Activists are protesting the extension of parliament’s term earlier this month. For those who don’t know, the Lebanese parliament (128 members) extended their own term by a year and a half, citing supposed security conditions related to Lebanon’s proximity to Syria.
Protesters have set up tents for an open-ended protest. I will update as much as I can – I am currently in Italy for the next 10 days. Here are some links you can follow for more information.
Nadine Moawad reports:
Yesterday, there was 30 minutes of the most amazing riot I’ve ever been in. The police beat us and cursed at us and molested us and we fought back. I felt terrified and exhilarated. But then – to our shock – the organizers (NGOs and the entire cast of Al Za3im) decided to stand in the middle, their backs to the police, and push us away! They said the police would let us into Nejmeh Square if we sat down and behaved. But the angry mob fought off the organizers and kept pushing. So the organizers turned up the volume on music, 100 meters away, to draw out the angry crowd and get everyone to sit down and sing along. This is when protesters were increasing and people came down in solidarity with the clashes they saw on TV. Dee3aana hal protest.
Here’s what Fadi Jradi had to say about an episode of Police Brutality (rough translation by Elias Abou Jaoude):
After a guy got hit, we went to talk to the “security forces” to express our complaints against the use of irrational violence against unarmed people. And the answer was: “Had I not to pay 50$ per stick and shield in case they broke, I would have broken them on your heads and the head of every one trying to enter the parliament!
The exhilaration with which he was is not logical coming from someone who makes 500$ a month so that he can protect a system that makes him pay for his shield and stick. And they would put him in prison if he refused to detain the protest.
Now I understand why they don’t fire (shots) at Al Assir (Salafi Extremist), they probably make them pay for their bullets, and the uniform in case it got dirty.
بعد ضربه لاحد الشبان ذهبنا لنتكلم مع احد “ضباط الامن” لنعبر عن احتجاجنا على استخدام العنف اللا منطقي ضد شباب غير مسلح. فكان الجواب التالي: انا لو ما انو بدفعوني 50 دولار حق الدرع والعصاية في حال نكسروا, كنت كسرتهم على راسك وراس كل واحد هون بدو يفوت عال برلمان!
الحماس لكان عم يحكي في مش منطقي لواحد بياخد 500 دولار معاش كرمال يحمي نظام عم بحاسبو على العصاية! ومستعد يحطو بالحبس اذا ما قمع التظاهرة.
هلق فهمت ليه ما بقوصو على الاسير, يمكن بدفعوهن حق الرصاص, وحق البدلة اذا توسخت
Take Back Parliament‘s Facebook Page (mostly Arabic)
I am currently still looking for links as this is all very recent. Please suggest some if you know.