I’ve read many people saying that what certain protesters did today, burning tires and blocking roads, is hypocritical seeing as these same protesters “defamed” similar protests, albeit on different grounds.
I have a few things to note regarding this. The protests Lebanon saw today were a spontaneous act by a group that saw its choice at how this country should be running, one it clearly expressed through national parliamentary elections a year and a half earlier, going down the drain. These people felt oppressed. They were scorned. For a whole day of demonstrations, which ironically falls almost on the same day the other protesters burned tires, no one died, property was not damaged and the expression of anger simply resulted in excessive traffic on certain roads.
On the other hand, when the “defamed” people protested, people died. I know of at least one man from my own district who was killed through a sniper’s job. The whole protest at that point was to prove a point against the government at the time by the opposition. Wouldn’t you think that people would be given a choice to participate or not in the “strike” as it was called at the time? The answer is no. The whole strike was shoved down our throats. Some people had to close down their business in order for them not to get trashed. People were forbidden from going to work. Some were banned from seeking medical help. I personally know of one woman they did not let pass to go to her chemotherapy. Her husband, a supporter of the movement at the time, pleaded but to no avail.
On that day, I was in my senior year of high school. The school gave us the freedom to do whatever they want. If you support the movement, you can not attend. If not, then come to class. Classes were supposed to be held. So I went to school. Imagine going on a side-road from my village and seeing tires burning there. I mean, what’s the point of burning tires on a road that’s not even that important? They simply wanted to have fun. I got to school. Classes were not held, simply because the headmistress, who incidentally announced this supposed “choice” we had, did not show up. This headmistress’s uncle was an MP with Aoun at the time. Another example of shoving the “strike” down my throat.
As far as I know, the people demonstrating today did not shove it down people’s throats. And I repeat, they did not kill anyone nor have they damaged property. The outer shell might the same. And I disagree with this outer-shell in all circumstances, meaning I refuse this way of protesting in absolute value. But the foundation is much, much different. It’s so different, in fact, that I believe a comparison based on the outer shell becomes null.
Let me conclude by saying something I shared with a friend today. Hell has no fury like a sect scorned.
A great post! It is very objective, well thought about and delivered marvelously. As a Sunni Muslim, I feel the frustration of having no choice in the man who will represent my sect in parliament. Where is my vote, where are the votes of my friends, my fellow towns people, and the majority of people in my sect? It’s gone, and that is not what Lebanon is all about.
I usually do not speak about sects, and base my opinion on my sect… but this time, if we let this go, Lebanon will be in a lot of trouble. The difference between what happened today and what happened on May 7th, is like what you said… we did not take lives and leave them on the side of the road…
Thank you Ali 🙂
I share your frustration because, I, a Maronite, also don’t get a say in who represents me in the presidency. But unlike your sect, my vote is not as one-sided. It’s much divided. Meaning that there isn’t a clear candidate who obviously represents the overwhelming majority that the people who do not approve are rendered – for lack of a better word – insignificant. So I’m used to having everyone choose my representative for me. And it hurts me to see the same thing happen to you – especially by people whom we have given the courtesy of choosing their own representative as Speaker (as per my previous post: Borderline Sectarianism).
I am not a sectarian person but, as you said, sometimes you get so frustrated that you start speaking in sects.
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