Banners are everywhere.
"Humanity dies when war criminals live," reads one. "Justice delayed for 42 years. We can't take it anymore," laments another.
Throughout the day, demonstrators rally with their fists punching the air, hangman's nooses around their necks and deafening chants of "Fashi chai" ("We want them hanged").
On a makeshift stage, the demonstrators read poetry or play music. Elsewhere, they bang on plastic buckets or take turns sweeping up the debris and trash.
"It's not a protest led by any political party," a young protester Asif Islam said. "We're our leaders. We're disciplined by ourselves."
The Bangladeshi community abroad have rallied to the cause as well, particularly students who have held mini-rallies to spotlight attention to Shahbag at dozens of college campuses in the United States.
"Knowing that, 'Yes, we are supported worldwide, and no, we're not alone' gives a lot of inspiration and motivation to keep the movement running, I believe," said Rafiul Alam, a student at University of Texas at Arlington.
Back at Shahbag, silence comes only when night falls.
The demonstrators sleep while thousands of flickering candles cast around them a rapturous glow.
In a piece published on The Asia Foundation's website, Awrup Sanyal, a Dhaka-based writer, wrote that the Shahbag movement has "opened up space for discussions on subjects that until now were considered taboo or avoided altogether."
Such subjects include, according to Sanyal, fundamentalism in politics; secularism; unaccountability; inclusiveness irrespective of religion and ethnicity; contradictory historical narratives; boycotting of businesses; and the spirit of the 1971 independence movement.
Writer Saad Z. Hossain says Shahbag is a "visceral rejection of fundamentalism."
"Shahbagh is the silent majority," he wrote, "rising up against the use of religion to bully."
While the demonstrators have declared Shahbag a politics-free zone and turned away politicians who wanted to use the stage to deliver a speech, the gathering nonetheless has the approval of the ruling party.
As with Cambodia, it has taken some four decades for Bangladesh to address its genocide. The Awami League made the prosecution of war crimes perpetrators a central election plank in its 2008 campaign.
"It is a unique incident. It is a unique uprising that has spread to the villages," Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina said of the Shahbag gathering. "The new generation, including the children, has woken up irrespective of their political views."
As the protests grew, the parliament proposed an amendment to the law empowering the International Crimes Tribunal. Under the proposed amendment, the government can appeal any tribunal verdict, and Law Minister Shafique Ahmed said it plans to do so in Mollah's case.
Protesters hailed the proposal, but human rights groups weren't pleased.
"A government supposedly guided by the rule of law cannot simply pass retroactive laws to overrule court decisions when it doesn't like them," said Brad Adams, the Asia director of the New York-based Human Rights Watch.
The amendments "make a mockery of the trial process," he added.
The Awami League has also endorsed the protesters' call for a ban on religious-based political parties -- and Jamaat in particular.
"We're examining all possible ways of doing it," the law minister said.
It's not a surprise, analysts say. Sidelining Jamaat, an opposition party with sizable influence, would play to Awami League's advantage politically.