This past Friday, December 13th, the hashtag مش_دافعين# (we’re not paying) began trending on Twitter along with calls for complete civil disobedience. After more than two months of so far fruitless sit-ins and demonstrations across Lebanon, Plan “C” is being invoked.
To further press the indifferent authority to respond to the protesters’ demands, social media users have been using this campaign to encourage people to stop paying their bills and taxes to the current government. It also urges citizens not to pay their due bank loans.
Tweets under this trend included people posting photos of themselves holding handwritten signs making statements such as: “We’re not paying before you restore the millions,” addressing the politicians currently ruling the country.
The Lebanese people pay too much for healthcare, education, electricity, water, and other basic services that are poorly provided by the state despite their high costs. Living conditions in Lebanon have worsened dramatically in the past year and continue to decline with time.
The fact that no new government is even close to being formed yet, after more than a month of Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation, has facilitated that decline.
Binding parliamentary consultations, due Thursday, December 19th, have been postponed more than twice already when they’re supposed to take place within a very limited period following the government’s resignation.
Most of the current members of Lebanon’s ruling class are still so focused on their own interests while their people are asking them – not even to work and reform – but to simply step down and give them back their right to run their own country and have it up and running again.
“If a thousand men were not to pay their tax bills this year, that would not be a violent and bloody measure, as it would be to pay them, and enable the State to commit violence and shed innocent blood.This is, in fact, the definition of a peaceable revolution Thoreau #مش_دافعين
Where demonstrations and marches fail to get the message across, civil disobedience serves as an alternative powerful form of peaceful protest that, if done properly, can bring any authority down to its knees; something the protesters have been aspiring to achieve for more than 60 days now.