Hundreds of Lebanese youth joined with members of several secular political organizations marched from the Palace of Justice towards the Military court on Saturday, protesting the use of live bullets and rubber bands on un-armed protesters.
On August 4th, the negligence and callousness of the people in power killed 190 victims, injured more than 5,000, and displaced hundreds of thousands of families. They then went on to suppress people’s voices calling for justice for the victims of the Beirut bombing.
The suppression took many forms. The first was the violation of human rights during the demonstrations in Martyrs’ Square and in front of the Lebanese parliament, in which rubber bullets and live ammunition were used against demonstrators.
Followed by the declaration of Beirut as a Military City and the summoning of activists to military courts, the same was repeated during the September 12 demonstration at Baabda Palace where live bullets and rubber bullets were used excessively on the citizens exercising their right to freedom of speech.
In response, MADA, a political youth network of various universities, called to refute the status quo.
“Quite simply, we won’t accept to see our country transformed into a military barracks by security officers who were brought up by the Baath and the leaders of despotism,” MADA declared in an Instagram post.
“We are continuing our march towards a democratic and free country, totally removed from that regime and its criminality.”
Accordingly, MADA organized the march on Saturday demanding:
1. The trial of all military personalities and officers responsible for the use of lethal force against protesters on August 8th and September 12th.
2. The military courts to cease summoning civilians practicing their human rights.
More than 18 secular organizations from various universities joined the march, including Université Saint Joseph, the American University of Beirut, and Notre Dame University’s secular club.
Tarek Ghosn, MADA’s Syndicate chairperson told The961 that besides protesting against the brutality used by the military on protestors, the march aimed to shed light on the assaults that activists Pierre El-Khoury and Patricia Daher were subjected to recently by FPM members.
“Our goal in MADA is mainly to empower Lebanese youth politically by giving them the opportunity to be part of a political organization that understands their needs and aspirations,” said Ghosn.
“We aim for big changes in the Lebanese society and we will keep on doing whatever we can to achieve a brighter, secular Lebanon.”