Lebanese and Hongkongers are sharing protest tactics

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Graffiti in Beirut (photo taken by me on November 20th, 2019)

The following are two conversations that happened on Reddit between protesters from Hong Kong and Lebanon. I first heard about them from the Lebanese journalist Timour Azhari (follow him on Twitter) who appeared on a great episode of the Beirut Banyan podcast on the ongoing protests.


I am re-posting the thread in a readable format. For the original two threads, please click here and here.

Needless to say, the two threads can still be updated with new responses, so do head on over there as well.


First conversation, posted on r/HongKong and then re-posted on r/Lebanon:

u/sluff2:

Hi from Lebanon!

I’ve been on this sub for a few months now and want you to know that you have all my support.

Police in lebanon are getting very violent with protesters and I’m here to ask you to please share with me protest tactics that you guys used against police.

They are attacking us mostly with tear gas, water tanks, rubber bullets, and physical aggression. Rubber bullets made many wounded just last night. The protests now clearly look like they need guerilla warfare tactics.

If you have any infographics,tutorials, websites, etc… They would be of the greatest help.

加油!


Answers:

 

PROTECTION

Umbrellas can block rubber bullets and beanbag rounds. Bring lots, because they will be destroyed when they get hit.

Plastic wrap around your exposed skin works well against pepper spray.

A 3M respirator works quite well against tear gas. I personally use the 60928K cartridge. I’ve heard that other P100 cartridges work well too. Good goggles stop your eyes from making tears.

PROTEST METHODS

Don’t stay in one place for too long. Protest there, do what you need to do, then move to another place before the police can catch you. Be one step ahead of the police. Last time we stayed in one place, it ended up being a disaster.

There may be some people that support your cause but don’t support violence. Ensure that these two groups never stop supporting each other. If there is squabbles inside the movement, it’s easy for the government to snatch a victory. That’s what happened to us in 2014.

Don’t have a small group of people that are the boss of the protests. If the government arrests these people, your movement will be killed instantly. Instead, do everything by yourself with no centralised leadership. Make your own decisions. Organise your own protests. Don’t give the government a target.

Good luck, and Godspeed!

 

Okay so get 3M respirator model 60923 to prevent tear gas

And get goggles to protect eyes from tear gas, you can upgrade to ballistic goggles just in case u get shot by rubber bullets

Umbrellas!

Try to think of what is important to the goverment and threaten it in creative ways. We knew HK is an important global logistics centre hence there was an “airport month”, and we realized many interest groups involve businessmen so we are developing the “yellow economic circle”.

When I was protesting, I was taught how to disarm a gun. Didn’t use it but it may be helpful later on.


This is the second conversation, posted on r/HongKong.

u/JustAredditUser69:

So i’m lebanese and we have protests happening here, but the problem is that people are returning to their normal daily life, even tho our goals were not reached, we still need alot of time, i admire you,you are heroes that are fighting for freedom and here in lebanon we are fighting for our rights! But how do we make people regain intrest in the revolution here, it’s mostly northern lebanese people that are spending hours of their time to get to the capital city to protest, and guess what? no one from Beirut (our capital city) is protesting, either everyone goes to protest or just fuck the protest, it can only go one way or another, because our politicians are some very hard headed fucks, and to just ditch the revolution while we were making some progress is just absurd, but i want your advice, how do we encourage the people to protest? Thank you for reading and all of you HongKong protestors are goddam heroes 🇭🇰🤝🇱🇧

 

Hi, thank you for supporting the Hong Kong protestors. The problem you raised is actually a really tough one. If we are talking about ways of demonstration, there could be a lot of discussion and sharing. But among encouraging someone to change, someone to join the protest is really difficult, as you also feel that. Hong Kong actually some people are back to the normal life too. The suggestion I can made are: 1) use the internet more to encourage more people. Using simple info graphics, try to link how corrupted government can affect their daily life, also tell the world to know about you guys; 2) merge protest with daily life, like in Hong Kong we are doing something like the “yellow economic circle”, that is the protestors will go to support and spend money on those shops which has show support to the protestors, and boycott those shops that support the government. The shops are in all range, from restaurant to grocery. It should be also an easier step for people to do it in daily life, and can group up those people. Encouraging people are not easy, especially those who has given up. Stay strong!

Dude, you guys have accomplished more in Lebanon in a few months than we have in HK. Our incompetent and corrupt leadership is still here, and mismanaging the whole flu outbreak.

I also have a lot of respect for your people, having moved from what looked like a religion lead protest in 2005 to what is truly a grassroot movement now, where you realise that your elite / leadership class has been fucking you for years.

They change the figurehead and his people, but nothing actually changes.

You realize it’s not a problem with the “guy in charge”, but a systematic problem with how the entire country is setup / governed.

To change such a large, fundamental problem with society, will need people who are giving solutions to what needs to be changed. And it needs to be one of you, or else the narrative will be taken by the religious elite (again).

You guys are the heros. We don’t have a high unemployment, our electricity and water is uninterrupted and clean, our only natural disasters are heavy storms which are treated as a free holiday by people. Our police hasn’t killed anybody (yet).

Your people need to realize that to return to daily life means to give up this opportunity for change.

You need a leader with an answer, but he’s gonna get assassinated. So you need to spread an answer to the systematic problem without a clear leader.

Unfortunately, there’s no maps where you are going. There are very few successful situations where fundamental changes to the society are implemented through revolution. The corrupt elite always end up fucking everybody.

 

Be careful about when/where violent tactics are used. In Hong Kong, the vast majority of protesters are non-violent and leave at the first sign of clashes (millions can come out to peaceful marches but only about 7,000 defended Chinese University during the siege). If every single protest involves massive vandalism and police clashes, the peaceful camp will have a hard time participating. But if they know certain protests will remain peaceful and the valiant protesters are ready to defend them from police brutality, they’ll be willing to come out.

Also make it convenient – a few thousand gathering at lunch near where they work or turning festivals that people would attend anyway into protests.

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