Lebanese Protesters Revolt Over Electricity Outages In The Country

Several Lebanese regions have witnessed a continuous electricity blackout for a few days already. This unprecedented rationing in electricity has hit everywhere, from north to south, the Bekaa, the mountains, and the capital. This has started a whole new range of protests in Lebanon.

Angry citizens took their protests to electricity stations and companies in all regions of Lebanon. In Tripoli, protesters entered the Qadisha Electricity Company Center in Al-Bahsas on Wednesday.

They managed to switch on the electricity supply to all neighboring areas and found their way into the offices where they answered the citizens’ complaining phone calls.

There were also several blocking of roads in the north protesting the electricity outages. The south also had its share of darkness, and people also took to the electricity company and the streets in protest.

They blocked the Sidon highway in both directions and closed the electricity company for the day by denying entrance to the employees.

Nabatiyeh is also organizing a revolutionary movement on Friday January 10 to express their anger and disapproval, so are the revolutionaries of Aley.

Revolutionaries in Tariq el Jdideh in Beirut also broke into the electricity station, while in Gemmayzeh the citizens organized a protest as of 8 am on Thursday in front of the electricity company.

Most of these protests, if not all, witnessed clashes between the demonstrators and security forces, even though the protests were peaceful.

Social media has been full for the past couple of days with the strong opinions of people who are offended by this oppressive action from the state.

A most remarkable frustration was from a citizen of Dahieh who posted the following:

“This is the fourth day that I wake up and shower with cold water because electricity hasn’t visited us for more than 5 days. This is the millionth day that I have a fight with my parents because I am still unemployed.”

“And this is the millionth day that I wake up as a citizen of Dahyeh to taste the worst, and most despicable, and most cursed kinds of oppression, and humiliation, and submission.”

“And he who sleeps in sheets of silk goes out to present himself as a person of patience, and call me a traitor and a collaborator, because I have gone out to demand reforms in my society, refusing injustice and vulnerability.”

This post was shared widely because this person is speaking for all Lebanese people who are living in humiliation and all those who are insulted and persecuted in their communities for having joined the revolution.

Their leaders leave them without basic human rights, basic daily life dignity, and then have the decency to accused them of traitors and collaborators.

Electricity in Lebanon is a victim of years and years of corruption, so the current alleged lack of fuel in the country isn’t much of a justification.

The Minister of Energy and Water did state it herself, in her tweet on Wednesday: “The quantities of fuel oil for domestic use are available at private sector companies, stations, and distribution companies, and at oil installations….”

In fact, a study by the Progressive Center for Economic Studies, based on data from the Ministry of Finance of the first ten months of 2019, showed an increase in the quantities of fuel imported for the benefit of the state-run electricity company.

That’s an increase equivalent to 378% compared to the same period in 2018. However, the production of electricity in 2019 did not improve. The rationing hours did not witness any decline. And now Lebanon is in darkness. So where did all that fuel go?

A similar outrageous episode happened with a bridge in Jal el Dib leaking water from the rain. That bridge, which took the government two years of continuous work at a cost of 100 million dollars, was only opened 5 months ago.

Again, the bridge obviously wasn’t done right, not at that exuberant cost. So where did all the money go? Another mystery or isn’t it?

And then, the officials and their supporters question the Lebanese revolution, its purpose, its source, and its finances, as if all of this isn’t enough reason for the people to revolt.

People have had enough. Every day, citizens are reminded that they live in a plundered and neglected country and that things need to change the soonest. 

No, it isn’t smart for supporters of officials to blame other officials for the horrors the Lebanese people have been living on a daily basis. Nor is for a politician to blame another.

They were elected to serve the country and the people. And the people of the revolution now ask them, as history will: “What have you done to Lebanon?!”