LA rally offers support for opposition in Libya, Syria, Bahrain

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Grant Slater/ KPCC

A woman waves to passing motorists at a rally in support of Arab anti-goverment protesters on Saturday afternoon outside the Federal Building on Wilshire Blvd.

A group of about three dozen natives of Libya, Syria and Bahrain gathered Saturday afternoon near the Federal Building on Wilshire Boulevard to call attention to the situations in their home countries.

The protests, organized by local Arab community members on Facebook, have taken place for two weeks at the intersection of Wilshire. Syrian expatriates have also protested in in Anaheim and in front Syrian consulate in Newport Beach.

Protesters waved flags and signs to passing motorists who honked in response to their chants in Arabic and English of 'We want the fall of the regime.'

Asma Saad of Los Angeles says she has followed events in her home country of Libya obsessively on Twitter.

"I check every few minutes what's going on," she said. "Being here is hard, because I'm way from my computer. This is the day we've all waited for, to see the fall of this regime. So we're excited for that, but it's hard to watch what's going on."

Nour Douch of Riverside said Syrians in Southern California worry about the possible repercussions speaking out may have on family members still in the Middle East.

"People are scared of retribution back in Syria. The Syrian consulate representative the other day when we had our demonstration - he was with two other people and they actually had their cameras. They were taking pictures. We don't know for what, but we know a lot of people in the demonstration… gave their backs because they didn't want to be identified."

Saturday's demonstration was scheduled to last four hours, ending at 5 p.m.

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