Sunday, October 27, 2019

Lebanon Protests : What do the Lebanese protesters want ? These are some of their demands

 Eleven days have passed and the Lebanese protesters are still occupying main squares and spaces in Lebanon united against all the sectarian political powers and against all odds too in an unprecedented moment in the Lebanese modern history.
Lebanese protesters form a human chain
On Sunday, Lebanese protesters from different backgrounds, Classes and sects made the longest
human chain 
On Saturday, Lebanese protesters organized a huge human chain from its North and South in a message to the political powers that they are united from Tyre to Tripoli

Eleven days have passed and the Lebanese protesters are fighting alone as the world seems to lose interest in covering or following another Arab capital protesting.

Only funny and awkward videos are making headlines from Lebanon like "Baby shark do do" chants  but now all I see in the mainstream media whether in Arabic or English  are just board headlines that the “Lebanese people are fed up with their current political economic and social system” and “ Lebanese people are just protesting and having fun times dancing and singing”.

I share those videos and news stories all the time. 
Here is the original Baby Shark Do Do video

Baby Robin Haddad was thinking about why those strangers, those grownups acting like that I guess.
Hopefully, those grownups will help in securing a better future for Robin and his generation in Lebanon for real inshallah.

Now people share those videos and consider the protests taking Lebanon by storm literally yet another economic-driven anti-political establishment leaderless protests with board demands like bringing down the current regime and political system in Lebanon.

Yes, the protests are so far leaderless but I see initiatives and meetings as well as grassroots movements taking shape from the protests and the protesters.

I began to see the unions and syndicates moving to have an organized movement to support the ongoing general strike in the country.
 have even seen calls online for meetings neighborhoods to organize themselves.

There are some clear, specific and common demands I have stumbled upon and shared by many Lebanese online and offline, you can find them in online posts or on the banner shared here and there. 
  • To draft, to issue and to ratify a new judicial authority law that grants Lebanese judiciary true independence.
  • The Lebanese people want the independent judiciary to hold the presidents, the ministers and members of parliament of 30 years accountable on every penny they have spent officially and earned unofficially and officially.
  • To have a complete taxation system reform.
  • To apply taxes on banks’ revenues.
  • To apply progressive taxes on individuals and companies.
  • To reduce indirect taxes like sales taxes and VAT.
  • To fight corruption and emblazonment of public money.
  • To lift the secrecy on the bank accounts of the state officials. 
  • To stop privatization.
  • To stop the sectarian rhetoric.
  • To dismiss the current governor of Lebanese Central Bank Riad Salama who has been in his position since 1993.“There is a hashtag against him already active on Twitter in Arabic” 
  • To stop the transfer of US dollars from Lebanese banks to foreign banks across the borders temporarily. 
  • To issue a new elections law.
These are the main political and economic I have gathered so far from following the protests there.

There are also other important demands that began to surface that speaks about the needs of certain important sector in Lebanon we thought that had already gained its rights from a long time because we judge on appearance as usual, that sector is Women and it turned out the Lebanese women suffer a lot legally.
Lebanese woman protester
A Lebanese protester and her kids in the protesters on the weekend

Many Lebanese women are demanding the following :
  • The Lebanese women want to grant their Lebanese nationality to their children from the foreign husband.
  • The Lebanese women want a reform in the Personal laws in the country especially in Sunni Religious Supreme courts and Shia Religious Supreme courts. “There are women who go to the protests on a daily basis in order to see their sons because of the regressive custody laws in Lebanon”
There are also calls by the special children and their families who joined the protests demanding state support.

The families of those Lebanese detainees who were forcibly disappeared in Syria and by the Syrian regime and army in Lebanon went to the public squares to remind the world with their cause.

There are environmental demands, the Lebanese people had enough from the failure of the Lebanese government to solve the garbage problem as well as the pollution.
For months, the Lebanese citizens have been screaming about pollution in areas like in Beqaa valley’s Lake Qaraoun.

People are protesting there to save the lake that looks horrible and yet it is supposed to be used for drinking
Lebanon may seem better than many Arab countries socially and economically but what I see that they suffer from the same main issues as the rest of the people in the region.
What the Lebanese protesters are demanding , can’t be achieved in a day and a night and they know that very well.
Lebanese protesters forming a human chain on Sunday "Facebook" 
They are not revolting against an existing current political socio-economic system but they are actually revolt against that system that was erected in the country since its independence due to its sectarian diversity.
The leaders of the sects leading the political and economic scene in Lebanon are the grandchildren of those who had been on the scene.
Those leaders and their sons managed to unite the Lebanese people with their financial and political corruption.
Again listening directly to the demands of the average Lebanese people speaking to the cameras, you will see how similar their demands to their brothers and sisters in other Arab countries.
For example :

That young Lebanese lady from Tripoli recounted angrily on the show of Lebanese TV host Dima Sadek on LBC how her mother who was supervised the last parliamentary elections had a heart attack due to the cheating process that took place in the polling station and she was forced to allow that to happen. In the end, she had a heart attack and was transferred to a very poor equipped public hospital to die there leaving this young lady and her siblings. To graduate from a reputable university, the young lady had to sell part of the land she owned. She could not find a job easily especially that she is veiled.

She ends her talk about stating that Tripoli is richer than Beirut but those riches are not for its people. The average young Arab in many cities across our region can relate to this angry young lady.

Back to Sunday’s human chain.
I must say that it reminds me of the human chains Egyptian protesters made to support Khaled Said's movement in the months following his murder and it was one many introduction to the Egyptian revolution in 2011.

This was the scene at the famous Al-Raouche rock
In the end, another beautiful photo from Lebanon human chain.
Before I forget, the Lebanese political activists and protesters made a video to fire back at none other than Hassan Nasrallah who wondered who or what country funded that movement as he called it.
On Monday, the Lebanese protesters announced that they are going to continue to block the highways using their cars which they began to park in the middle of the highways starting from late Sunday night.

By the way, a group of ladies blocked a highway in Lebanon from a couple of days by playing Yoga in the middle of the street.
Lebanese protesters practicing Yoga in the street 

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