On Friday, November 22 at 6:00 am, protestors rushed out of their tents to extinguish the fire that was ignited in the big Thawra Fist sign. Protesters had created and installed that sign of the Revolution during the first week of the 17 October Revolution under the Lebanese flag in Martyrs’ Square and in front of Mohammad Al-Amin Mosque.
The fire was too quick and the material thrown was too flammable; the people were unable to extinguish the fire before it was a bit too late and the sign, along with plastic chairs nearby, was completely turned into ashes.
Witnesses, who were sleeping nearby in the tents, reported that a guy with a mask on his face, and riding a motorcycle, came up to their tents and said that he will do something that will hurt them, but asked them not to be afraid.
He then went quickly to the Revolution sign, poured some kind of flammable material from bottles he had, lit up the sign with a lighter, and left.
According to witnesses, this was not the first time this masked guy comes to Martyr Square. “This guy usually comes here past midnight and says that he will do something that will hurt us and ask us not be afraid, but he never does anything,” one witness reported.
He continued recounting: “This time, he did not come at night but in the morning around 6:00 am when we usually switch our shifts and the people who were up late at night return to the tents to rest. This is why Martyr Square was left unattended.”
Witnesses said that even though his face was masked, the guy has a tattoo near his eye which can identify him.
Three of the people trying to turn off the fire were injured, some with serious burns. One guy was rushed to the hospital because of his annihilation of the smoke coming from wood and plastic and which left him unconscious.
Reactions have been many, and mostly denoting more determination from the revolution people to keep going. Many have labeled that symbol “The Fist of Dignity” for what it represents of their feelings behind revolting against injustice and corruption.
Dignity is a powerful feeling hard to destroy and the revolution even harder, especially when it is the revolution of over 3 million people, counting the diaspora across the world. They can burn a monument. It doesn’t burn down the revolution. Several minutes after the vandalism, the Fist is now being rebuilt.
The people of the revolution haven’t been more determined than now.