an end with the signing of the Oslo accords and the creation of the Palestinian National Authority...

 and the term independence to stress its liberation side. Other names include the Cedar Spring (Arabic: ربيع الأرز - Rabi' el Arz), in reference to the prevailing season when protests first broke out, and also as an allusion to famous freedom and independence movements like the Prague Spring
Prague Spring
The Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization in Czechoslovakia during the era of its domination by the Soviet Union after World War II...

 and Damascus Spring
Damascus Spring
The Damascus Spring was a period of intense political and social debate in Syria which started after the death of President Hafiz al-Asad in June 2000 and continued to some degree until autumn 2001, when most of the activities associated with it were suppressed by the government.- Background...

. The names used by the local media, like the LBC
Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation
The Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation , widely known as LBC, is the first private television station in Lebanon. It went global in 1996 when it launched its satellite channel LBC Al-Fadha'iya Al-Lubnaniya covering the Arab World. It now has several channels covering Europe, America, Australia, and...

 and Future TV, to describe this event include Lebanon Independence (Istiqlal Lubnan), Lebanon Spring (Rabi' Lubnan), or just Independence 05.

The word Cedar refers to a national emblem
National emblem
A national emblem symbolically represents a nation. Most national emblems originate in the natural world, such as animals or birds, but another object may serve. National emblems may appear on many things such as the national flag, coat of arms, or other patriotic materials...

, the Cedar of Lebanon
Lebanon Cedar
Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean region.There are two distinct types that are considered to be different subspecies or varieties. Lebanon cedar or Cedar of Lebanon Cedrus libani is a species of cedar native to the mountains of the Mediterranean...

, a tree
Tree
A tree is a perennial woody plant. It is most often defined as a woody plant that has many secondary branches supported clear of the ground on a single main stem or trunk with clear apical dominance. A minimum height specification at maturity is cited by some authors, varying from 3 m to...

 featured on the flag of Lebanon
Flag of Lebanon
The flag of Lebanon is formed of two horizontal red stripes enveloping a horizontal white stripe. The white stripe is to be two times a red one —a Spanish fess...

.

Civilian groups and organizations


  • Qornet Shehwan Gathering
    Qornet Shehwan Gathering
    The Qornet Shehwan Gathering is a Lebanese political organization, comprising politicians, intellectuals, and businessmen, mostly Christian and ranging in ideology from the centre-right to the center-left. The organization is not a political party in the classical sense: its members belong to,...

     (Liqa' Qornet Shehwan)
  • Citizens for a Free Lebanon: Non-governmental organization
  • The Center for Democracy in Lebanon: Non-governmental grass-root movement
  • The Global Organization of Democratic Believers: An all volunteer group of various religious backgrounds

Main political parties involved in the revolution


In Alphabetical Order:
  • Democratic Renewal Movement
    Democratic Renewal (Lebanon)
    The Democratic Renewal Movement is a reformist, secular political party in Lebanon.At the last legislative elections, in May and June 2005, the party was allied to the anti-Syrian March 14 Alliance, led by Future Movement of late Prime minister Rafic Hariri, that won these elections. was founded...

     (Harakat Al-Tajadod Al-Dimokrati) Multi-confessional Movement Leader: Nassib Lahoud
    Nassib Lahoud
    Nassib Lahoud is a Lebanese-Christian political figure born on 23 November 1944 in Baabdat - Matn, Lebanon. He has held various political posts including Ambassador to the USA, Member of Parliament and Minister of State...

    , former MP and presidential hopeful.

  • Democratic Left
    Democratic Left Movement (Lebanon)
    The Democratic Left Movement is the first leftist political party in the Lebanese Parliament. It was founded in September 2004 by left-wing intellectuals and activists who previously split from the Lebanese Communist Party...

     (Al Yassar Al Dimokrati) Multi-Confessional Movement Leader: Elias Atallah, former MP and former member of the communist party

  • Free Patriotic Movement
    Free Patriotic Movement
    The Free Patriotic Movement , also known as the "Aounist Movement" , is a Lebanese political party, led by Michel Aoun and allied with Hezbollah, The movement was officially declared a political party on September 18, 2005Though most of the party's support comes from Lebanon's...

     (At Tayyar Al-Watani Al-Horr) Christian Movement Leader: Michel Aoun, MP. Also presides the "Change and Reform" coalition. He was one of the first to demand the Syrian withdrawal. The movement left the 14 March coalition before the 2005 elections after General Aoun came back from his Paris exile.

  • Future Movement (Tayyar Al Mustaqbal) Muslim Sunni Movement Leader: Saad Hariri, MP and son of Rafiq Hariri

  • Lebanese Forces
    Lebanese Forces
    The Lebanese Forces is a Lebanese political party. Founded as a militia by Bachir Gemayel during the Lebanese Civil War, the movement fought as the main militia within the Christian-dominated Lebanese Front...

     (Al Kuwwat al Lubnaniyya) Christian Party Leader: Samir Geagea, jailed 11 years by the Syrians

  • Lebanese Liberation Movement Leader: unknown

  • Lebanese National Bloc
    Lebanese National Bloc
    Lebanese National Bloc , is a Lebanese conservative political party founded in 1936.The party's founder, Émile Eddé became president the same year under French protectorate. His son, Raymond Eddé, succeeded him as head of the party...

     (Hizb Al Kitla Al Wataniya) Christian Party Leader: Carlos Eddé
    Carlos Eddé
    Carlos Eddé , is a Lebanese politician. He is since 2000 the president of Lebanese National Bloc succeeding at his uncle Raymond Eddé. In 2004 he participated actively in the 14 March Alliance and was among those who formulated the strategy to unify the opposition, leading to the departure of the...

     nephew of former leader Raymond Eddé
    Raymond Edde
    Raymond Eddé was a Lebanese statesman who served his country for many years as a legislator and cabinet minister. He led the Lebanese National Bloc, an influential political party. The son of former President Émile Eddé, Raymond Eddé was himself a candidate for the presidency in 1958, and was...

    . The Lebanese National Bloc left the 14 March Coalition in June 2009 after the parliamentary election

  • National Liberal Party
    National Liberal Party (Lebanon)
    The National Liberal Party is a center-right political party in Lebanon, established by President Camille Chamoun in 1958...

     (Hizb Al-Wataniyin Al-Ahrar) Christian Party Leader: Dory Chamoun, son of former President Camille Chamoun

  • Phalangist Party (Al-Kataeb Al-Loubnaniya) Christian Party Leader: Amin Gemayel, former President of Republic.

  • Progressive Socialist Party
    Progressive Socialist Party
    The Progressive Socialist Party or PSP , also known as Parti Socialiste Progressiste in French, is a political party in Lebanon. Its current leader is Walid Jumblatt...

     (Hizb al-Taqadummi al-Ishtiraki) Druze Party Leader: Walid Jumblat, MP and son of former leader Kamal Jumblat; The PSP left the 14 March Coalition in August 2009

  • Armenian Democratic Liberal Party (Hizb al-Ramgavar) MP Jean Ogassapian.

  • Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
    Social Democrat Hunchakian Party
    The Social Democrat Hunchakian Party , is the oldest of the Armenian political parties and was the first Socialist party in the Ottoman Empire and in Persia...

     (Hizb al-Henchag) MP Sebouh Kalpakian.

Background


On February 14, 2005, the former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

 was assassinated in a truck bomb attack, which killed 21 and wounded nearly 100. Former Minister of Economy and Trade Bassel Fleihan
Bassel Fleihan
Bassel Fleihan was a Lebanese legislator and Minister of Economy and Commerce. He died from injuries sustained when a massive bomb exploded on the Beirut seafront as he passed by in former Lebanese Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri's motorcade on February 14, 2005. 20 other people, including Hariri,...

 later died as well from injuries sustained in the blast. This attack sparked huge demonstrations that seemed to unite large numbers of citizens from the usually fractured and sectarian Lebanese population. It was the second such incident in four months: former minister and MP Marwan Hamadeh had survived a car bomb attack on October 1, 2004.

Within hours of the assassination, Lebanese prosecutors issued warrants for the arrest of six Australian nationals who flew out of Beirut
Beirut
Beirut is the capital and largest city of Lebanon, with a population ranging from 1 million to more than 2 million . Located on a peninsula at the midpoint of Lebanon's Mediterranean coastline, it serves as the country's largest and main seaport, and also forms the Beirut Metropolitan...

 to Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

, Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 three hours after the explosion claiming that seats occupied by the men had tested positive for traces of explosives, and that they were traveling without luggage. The Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 interviewed ten individuals in Sydney upon the arrival of the flight, and found the men they questioned did have luggage. Although Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 air port security sniffer dogs trained to find explosives did react to aircraft seats occupied by the men, test swabs taken from three of the men by the Australian Federal Police
Australian Federal Police
The Australian Federal Police is the federal police agency of the Commonwealth of Australia. Although the AFP was created by the amalgamation in 1979 of three Commonwealth law enforcement agencies, it traces its history from Commonwealth law enforcement agencies dating back to the federation of...

 tested negative for explosives. Within 48 hours, the Australian Federal Police absolved the six of any involvement in the assassination, giving little credibility to claims of the Lebanese officials.

Despite the lack, to date, of any actual substantial evidence implicating any party or individual, the Syria
Syria
Syria , officially the Syrian Arab Republic , is a country in Western Asia, bordering Lebanon and the Mediterranean Sea to the West, Turkey to the north, Iraq to the east, Jordan to the south, and Israel to the southwest....

n government has borne the brunt of Lebanese and international outrage at the murder, because of its extensive military and intelligence influence in Lebanon, as well as the public rift between Hariri and Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 just before his last resignation on October 20, 2004. The day after Hariri's resignation, pro-Syrian former Prime Minister Omar Karami
Omar Karami
Omar Abdul Hamid Karami was the Prime Minister of Lebanon on two separate occasions...

 was appointed Prime Minister.

Lebanese Druze
Druze
The Druze are an esoteric, monotheistic religious community, found primarily in Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan, which emerged during the 11th century from Ismailism. The Druze have an eclectic set of beliefs that incorporate several elements from Abrahamic religions, Gnosticism, Neoplatonism...

 leader Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt is a Lebanese politician and the current leader of the Progressive Socialist Party . He is the most prominent leader of Lebanon's Druze community.-Family:...

, a recent adherent to the anti-Syrian opposition, emboldened by popular anger and civic action, alleged in the wake of the assassination that in August 2004 Syrian President Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad
Bashar al-Assad is the President of Syria and Regional Secretary of the Ba'ath Party. His father Hafez al-Assad ruled Syria for 29 years until his death in 2000. Al-Assad was elected in 2000, re-elected in 2007, unopposed each time.- Early Life :...

 threatened Hariri, saying "[President of Lebanon] Lahoud
Émile Lahoud
General Émile Jamil Lahoud is a former President of Lebanon. Lahoud is a Maronite-Catholic, as is required for the Lebanese presidency. Under Lebanon's unwritten constitutional agreement, the National Pact, the presidency is earmarked for Maronite_Catholic, the parliament speaker's post for a Shia...

 is me. ... If you and Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 want me out of Lebanon, I will break Lebanon." He was quoted as saying "When I heard him telling us those words, I knew that it was his condemnation of death." The United States
United States
The United States of America is a federal constitutional republic comprising fifty states and a federal district...

, the EU
European Union
The European Union is an economic and political union of 27 independent member states which are located primarily in Europe. The EU traces its origins from the European Coal and Steel Community and the European Economic Community , formed by six countries in 1958...

 and the UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 have stopped short of any accusations, choosing instead to demand a Syrian pullout from Lebanon and an open and international investigation of the Assassination. Jumblatt's comments are not without controversy; the BBC describes him as "being seen by many as the country's political weathervane" - consistently changing allegiances to emerge on the winning side of the issues de jour through the turmoil of the 1975-90 civil war and its troubled aftermath. He was a supporter of Syria after the war but switched sides after the death of former Syrian president Hafez al-Assad
Hafez al-Assad
Hafez ibn 'Ali ibn Sulayman al-Assad or more commonly Hafez al-Assad was the President of Syria for three decades. Assad's rule consolidated the power of the central government after decades of coups and counter-coups, such as Operation Wappen in 1957 conducted by the Eisenhower administration and...

 in 2000. His account is quoted, but not confirmed, in the UN
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

's FitzGerald Report
FitzGerald Report
The '"Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Lebanon inquiring into the causes, circumstances and consequences of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, 25 February - 24 March 2005,"' better known as the FitzGerald Report, is the outcome of an inquiry, ordered by the United Nations...

. The report stops short of directly accusing Damascus
Damascus
Damascus , commonly known in Syria as Al Sham , and as the City of Jasmine , is the capital and the second largest city of Syria after Aleppo, both are part of the country's 14 governorates. In addition to being one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world, Damascus is a major...

 or any other party, saying that only a further thorough international inquest can identify the culprit. The Lebanese government has agreed to this inquiry, though calling for the full participation, not supremacy, of its own agencies and the respect of Lebanese sovereignty. (See international reaction below.)

On February 21, 2005 tens of thousands of Lebanese protestors held a rally at the site of the assassination calling for an end of Syrian occupation and blaming Syria and the pro-Syrian president Emile Lahoud
Émile Lahoud
General Émile Jamil Lahoud is a former President of Lebanon. Lahoud is a Maronite-Catholic, as is required for the Lebanese presidency. Under Lebanon's unwritten constitutional agreement, the National Pact, the presidency is earmarked for Maronite_Catholic, the parliament speaker's post for a Shia...

 for the murder. In the subsequent weeks, nearly every Monday, a demonstration has been held at Beirut's Martyrs Square (also referred to by protestors as "Liberty Square"), in addition to the constant daily gathering of Lebanese there.

Similar demonstrations by Lebanese immigrants have also taken place in several cities across the world, including Sydney
Sydney
Sydney is the most populous city in Australia and the state capital of New South Wales. Sydney is located on Australia's south-east coast of the Tasman Sea. As of June 2010, the greater metropolitan area had an approximate population of 4.6 million people...

 - Australia
Australia
Australia , officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a country in the Southern Hemisphere comprising the mainland of the Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous smaller islands in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It is the world's sixth-largest country by total area...

 (where over 10,000 people demonstrated in the city), San Francisco
San Francisco, California
San Francisco , officially the City and County of San Francisco, is the financial, cultural, and transportation center of the San Francisco Bay Area, a region of 7.15 million people which includes San Jose and Oakland...

, Paris
Paris
Paris is the capital and largest city in France, situated on the river Seine, in northern France, at the heart of the Île-de-France region...

, Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf
Düsseldorf is the capital city of the German state of North Rhine-Westphalia and centre of the Rhine-Ruhr metropolitan region.Düsseldorf is an important international business and financial centre and renowned for its fashion and trade fairs. Located centrally within the European Megalopolis, the...

, Montreal
Montreal
Montreal is a city in Canada. It is the largest city in the province of Quebec, the second-largest city in Canada and the seventh largest in North America...

, and London
London
London is the capital city of :England and the :United Kingdom, the largest metropolitan area in the United Kingdom, and the largest urban zone in the European Union by most measures. Located on the River Thames, London has been a major settlement for two millennia, its history going back to its...

.

Government resignation



Daily protests against the Syrian occupation attracted 25,000 people. While in the 1990s most anti-Syrian demonstrations were predominantly Christian
Christian
A Christian is a person who adheres to Christianity, an Abrahamic, monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth as recorded in the Canonical gospels and the letters of the New Testament...

 and were put down by force, the new demonstrations were distinctly non-sectarian and the government did not respond with force or intimidation.

On February 28 the government of pro-Syrian prime minister Omar Karami
Omar Karami
Omar Abdul Hamid Karami was the Prime Minister of Lebanon on two separate occasions...

 resigned, calling for a new election to take place. Karami said in his announcement: "I am keen the government will not be a hurdle in front of those who want the good for this country". The tens of thousands gathered at Beirut's Martyrs' Square cheered the announcement, then chanted "Karami has fallen, your turn will come, Lahoud, and yours, Bashar".

Opposition MPs were not satisfied with only Karami's resignation, and kept pressing for full Syrian withdrawal. Former minister and MP Marwan Hamadeh, who survived a similar car bomb attack on October 1, 2004, said "I accuse this government of incitement, negligence and shortcomings at the least, and of covering up its planning at the most... if not executing".

On March 23, Michel Abu Arraj, the Lebanese magistrate responsible for the internal Lebanese investigation of the assassination asked to be excused, citing a heavy court schedule. The Judicial Council of Lebanon is expected to rule on his request shortly. His resignation and the consequent need to replace him may result in a delay in the investigation.

International reaction



Hariri's murder triggered increased international pressure on Syria. In a joint statement, U.S. President
President of the United States
The President of the United States of America is the head of state and head of government of the United States. The president leads the executive branch of the federal government and is the commander-in-chief of the United States Armed Forces....

 George W. Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 and French president Jacques Chirac
Jacques Chirac
Jacques René Chirac is a French politician who served as President of France from 1995 to 2007. He previously served as Prime Minister of France from 1974 to 1976 and from 1986 to 1988 , and as Mayor of Paris from 1977 to 1995.After completing his studies of the DEA's degree at the...

 condemned the killing and called for full implementation of UN Security Council Resolution 1559, which requires the withdrawal of Syrian troops from Lebanon and the disarming of the Hezbollah group thriving in southern Lebanon.

At one point there seemed to be confusion about the extent to which Syria was willing to withdraw from Lebanon. Arab League
Arab League
The Arab League , officially called the League of Arab States , is a regional organisation of Arab states in North and Northeast Africa, and Southwest Asia . It was formed in Cairo on 22 March 1945 with six members: Egypt, Iraq, Transjordan , Lebanon, Saudi Arabia, and Syria. Yemen joined as a...

 head Amr Moussa
Amr Moussa
Amr Mohammed Moussa is an Egyptian politician and diplomat who was the Secretary-General of the Arab League, a 22-member forum representing Arab states, from 1 June 2001 until 1 June 2011. He is a candidate in the 2011 Egyptian presidential election....

 declared that Syrian president Assad promised him a phased withdrawal over a two-year period, but the Syrian Information Minister Mahdi Dakhlallah said that Moussa had misunderstood the Syrian leader. Dakhlallah said that Syria will merely move its troops to eastern Lebanon. Since then, Syria has declared that Resolution 1559 will be fully complied with, and in a matter of months rather than years.

On March 15, upon hearing purportedly leaked information that the United Nations' special investigation may have found that the Lebanese authorities covered up evidence of the murder, Columnist
Columnist
A columnist is a journalist who writes for publication in a series, creating an article that usually offers commentary and opinions. Columns appear in newspapers, magazines and other publications, including blogs....

 Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk
Robert Fisk is an English writer and journalist from Maidstone, Kent. As Middle East correspondent of The Independent, he has primarily been based in Beirut for more than 30 years. He has published a number of books and has reported on the United States's war in Afghanistan and the same country's...

 alleges that Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

's two sons fled Lebanon, reportedly after being warned that they too were in danger of assassination.

UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan
Kofi Annan
Kofi Atta Annan is a Ghanaian diplomat who served as the seventh Secretary-General of the UN from 1 January 1997 to 31 December 2006...

, in response to a request by the Security Council
United Nations Security Council
The United Nations Security Council is one of the principal organs of the United Nations and is charged with the maintenance of international peace and security. Its powers, outlined in the United Nations Charter, include the establishment of peacekeeping operations, the establishment of...

, sent a team of Irish, Egyptian and Moroccan specialists, led by Ireland's deputy police commissioner, Peter FitzGerald
Peter FitzGerald
Peter FitzGerald is an Irish deputy police commissioner of the Irish Garda Inspectorate and author of the United Nations initial report known as the FitzGerald Report Peter FitzGerald is an Irish deputy police commissioner of the Irish Garda Inspectorate and author of the United Nations initial...

, to investigate the assassination. Even before the FitzGerald Report
FitzGerald Report
The '"Report of the Fact-Finding Mission to Lebanon inquiring into the causes, circumstances and consequences of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri, 25 February - 24 March 2005,"' better known as the FitzGerald Report, is the outcome of an inquiry, ordered by the United Nations...

 was published, Annan has said a further, more comprehensive investigation may be necessary. FitzGerald thanked the Lebanese government for its cooperation before departing. The report cites the Syrian presence in Lebanon as a factor contributing to the instability and polarization that preceded the assassination. The report also criticizes the Lebanese government and intelligence agencies for the handling of their own investigation into the affair, calling it flawed and inconclusive. The Lebanese government in turn has described the report as "alien to reality" and criticized the UN team for not seeking broader government participation in the investigation. The government has agreed to a further, more comprehensive international inquiry, but insisted that any future inquiry would have to work with the government. At a press conference on March 25, Lebanese Foreign Minister Mahmoud Hammoud
Mahmoud Hammoud
Mahmoud Hammoud is a Lebanese politician and a retired career diplomat.Hammoud is a Shiite Muslim. He was born in Kafarkila, Marjayoun district, southern Lebanon....

 said the inquiry would be expected to work within an established framework "in co-operation with the state".

Syrian reaction


On March 2, 2005, Syrian leader Bashar Assad announced that his troops would leave Lebanon completely "in the next few months". Responding to the announcement, opposition leader Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt is a Lebanese politician and the current leader of the Progressive Socialist Party . He is the most prominent leader of Lebanon's Druze community.-Family:...

 said that he wanted to hear more specifics from Damascus about any withdrawal: "It's a nice gesture but 'next few months' is quite vague - we need a clear-cut timetable".

On March 3, Germany
Germany
Germany , officially the Federal Republic of Germany , is a federal parliamentary republic in Europe. The country consists of 16 states while the capital and largest city is Berlin. Germany covers an area of 357,021 km2 and has a largely temperate seasonal climate...

 and Russia
Russia
Russia or , officially known as both Russia and the Russian Federation , is a country in northern Eurasia. It is a federal semi-presidential republic, comprising 83 federal subjects...

 (Syria's Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

 ally) joined those calling for Syria to comply with Resolution 1559. German Chancellor Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Schröder
Gerhard Fritz Kurt Schröder is a German politician, and was Chancellor of Germany from 1998 to 2005. A member of the Social Democratic Party of Germany , he led a coalition government of the SPD and the Greens. Before becoming a full-time politician, he was a lawyer, and before becoming Chancellor...

 said: "Lebanon should be given an opportunity for sovereignty and development and this can only be achieved by complying with Security Council resolutions that stipulate immediate Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon."

The Russian Foreign Minister, Sergei Lavrov, stated that "Syria should withdraw from Lebanon, but we all have to make sure that this withdrawal does not violate the very fragile balance which we still have in Lebanon, which is a very difficult country ethnically."

On March 5 Syrian leader Assad declared in a televised speech that Syria would withdraw its forces to the Bekaa Valley in eastern Lebanon, and then to the border between Syria and Lebanon. He did not provide a timetable for a complete withdrawal of Syrian forces from Lebanon.

On the weekend of April 9 and 10th, on the anniversary of the ignition of the Lebanese Civil war, the last remaining Syrian troops left Lebanon, ending their 30 year presence.

Response from the Arab world


Several Arab states also joined in with the withdrawal demands. As Al-Assad arrived in Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

 for emergency consultation with Crown Prince Abdullah bin Abdel-Aziz
Abdullah of Saudi Arabia
Abdullah bin Abdul-Aziz Al Saud, Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, is the King of Saudi Arabia. He succeeded to the throne on 1 August 2005 upon the death of his half-brother, King Fahd. When Crown Prince, he governed Saudi Arabia as regent from 1998 to 2005...

, Assad was told in no uncertain terms that Syria must comply with UN Security Council demands immediately. It was reported by the opposition Lebanese newspaper The Daily Star that Assad offered to remove most of the 15,000 troops Syria has stationed in Lebanon during the talks, but insisted on leaving a force of 3,000 in the country. This has not been independently corroborated.

The annual Arab summit, which took place on March 23 in Algeria
Algeria
Algeria , officially the People's Democratic Republic of Algeria , also formally referred to as the Democratic and Popular Republic of Algeria, is a country in the Maghreb region of Northwest Africa with Algiers as its capital.In terms of land area, it is the largest country in Africa and the Arab...

, did not ask Syria to withdraw, which would have given the pullback an Arab endorsement as envisaged in the 1989 Taif Agreement
Taif Agreement
The Taif Agreement was an agreement reached to provide "the basis for the ending of the civil war and the return to political normalcy in Lebanon." Negotiated in Taif, Saudi Arabia, it was designed to end the decades-long Lebanese civil war, politically accommodate the demographic...

 rather than making it dependent on Resolution 1559. Algerian Foreign Minister Abdel-Aziz Belkhadem discussed the consensus ahead of the summit, stating that "we all agreed to demand the implementation of the Taif Accord with respect to international legitimacy". Controversially, the crisis in Lebanon was not included on the agenda for the summit, which almost half of the Arab leaders did not attend.

Pro-Syrian demonstration


Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah
Hassan Nasrallah
Hasan Nasrallah, became the third Secretary General of the Lebanese political and paramilitary organization Hezbollah after Israel assassinated the previous leader, Abbas al-Musawi, in 1992. Hezbollah in its entirety is considered a terrorist organization by The United States, the Netherlands,...

 called for a "massive popular gathering" on March 8 supporting Syria and accusing Israel and the United States of meddling in internal affairs. Nasrallah also criticized UN Resolution 1559 saying "The resistance will not give up its arms ... because Lebanon needs the resistance to defend it", and added "all the articles of U.N. resolution give free services to the Israeli enemy who should have been made accountable for his crimes and now finds that he is being rewarded for his crimes and achieves all its demands."

This Beirut rally called by Hezbollah dwarfed the earlier anti-Syrian events; CNN
CNN
Cable News Network is a U.S. cable news channel founded in 1980 by Ted Turner. Upon its launch, CNN was the first channel to provide 24-hour television news coverage, and the first all-news television channel in the United States...

noted some news agencies estimated the crowd at 200,000, the Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

news agency estimated that there were more than 500,000 pro-Syrian protestors, while the New York Times and Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
The Los Angeles Times is a daily newspaper published in Los Angeles, California, since 1881. It was the second-largest metropolitan newspaper in circulation in the United States in 2008 and the fourth most widely distributed newspaper in the country....

simply estimated "hundreds of thousands". Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera
Al Jazeera is an independent broadcaster owned by the state of Qatar through the Qatar Media Corporation and headquartered in Doha, Qatar...

reported a figure of 1.5 million. The predominantly Shi'ite protestors held pictures of Syrian President Bashar Assad and placards reading, in English, "No for the American Intervention". A couple of anti-Syrian media sources noted that it was likely that many of Lebanon's approximately 500,000 Syrian guest workers participated in the rally. In addition to demonstrating the extent of popular support for Syria in Lebanon, the demonstration reiterated Hezbollah's rejection of Resolution 1559, whose call for the disbanding of all Lebanese militias threatens the continued existence of its military wing, the force credited for the liberation of south Lebanon from Israeli occupation. Nasrallah also held demonstrations in Tripoli and Nabatiyé on 11 and 13 March.

Ten days after his resignation, Omar Karami was reappointed Prime Minister and called on the opposition to participate in government until the elections slated for April 2005.

On March 13, tens of thousands protested in the southern city of Nabatiyé in support of Syria and opposition to UNSCR 1559, according to reports. The Tripoli protests were canceled.

Resurgent counter-demonstrations


On March 14, the one-month memorial of the assassination of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

, hundreds of thousands of Lebanese rallied in central Beirut on Monday chanting "Freedom, Sovereignty, Independence" and carrying a huge Lebanese flag. They flocked from throughout the country, many unable to even enter the city due to heavy traffic. The demonstration was called by the different factions of the anti-Syrian opposition (including the Hariri family and other groupings) and was trumpeted by the different private media, namely Future TV, a private enterprise part of the media empire controlled by Hariri's family and the Lebanese Broadcasting Corporation LBCI, generally aligned with the Lebanese Forces, the right-wing Christian party.

The demonstration occurred in Martyrs' Square, the site of Hariri's grave and a center of the newly reconstructed city rebuilt in large part through Hariri's efforts. During the Lebanese civil war, factional infighting between the groups united in Martyrs' Square had turned the area into an impassable moonscape.

The Lebanese protestors demanded an international inquiry into Hariri's murder, the firing of Syrian-backed security chiefs in the Lebanese government, and a total Syrian pullout from Lebanon.

Violent repercussions



Bombings and assassinations


Beginning in March 2005 and continuing throughout the year, a series of bombings and assassinations
2005 Lebanon bombings
Post-Lahoud Term Extension=In recent years, a series of bombings and assassinations have struck Lebanon, most of them occurring in and around the capital, Beirut. This wave of bombings began with the assassination attempt of Mr...

 rocked Lebanon. Several political and intellectual figures vocally critical of Syrian interference in Lebanese politics, including Samir Kassir
Samir Kassir
Samir Kassir was a Lebanese professor of history at Saint-Joseph University and journalist. Born to a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother, Kassir received his degree in philosophy and political philosophy in 1984, in 1990, Kassir earned his PhD in Modern History also from the University of...

, George Hawi
George Hawi
George Hawi was a Lebanese politician and former secretary general of the Lebanese Communist Party . He was assassinated in 2005.-Background:...

, and Gebran Tueni
Gebran Tueni
Gebran Ghassan Tueni was a Lebanese politician and the former editor and publisher of the mass circulation An-Nahar daily newspaper in Beirut, Lebanon....

 were killed. In addition, Christian areas were targeted by bombs. These bombings remain unsolved.

The attacks did not end in 2005. The next year, gunmen killed MP Pierre Amine Gemayel
Pierre Amine Gemayel
Pierre Amine Gemayel was a Lebanese politician in the Kataeb Party, better known in English as the Phalange Party. Lebanon's second-youngest MP, he was a rising star in his party...

, and in 2007, Walid Eido
Walid Eido
Walid Eido was a Lebanese politician and member of the Current for the Future Lebanese political movement and an MP in the Lebanese Parliament. He was also a member of the March 14 Coalition...

 was killed by a car bomb in Beirut. Most recently, politician Antoine Ghanem
Antoine Ghanem
Antoine Ghanem was a Lebanese politician and an MP in the Lebanese Parliament. He was also a member of the Kataeb party and the March 14 Coalition. He was killed on September 19, 2007 in a car bomb explosion in the Sin al-Fil suburb of Beirut...

 was assassinated when a car bomb exploded, killing him on September 19, 2007. He is the 6th independentist minister assassinated since Hariri's death.

Withdrawal of Syrian troops


On April 26, 2005 international news agencies and the UN reported the last Syrian troops and intelligence agents had crossed the border in withdrawal from Lebanon. The Syrian government officially notified the United Nations
United Nations
The United Nations is an international organization whose stated aims are facilitating cooperation in international law, international security, economic development, social progress, human rights, and achievement of world peace...

 that it had withdrawn its troops in line with UN Security Council Resolution 1559, adopted in September 2004. In a letter to the UN, Syrian Foreign Minister Farouq al-Shara said his country "would like to officially inform you that the Syrian Arab forces stationed in Lebanon, at the request of Lebanon and under an Arab mandate, have fully withdrawn all their military, security apparatus and assets." On April 27, 2005, the Lebanese People celebrated for the first time their first day free from Syrian omnipresence. Also on April 27, 2005, the Washington Post reported that "Syria has not withdrawn a significant part of its intelligence presence in Lebanon, undermining its claim yesterday to have ended its 29-year intervention in its western neighbor, U.S., European and U.N. officials said." This claim was reiterated by US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice
Condoleezza Rice is an American political scientist and diplomat. She served as the 66th United States Secretary of State, and was the second person to hold that office in the administration of President George W. Bush...

 on May 25.

Wave of democracy


Both participants and observers of the Cedar Revolution demonstrations have asked if the movement was influenced by recent local and regional events supporting democracy
Democracy
Democracy is generally defined as a form of government in which all adult citizens have an equal say in the decisions that affect their lives. Ideally, this includes equal participation in the proposal, development and passage of legislation into law...

. Recent elections in Afghanistan
Afghanistan
Afghanistan , officially the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, is a landlocked country located in the centre of Asia, forming South Asia, Central Asia and the Middle East. With a population of about 29 million, it has an area of , making it the 42nd most populous and 41st largest nation in the world...

, Iraq
Iraq
Iraq ; officially the Republic of Iraq is a country in Western Asia spanning most of the northwestern end of the Zagros mountain range, the eastern part of the Syrian Desert and the northern part of the Arabian Desert....

, and by the Palestinian Authority, a recent announcement that Egypt
Egypt
Egypt , officially the Arab Republic of Egypt, Arabic: , is a country mainly in North Africa, with the Sinai Peninsula forming a land bridge in Southwest Asia. Egypt is thus a transcontinental country, and a major power in Africa, the Mediterranean Basin, the Middle East and the Muslim world...

ian President Hosni Mubarak
Hosni Mubarak
Muhammad Hosni Sayyid Mubarak is a former Egyptian politician and military commander. He served as the fourth President of Egypt from 1981 to 2011....

 will allow multiparty elections, and recent limited municipal elections in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia
The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia , commonly known in British English as Saudi Arabia and in Arabic as as-Sa‘ūdiyyah , is the largest state in Western Asia by land area, constituting the bulk of the Arabian Peninsula, and the second-largest in the Arab World...

, as well as the Orange Revolution
Orange Revolution
The Orange Revolution was a series of protests and political events that took place in Ukraine from late November 2004 to January 2005, in the immediate aftermath of the run-off vote of the 2004 Ukrainian presidential election which was claimed to be marred by massive corruption, voter...

 in Ukraine
Ukraine
Ukraine is a country in Eastern Europe. It has an area of 603,628 km², making it the second largest contiguous country on the European continent, after Russia...

, may have provided examples of movement toward democratic governance. Lebanese Druze leader Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt
Walid Jumblatt is a Lebanese politician and the current leader of the Progressive Socialist Party . He is the most prominent leader of Lebanon's Druze community.-Family:...

 remarked to a reporter of the Washington Post, "It's strange for me to say it, but this process of change has started because of the American invasion of Iraq. I was cynical about Iraq. But when I saw the Iraqi people voting three weeks ago, 8 million of them, it was the start of a new Arab world". In this sense, the Cedar Revolution might be seen as a dividend
Dividend
Dividends are payments made by a corporation to its shareholder members. It is the portion of corporate profits paid out to stockholders. When a corporation earns a profit or surplus, that money can be put to two uses: it can either be re-invested in the business , or it can be distributed to...

 of the Bush
George W. Bush
George Walker Bush is an American politician who served as the 43rd President of the United States, from 2001 to 2009. Before that, he was the 46th Governor of Texas, having served from 1995 to 2000....

 administration's global war on terror
War on Terror
The War on Terror is a term commonly applied to an international military campaign led by the United States and the United Kingdom with the support of other North Atlantic Treaty Organisation as well as non-NATO countries...

.

Other views maintain that Lebanese anger against perceived Syrian hegemony had been simmering for decades, and the assassination of a popular leader was the spark that gave birth to the movement, independently of foreign and regional developments. Lebanese opposition leader and newspaper columnist Samir Kassir
Samir Kassir
Samir Kassir was a Lebanese professor of history at Saint-Joseph University and journalist. Born to a Palestinian father and a Syrian mother, Kassir received his degree in philosophy and political philosophy in 1984, in 1990, Kassir earned his PhD in Modern History also from the University of...

, for example, wrote that "democracy is spreading in the region not because of George Bush but despite him." He gave far more credit to the Palestinian uprising as an inspiration to Lebanese activists.

Others caution that very little has actually changed, apart from the mainly "cosmetic" disappearance of Syrian Soldiers from their presence on the outskirts of Lebanese cities, and that Syrian control of Lebanese foreign affairs and trade may yet endure. Some critics argue that the rush to celebrate a supposed 'Revolution' was far too premature.

When Omar Karami failed to form a government, he resigned for good on April 13, 2005, and elections
Lebanese general election, 2005
The 2005 Lebanese General Elections were the first elections in thirty years without a Syrian military or intelligence presence in Lebanon. These elections were the first in Lebanese history to be won outright by a single electoral block and were also the first to be monitored by the United...

 were called for the period of May 29 through June 19, 2005. Saad al-Hariri formed an anti-Syrian bloc that, ultimately, won 72 of the 128 available seats in the unicameral National Assembly.

Second Anniversary


On February 14, 2007, hundreds of defiant Lebanese gathered peacefully in Martyr’s Square to commemorate the second anniversary of former Prime Minister Rafik Hariri
Rafik Hariri
Rafic Baha El Deen Al-Hariri , was a business tycoon and the Prime Minister of Lebanon from 1992 to 1998 and again from 2000 until his resignation, 20 October 2004.He headed five cabinets during his tenure...

's assassination. The large number proved that the Cedar Revolution was still going on, especially when the crowds turned the commemoration into a defiant opportunity to blame Syria and Hezbollah for Lebanon's political woes. The demonstrators fell silent at exactly 12:55 PM, the time of the explosion that killed Hariri on Feb. 14, 2005. Only the muezzin
Muezzin
A muezzin , or muzim, is the chosen person at a mosque who leads the call to prayer at Friday services and the five daily times for prayer from one of the mosque's minarets; in most modern mosques, electronic amplification aids the muezzin in his task.The professional muezzin is chosen for his...

 making the Islamic call to prayer and the solemn tolling of church bell
Church bell
A church bell is a bell which is rung in a church either to signify the hour or the time for worshippers to go to church, perhaps to attend a wedding, funeral, or other service...

s could be heard.

The Bikfaya bombings
February 13, 2007 Bikfaya bombings
The February 13, 2007 Lebanon bombings were two blasts on buses near Bikfaya, Lebanon which killed three and injured 21. The bombings heightened tensions in the country following the Cedar Revolution, and on the eve of the two-year anniversary of the assassination of Rafik Hariri.- The bombings :On...

 had taken place the day before, killing three people. Fatah al-Islam
Fatah al-Islam
Fatah al-Islam, is a radical Sunni Islamist group that formed in November 2006 in a Palestinian refugee camp, located in Lebanon. It has been described as a militant jihadist movement that draws inspiration from al-Qaeda...

 was blamed.

Third Anniversary


On the 14th of February, exactly three years from the day Premier Hariri was assassinated on the Beirut seafront, throngs of protesters rallied in Martyr's Square to commemorate the occasion. The crowd came from all over Lebanon. Hundreds of thousands of protesters filled the square and its immediate surrounding. In the mountainous areas, the weather conditions prevented several processions from reaching Beirut. Also, processions closed all roads east, north & south Beirut leading to Martyr's Square. Hundreds of boats embarked on a ride from the Jounieh port in the coast of Mount Lebanon to the Beirut Marina defying the winter waves. The rally was reaching its end while thousands of vehicles carrying protesters were still trapped in traffic in the Eastern Suburbs of Beirut. The crowds stood for more than 5 hours under the pouring the rain. The protesters transformed this event into an occasion to blame Syria and renew their oath to remain united and defiant for Lebanon's sake. At the exact time the explosion occurred 3 years ago at 12:55, the crowds fell silent as the Islamic prayers blared through the mosques' muezzin along with the lordly tolling of church bells symbolizing the Muslim-Christian unity. The leaders of the Anti-Syrian coalition gave fiery speeches blaming Syria & Iran for Lebanon's woes. Saad Hariri, the coalition's most popular leader, was the last to take the stand as supporting cheers blared from the crowds. In the end and after the crowds have stood for four consecutive hours under the pouring rain, the rally was concluded and the area was evacuated.

Fourth Anniversary


February 14, 2009 marked the fourth anniversary of Prime Minister Rafik Hariri's assassination. Estimated to be more than 1 million supporters, pro-government and pro-Hariri citizens of different sects and factions gathered together in Beirut for the occasion. At 12:55 pm, the crowd went silent to mark the exact moment of the explosion that killed Hariri.

The rally was also a peaceful reply to the pro-Syrian groups (Hizbullah and Amal Movement) that invaded Beirut on May 7, 2008 and took control of the city using force, before handing it to the Army after seven days, in which an estimated 100 people were killed as a result of the violent clashes that happened.

During the rally, speeches were given to entice the citizens to take place in the June 2009 parliamentary elections, in which the anti-Syrian coalition and the pro-Syrian coalition competed for the majority of seats.

Fifth Anniversary


Despite initial enthusiasm, the turn-out on the fifth anniversary of Hariri's assassination (February 14th 2010) was hindered due to heavy rain.

Sixth Anniversary


The sixth anniversary of Hariri's assassination, on February the 14th 2011, was met with renewed enthusiasm by supporters of the March 14 coalition. This was especially fueled by the protesters' anger over the resignation of all ten ministers aligned with the opposing March 8 coalition due to then-Prime Minister Saad Hariri, Rafik Hariri's son, refusal of Hezbollah's demand he reject the Special Tribunal For Lebanon.
A rally was also organized to call for Hezbollah's disarmament on the day of March 13 in Beirut's Martyrs' Square.No significant disruptions took place, but it was reported by several TV stations that some protesters had their signs demanding Hezbollah's disarmament confiscated.
Reuters approximated that 800,000 of supporters of Saad Hariri and his allies rallied against Hezbollah's weapons.

See also



  • Color revolution
    Color revolution
    Colour revolutions is a term that was widely used by the media to describe related movements that developed in several societies in the CIS and Balkan states during the early 2000s. The term has also been applied to a number of revolutions elsewhere, including in the Middle East...

    s - as a series of related movements
  • 2007 Lebanon conflict
    2007 Lebanon conflict
    The 2007 Lebanon conflict began when fighting broke out between Fatah al-Islam, an Islamist militant organization, and the Lebanese Armed Forces on May 20, 2007 in Nahr al-Bared, an UNRWA Palestinian refugee camp near Tripoli. It was the most severe internal fighting since Lebanon's 1975–90 civil...

  • Kurt Schock, Unarmed Insurrections: People Power Movements in Nondemocracies, University of Minnesota Press, 2005.


External links