The site of a deadly pre-dawn raid on Feb. 17 by Bahraini security forces, Lulu (Pearl) Roundabout is a busy traffic circle along the waterfront in Manama's financial district. The roundabout is named for the giant statue at its center, an enormous white pearl held aloft by six swooping arms said to represent sails. The roundabout itself is about 100 meters in diameter, but the surrounding area is much larger, allowing room for tens of thousands of people.
Bahrain's days of rage began on Monday, Feb. 14, and as protesters gathered they were met with a swift but clumsy police crackdown that killed one person and injured dozens more. A day later, angry, mostly Shiite protesters seized the strategic location and began setting up camp in a self-conscious imitation of their brethren in Cairo. "The people want the fall of the regime," demonstrators began chanting -- another echo of Egypt -- and hunkered down, bringing in shisha pipes, food, bedding, even electric generators. The fun ended, however, when riot police attacked the camp with tear gas and live bullets, killing six and blockading the site. The government then reversed itself two days later, calling for dialogue, and the protesters returned. They're still there.