MANAMA - Shiite protesters in Bahrain are increasingly heading back to the streets, nine months after a brutal security crackdown was thought to have silenced their democracy movement. While protests inside purely Shiite villages have barely stopped, youths who say they have nothing to lose are now trickling out, some carrying the scars of the mid-March crackdown. This has been happening despite King Hamad’s promise of reforms in response to a critical international probe, including forming a panel to implement its recommendations. During the past few days, Shiites gathered along the Budaiya highway linking their villages with the capital’s Pearl Square, where protesters had camped out for a month before being beaten back by security forces boosted by Gulf troops. The protesters, who considered the square their version of Cairo’s Tahrir, hoped to bring down the Al-Khalifa dynasty just as Egyptians forced out veteran president Hosni Mubarak in February. But the square is no longer there, as the Sunni-led government razed it shortly after chasing protesters out and cornering them in their villages. Instead it was turned into a junction named Al-Farooq, the title of one of the most revered Sunni historical figures, Omar bin al-Khatab. “Occupying Budaiya highway is a preparation to head to Pearl Square... which became a symbol for democracy,” human rights blogger Yousif al-Muhafda said during one protest. “This is a revival of the uprising that actually never stopped in the villages,” he said shortly before riot police arrived, fired tear gas and chased demonstrators out. Many of the protesters feel they have nothing to lose after a large number of them were dismissed for their jobs, kicked out of universities, or spent months in jail.