“Neutrality” Seminar Stirred Clashes Among Protesters in Beirut Martyrs’ Square

On the evening of Tuesday, December 10, a number of Lebanese revolutionaries developed a position of rejection and disapproval against a seminar happening in a tent called “the hub” or Al Multaka in Martyrs’ Square, Beirut. They were determined to stop the seminar and make the organizers and the participants leave the revolutionary square for good, saying that the subject of discussion is not tolerated.

 

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Every night since the beginning of the revolution, a number of tents in the Martyrs Square hold seminars, each handling a specific subject related to Lebanon and the revolution.

However, on Tuesday, things went differently. According to those present, a seminar went on discussing normalization with the national enemy. The official title of this seminar was Neutrality is a strategic concept for the return of prosperity; a sentence taken from a speech by Jeffrey Feltman, who recently served as the U.S. Assistant Foreign Minister for Near East Affairs.

 

Via Al modon

It was also said that the discussion had repeatedly addressed the enemy state of Israel as a country, which was further deemed unacceptable since Lebanon considers Palestine as an occupied country.

Heated objections mounted against the seminar and the conductors, with protesters refuting that the revolution be misused to hold affairs of that kind. The riot force separated the protesters from the others in “the hub” tent, which left the people inside trapped as the protesters outside chanted for Palestine.

 

The seminar was held by the activist Lukman Selim who got trapped inside the tent for hours along with the other conductors of the seminar Makram Rabbah, Edmond Rabbat, and Ayman Jezini.

From his side, Rabbah issued to Al Jadeed News that there was no incitement in the seminar for normalization with the enemy in that sense, but for Lebanon’s neutrality as a model.

Via LBCI

 

He insisted that some parties have twisted what was being said in the seminar with the aim to create a rift among the revolutionaries and destroy the revolution, assuring that they will not fall for this trap and go home.

The following evening, December 11, a group of people burnt down “the hub.” At first, people thought that this was a reaction to the seminar of the previous night. However, the group continued to the other tents, burning them down, and attempting to attack protesters and the Lebanese army on the site.

@mtvlebanon.newsembedded via  

 

The events that followed of additional attacks from that group on the protesters affirmed that these violent actions had nothing to do with the controversial seminar.

In fact, these attackers went on protesting the revolutionaries’ chants against Speaker of the Parliament Nabih Berri, which confirmed that they belong to the Amal political party.

After the attacks, the Lebanese revolutionaries made sure to remove all traces of the “the hub” tent to make a statement as well as to avoid any more conflicts and rumors.

 

In all case scenarios, the position that the revolutionaries took against the seminar, and their no-tolerance policy regarding the insult on the occupied friendly country of Palestine and the attempts of taking advantage of the revolution or ruining its reputation is very honorable.

We wish them nothing but safety under all the pressures and attacks they are facing at the moment. Watch their reaction to the seminar in the video below:

@mahdi.achourrembedded via