We’ve seen this movie before, and it doesn’t usually end well for the government. The Syrian cabinet stepped down Tuesday as protests rock the country. It’s an attempt by President Bashar al-Assad, the country’s dictator for 11 years, to quell the demands of demonstrators calling for democratic reforms. But the move is likely little more than window dressing: the cabinet holds little power, with the president controlling the country. However, al-Assad is also reportedly about to lift an emergency law, in place since 1963, that restricts political freedoms. Meanwhile, the government is organizing massive protests, with numbers running into the hundreds of thousands, in support of the regime.