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Protesters rally in Ramallah in solidarity with Egyptians

Feb. 5, 2011 9:06 P.M. (Updated: Feb. 7, 2011 6:52 P.M.)
RAMALLAH (Ma'an) -- Protesters rallied in Ramallah on Saturday in solidarity with the Egyptian people's uprising against their government.

Residents, students and civil society representatives raised Egyptian flags and posters calling on the Egyptian president to resign.

Protesters held banners including "From Ramallah to Tahrir Square, the people want change," and "Down with oppressive regimes."

Palestinian lawmaker Hanan Ashrawi attended the rally, as did Mamdouh Al-Ikir, the commissioner general of the Independent Commission for Human Rights.

Palestinian Authority police were deployed at the entrances to Al-Manara, the square in the city center, and protesters said they used excessive force.

Organizers said a diverse crowd of around 2,000 attended the rally, and that it was the largest of four held in solidarity with Egyptians and Tunisians.

Palestinian Authority security services spokesman Adnan Dmeiri on Thursday banned rallies in support of Egypt and Tunisia. He said the decision was in the interests of maintaining stability in the West Bank, and that protests created chaos.

In a statement, protest organizers insisted they would continue "mobilizing events in support of freedom of speech, against Israel’s occupation and apartheid, and in solidarity with struggles around the world, especially in the Arab world, for freedom, democracy and social justice."

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