Bahrain protests seek new 'Freedom Square'

February 10, 2012 - 12:15 PM

MANANA, Bahrain (AP) — Tens of thousands of anti-government protesters in Bahrain are streaming toward a site they seek to occupy for the one-year anniversary of their uprising in the Gulf kingdom.

Riot police did not immediately intervene as crowds headed to an empty lot dubbed 'Freedom Square' in the village of Miqsha outside the capital Manama. Miqsha has been a site of ongoing clashes between Shiite-led protesters and police.

Bahrain's Sunni monarchy permitted limited sit-ins ahead of the Feb. 14 anniversary.

But Friday's march appears aimed at creating a new round-the-clock hub of the protest movement similar to Manana's Pearl Square, which was stormed by security forces last year.

Bahrain's majority Shiites want Sunni rulers to give up their near-monopoly on power.