This Is How the Lebanese People Are Reinforcing The Revolution’s Demands

The revolution must go on. This, most Lebanese agree on. People know that the path leading to the life they aspire to have is long and difficult. Hope in that ultimate goal and their conviction that they deserve it are keeping them going. 

Moreover, once a population gets to finally experience the freedom and dignity to speak up and stand for their rights, it becomes almost impossible to let go. 

Despite the events of late, the people of the revolution have no intention to back off. Their journey continues as demonstrated in numerous relevant actions this past week and counting.

Three months through the struggles, the people seem more determined than ever to persevere in their fight to save Lebanon.

The revolution has escalated through its declared “Anger Week” that saw various significant actions from the protesters:

#1 Large marches and gatherings

In the revolutionaries’ first big march of 2020, people gathered in Daoura and marched through Beirut’s neighborhoods, ensuring their way back into the Lebanese television screens after a media blackout.

They also marched their way from Ring to Central Bank in Hamra a few days later, and from there to PM-designate Hassan Diab’s house in Tallet El-Khayat.

Students also skipped classes and organized numerous marches all over Lebanon, braving the cold and the rain.

#2 More Road-blocking

Roadblocks everywhere! Especially with the announcement of the ‘week of anger’ that started last Tuesday, January 14th.

All roads and even some sub-roads in Beirut, Bekaa, the north, and the south were closed. Big protests erupted in the country, and people were parking their cars in the middle of the roads as a form of protest.

All streets and squares were filled with men, women, and children, revolutionary songs, and the Lebanese flag again.

#3 Targeting institutions deemed corrupt or abusive

People targeted government institutions and companies, and of course banks. They protested numerous times in front of the electricity company and its stations after electricity outage took over the country. 

The telecommunication sector got also targetted for the corruption that has taken it over, and banks for their oppressive policies of late.

Some protesters did not control their anger, unfortunately, causing serious property damages. 

In Baalbeck, protesters closed several banks for a couple of days by keeping the employees from going in.

#4 Hitting the government where it hurts the most

The people launched Plan “C” of civil disobedience, as of December 13th, calling all to stop paying their bills and taxes to the current government. It also urges citizens not to pay their due bank loans.

They addressed the politicians currently ruling the country with signs on social media stating: “We’re not paying before you restore the millions.”

#5 Public shaming of politicians

Groups of protesters took on a mission to follow the politicians into public places and shame them publicly, forcing them out. 

This happened with many politicians recently like Youssef Finianos, Emile Rahme, Michel Daher, Sami Fatfat, and Tarek Merhbi.

Many Lebanese restaurants are also supporting the people in their revolution by hanging revolution posters at their doors, hence keeping the politicians out. 

Loris in Beirut even added a written request to their interior decor, asking politicians to pay in advance; in case they were kicked out by protesters.

#6 The medical sector joining the fight

Doctors organized sit-ins and a march to pressure the caretaker government into taking action and save their institution since medical supplies in Lebanon are almost gone.

The health sector is now in the heart of the crisis, which puts at high-risk people’s lives, the institution, and many jobs.

#7 Overcoming a lot of hits

And when I say a lot, I mean a lot!  Many fell injured when protesting in front of Thakanet el-Helou in Beirut for the release of some 70 detainees arrested in Hamra in one night.

More were wounded while trying to enter the Parliament over the weekend. 

Many were hospitalized, some were in critical condition, yet they have all promised not to give up on the revolution, and some are back to the streets… with their bandages.

#8 Unity and mutual support expanding

Lebanese mothers prepared and distributed home-made meals to the revolutionaries in Jal el Dib, and others marched to call for peace after the recent events. People launched a campaign on social media to support those wounded after Beirut’s conflicts, especially the ones who lost an eye for the revolution.

Plus, whenever and wherever the revolutionaries face assault, others are just one post away from coming to their rescue.

Lebanese lawyers are also on the revolution’s side. Ever since Melhem Khalaf was elected to head the Beirut Bar Association, many lawyers are always ready to help and stand by the people. 

#9 The Lebanese Diaspora renewing their actions of solidarity

Lebanese expatriates returned home over the holidays and organized many sit-ins and marches. Now that they had to return to their lives abroad, they are still supporting the Lebanese revolution from there. 

Protests in their cities have resumed this week and a wider one is planned for January 29th across the world.

#10 Petitions to international decision-makers

Two relevant petitions have been launched this week:

A petition to the ‘Friends of Lebanon’ calling on them to stop funding the caretaker government until strong safeguards are set in place. These ‘friends” include the World Bank, the World Economic Forum (WEF), the United Nations, and several ambassadors. 

A petition to the WEF and its president, stating that People Don’t Want Gebran Bassil Representing Lebanon at the World Economic Forum, has taken social media by storm, and also the mainstream media like CNBC and France24.

#11 Anger escalating at the newly formed government

The Week of Anger ended with the formation of a new government nominated by, and affiliated to, the same political parties and leaders.

The week ended but not the anger that has now taken a higher dimension with the people refusing to yield to such blatant dismissal of their demands.

The people of the Lebanese Revolution are now expressing their frustration and their refusal of that government in all ways possible.  

It has been over three months since people took to the streets demanding the fall of the regime and the end of corruption; and no, they are not tired. It is clear and obvious: they are revolting until their demands are met.

It might seem to some or many that the Revolution hasn’t achieved anything other than the resignation of Saad Hariri from the premier position and the formation of a new government.

That’s not true.

No one can expect that a revolution against a fiercely entrenched system could possibly end in a month or two or three or even more.

This revolutionary journey is not a walk in the park or a hiking trip. No revolution is. It is called a revolution for a reason.

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