When you think Lebanon’s politicians couldn’t sink lower, they utterly and irrevocably surprise you.
Two days ago, when we peacefully protested to defend our right to have a country where their corruption doesn’t reign supreme, our politicians surprised us by orchestrating a military response that not only echoed that of Arab countries where suppression is a way of life, but paralleled it to the letter.
Yesterday, our politicians sank to a newer low when they orchestrated another type of response to the YouStink protests as they sent their goons to infiltrate the ranks of peaceful protesters and make sure they wreck havoc.
The protestors had nothing on them; the insurgents had lasers, molotov cocktails and various other weapons. The protestors were chanting for their rights; the insurgents were chanting for their sect. The protest turned from shouting “revolution” to shouting their sect name in no time.
I don’t have proof of which politician ordered the infiltration, but his name is known. He’s been fastened to the same leather chair, stronger than super glue, since 1992.
Today, our politicians are so afraid of what could be from the Beirut Uprising that they’ve gone the extra-mile to make sure the psychological and military barrier that separated them from the people is re-inforced by yet another kind.
Today, in Downtown Beirut, across Riyad el Solh square, a concrete wall has been erected to separate our governmental seat from the people.
They had absolutely no idea what they were doing that they built it around a utility pole:
As soon as it was built however, the youth of the country used the wall as a space to get our government to see what it’s worth every single time its members pass by the area to infuse the country with more corruption.
To bring the message of the wall home, each tile is now decorated by a figure representing every political party in the country:
This wall is a sad entity but it’s been turned to something beautiful.
Lebanon has now joined the very exclusive list of countries in the world where people are separated from each other by physical barriers existing solely for political reason, only this time the only entity separating itself from the people is the country’s political establishment.
The Lebanese system keeps digging itself in a hole. The more a system is disconnected from the people that make it, the more it’s afraid from those same people. This is why that same system fired at us on Saturday. This is why that same system tried to tarnish the protests yesterday. This is why that same system is barricading itself behind a wall today.
The Serail is not for a PM or a minister, it’s for the people. Nejmeh Square does not belong to the Speaker of Parliament or his MPs, but to the people. They can build as many walls as they want, but that doesn’t make our claims of wanting to live in dignity any less just, and their need to stay in power any less barbaric.
The Lebanese government is protecting itself from us by a wall. What they fail to realize is that their main problem isn’t the physicality of a protest. Their stench rises above the wall. Their failures rise above the wall. Their corruption is sinking an entire country, including their new wall.
Today, Downtown Beirut has a new attraction to add to the list of things that make it an obscene place to visit, a place that is not only non-Lebanese, but irrevocably hostile as well. Thank you Lebanon’s government for making sure I feel, with each passing day, more of a stranger in my own home.
If only they know, though, that any wall that goes up must eventually go down, not necessarily by force. There are some words that have the effect of wrecking balls.