There are reports that Syrian security forces have killed at least 25 protesters in the city of Deraa on Thursday. The protests began a week ago when 15 school kids were arrested for writing anti-govt graffiti, but they've now expanded to a larger demand for freedom. So far the protests have been isolated to the once city of Deraa, but the government is fearful that they'll spread. Syria has lived under dictatorship for 45 years, and now Syrians are asking if they can have a stable democracy. Joshua Landis, Director of the Centre for Middle East Studies at the University of Oklahoma, says that the government will maintain the upper hand as long as the Sunni economic elite, which runs the economy, sticks together with the military elite. However, if the elite splits, then anything can happen, he says.