People marched on The Ring Bridge and Martyrs’ Square for the 2nd anniversary of the Lebanese Revolution, the Thawra. Both locations are known hubs for the protests of the revolutionaries since October 17th, 2019.
The Lebanese people have endured a lot since then; violent assaults on the revolutionaries, crises increasing dramatically, the collapse of the local currency, the pandemic, the Beirut Explosion…
People are making it a point that the 2nd anniversary serves as a reminder of the need to protest and stand up to the injustice they are facing daily in the country.
The marches started in front of the Justice Palace, towards the birthplace of the first protests, Martyrs’ Square, where more people continue to gather, as of the time of writing.
Some people carry signs and banners containing their demands, their problems, and the struggles that they are still enduring to this day.
In addition to banners, chants are reminding people that their living conditions are enough reasons to protest.
There is also a focus on the upcoming elections, which are an important chance for reform. Part of the goals of the Thawra is to pave the way for transformation in the country’s rulers and the sectarian-based system.
The people want the opposition to have members in the parliament to give the Lebanese a voice in law and policymaking, which has so far been dominated by political parties and archaic mindsets crippling the society.
The Beirut Blast and its victims are not absent in the revolution’s 2nd anniversary. They are being remembered and given a voice demanding justice, “You will not kill us twice.”
By the port of Beirut, people lit up the torch of the Thawra, raising their voices for justice and changes.
The Lebanese Revolution kicked off on October 17th, 2019, when, impervious to the people’s increasing hardships, the government decided to impose a new tax on them for the use of WhatsApp.
In a spontaneous collective move, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets to protests against it and the government.
That day marked Lebanon’s history with the revolution unfurling and developing into demands for the fall of the regime and changes in the political system.
The Thawra is deemed as the most important collective uprising Lebanon has lived since its independence when the Lebanese managed to liberate their country from the French Mandate on November 22nd, 1943.
Now, the people are seeking to liberate themselves from a system that hasn’t worked well for them and their country, and the corruption that has brought Lebanon to collapse.
The Thawra was raging across the country until the COVID-19 pandemic brought it to a halt, but on the streets only. People are still insisting on their demands and movements that sprang out from the revolution continue working for changes to date.
This year, the number of people gathered is rather low in comparison to previous Thawra’s protests and marches. The weather conditions and the recent violent clashes between political parties have kept many at home.
However, the presence of those on the streets is an indication that people haven’t lost their will to change the country’s status quo, which is heavy with many issues compelling the Lebanese people to go on and push forward.
The country’s bleak conditions, with barely any electricity and skyrocketing prices, are the engine keeping the people in a state of revolt for changes.
Some changes have been noticeable in society and institutions as well as in the weakening of political parties’ popularity since the onset of the Thawra.
Fear-infused sectarian dividedness has shattered along with the blind loyalty of the majority towards their leaders. Independents are being elected in syndicates and universities. Secular movements are on the rise. Corruption cases are being exposed. People have become fearless in facing the political officials that wronged them and their country, and so on.
The Thawra has yielded results but its journey is only at its beginning. Fighting to change a deep-rooted rotten system was never achieved in a short period of time as history states, and the people know it.