RIYADH, Saudi Arabia, March 7 (UPI) -- Protesters in Saudi Arabia rescheduled planned "Day of Rage" protests after a smaller-than-expected number of demonstrators turned out Monday, organizers said.
Demonstrations against the government were planned in several locations throughout the country, to demand an end to the royal family's monopoly over policymaking, Debkafile.com, a military intelligence Web site based in Jerusalem, reported Monday.
The protests initially had been scheduled for Friday. An Interior Ministry ban on demonstrations was backed Sunday by the Council of Senior Clerics -- who said demonstrations violate Islamic law and signing reform petitions "violates what God ordered."
Organizers had planned four days of protests leading up to this Friday in towns with anti-monarchical traditions, the Web site said. The plan was to build momentum and mount protests in the capital, Riyadh, Friday that would get the rest of Saudi Arabia on board with the protesters.
BBC Arabic reported March 1 that unrest in Saudi Arabia was growing. After the broadcast, Saudi security and intelligence forces raised their alert to the highest level, perceiving the broadcast as a coded call to opposition groups to try to oust 88-year-old King Abdallah, Debkafile.com reported.
After the BBC broadcast, government officials blocked some Web sites to cut down participation in the demonstrations, the intelligence Web site said.