One of the defining characteristics of the Arab Spring is that the heavy protests typically staged after Friday prayers have names. In March, for example, Yemeni protesters countered President Ali Abdullah Saleh's "Friday of Tolerance and Peace" with their own "Friday of Departure" (Saleh's departure, that is). These names can serve as a good way to take the temperature of an uprising at a given moment in time. During the "Your Silence Is Killing Us" Friday on July 29, Syrian demonstrators tried to summon the support of Syrians and Arab leaders who had stayed silent since unrest broke out in the country in mid-March. By last Friday--the "Friday of International Protection"--protesters had widened their appeal. This Friday, Al Jazeera, citing activists, is reporting that at least 26 people have been killed by Syrian security forces in protests across the country that have been dubbed, "We Will Continue Until We Bring Down the Regime."
While news reports often cite these bellwether Friday names, they hardly ever explain how the titles were chosen and by whom. The process sheds light on how the Syrian opposition, now entering its seventh month of defiance, operates, at a time when anti-government activists are trying to organize themselves better by forming the Syrian National Council with the goal of overthrowing President Bashar al-Assad within six months and forming an interim government.