More than a year after the uprising began, only 50 people were still around to protest in a Syrian town of burned buildings and pockmarked storefronts.
But for the residents of Anadan who came together to call for freedom and dignity on the morningSyria'scease-fire began last month, it was as though the revolution had begun again.
"We were willing to come out like it was our first day," said Abu Ghaith, an activist in the town near Aleppo that rebels seized and lost again to government forces. "Our strength is in being peaceful."
For months, activists who helped spark the uprising against the regime of President Bashar Assad by nonviolent means had seen it slip away as others in the opposition took up arms and the conflict began to resemble a civil war.
Now the United Nations-backed cease-fire, which has seen numerous violations but also an easing of the bloodshed, is providing an apt anti-violence backdrop to activists' efforts to retake the revolution.
The week the cease-fire began, activists campaigned online for what to name the upcoming Friday protests, which is put up for a vote each week. In the end, the name "A Revolution for All Syrians" was chosen over a more militant one, and was hailed as a victory by peace activists.
Their position has been bolstered by the poorly armed rebels' inability to defend against brutal government crackdowns in places such as Homs and Idlib and the lack of any foreseeable outside military aid, underscoring the difficulties of trying to unseat Assad through force.
The activists point out that the armed revolution has only further alienated Syria's silent majority in cities such as Damascus and Aleppo who are horrified by the bloody images they see on state TV. Only through peaceful acts of defiance, they say, will this group join the revolution.