Bahrain: Safe Day for Protesters

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

It was a safe day for protesters in Bahrain today, with the police forces staying at bay, and allowing the protests to go unhampered. The day marks a total change to the police brutality protesters faced on the first and second day of the demonstrations, which saw the death of two protesters.

The protest seems to have been initiated on social networking sites to call for constitutional, economic and social reforms, like we have seen in Egypt, with people from different backgrounds joining as the developments took a turn. The killing of protesters, in particular, has drawn sympathy from onlookers, who had initially planned to stay away from the protests.

Protesters are now camping in the Pearl Roundabout, a monument in the capital Manama, where they say they will stay until their demands are met. Those demands, however, keep growing as protesters continue to swing between demanding reforms under a constitutional monarchy and calling for an end to the regime overall.

Meanwhile, a group of tweeps led a clean up campaign in the roundabout, called Lulu roundabout in Arabic, where they painted over graffiti sprayed by some of the protesters listing demands. The initiative was led by tweep Mohammed Al Maskati, who tweets at @emoodz

Also today, complaints were running high of slow Internet, with the New York Times writer Nicholas Kristof, who is in Bahrain, complaining loud on Twitter about the inconvenience. Online, tweeps were also complaining that a number of websites have been blocked by the Bahrain government, including live broadcasting online, put up by netizens at the Pearl Roundabout for those at home to follow developments there.

Here's a snap shot of the reactions from Twitter:

@NickKristof: Amazing that a banking ctr like #Bahrain blocks Internet to suppress protests. Never thought I'd use a sat phone here.

@ramyraoof: dear friends in #Algeria, #Bahrain, #Yemen, #Iran, #Libya, #Morocco: use TOR to bypass censorship, stay anonymous

@ramyraoof: tmw. 17 Feb- Egyptians Marching in Solidarity with People of #Algeria, #Bahrain, #Yemen, #Iran & #Libya. #Feb14 #Feb12 #25Bahman #Feb17

@emoodz: Tweeps reporting that Egyptians will protest in front of the Bahraini embassy in Cairo in solidarity #bahrain #feb14 #lulu

@hadeelalsh: Thousands in Pearl Square. Colorful tents, families making tea, I can smell sheesha. #bahrain #feb14

@: #Bahrain enjoying the day in #lulu square #feb14

@tariqal: Ebrahim Sharif is here now, discussing, organizing & debating with group of youth #Bahrain #Feb14 #Lulu

@ba7ari: LOLO Square right now #Bahrain #Feb14 #HRW #EU

@Muntherek: #bahrain #feb14 #lulu The only flag that was raised is the Bahraini flag

@tariqal: Crowded round an old man singing – still a great atmosphere late night #Feb14 #Bahrain #Lulu

@Muntherek: #bahrain #feb14 #lulu

@bintbattuta: Photo from the Pearl Roundabout: “Covering up graffiti” #bahrain #feb14

@MZ5aaan: Why Police (sha'3ab) have backed of completely ? Something is fishy ? #feb14 #bahrain #lulu

@hhusaini: Internet is soooooooooooooooooo slow!!! will @batelco in #bahrain compensate our bills this month? Or are we paying for poor service?

@anmarek: couldn't tweet when i was at #lulu as there was no network coverage in the area! #bahrain #feb14

@lauratrafach: Ministry of Information in #Bahrain blocking pages of specific users on the live-stream site #Feb14

@aassfour: Due to some political issues ALJAZEERA is not covering the #bahrain revolution as it should. lots of pressure on her #feb14

@amanyalbahrain: Very true! “@YousifKamal: What's happening in #lulu is just a protest not a revolution sooner or later it will end #bahrain #Feb14”

@F_albinali: views of Pearl Roundabout have been called beautiful,guess beautiful in the same way that the Iranian Theocracy is beautiful #Bahrain #feb14

@anmarek: We will all gather at #lulu roundabout wearing red/white on Friday from early morning.. ANGER DAY.. plz be there #bahrain #feb14

@Zaharias1: Bahrainis bring blankets & grievances to protest camp This is our moment. This is our time. And we will take it. #Feb14

@ag47ent: ppl u have to take it seriously,u need a clear list of demands and a proper agenda which reflects #feb14 movement #bahrain #lulu

@NoorAlHaji: Hey sectarians, did u sleep? I want to tweet #Feb14 #Bahrain

This post is part of our special coverage of Bahrain Protests 2011.

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