Note: I wish to make one thing clear in regards to this post and the protests in general, as I got several replies telling me that I put too much focus on rock throwing and ignored police violence and that violence is “justified” in certain circumstances. To begin with, and even though I already said it in the post and documented it (and mocked it) in previous posts, police violence has ALWAYS been excessive against protesters since Day1 and I strongly condemn it. The argument that police officers are “given orders” is a very weak one when compared to what happened and every security officer who beat up an unarmed and innocent protester should be held responsible. Nevertheless, this excessive use of force does not imply that we need to react in the same manner and get violent. I know this may sound ideal, but we never got violent in the early protests and there’s no reason to start now. I believe the amount of frustration was much higher at first yet we were helping out fallen officers and showing them we are here to protest for their rights as well, not against them. I wasn’t there yesterday but I know a lot of people who went there and told me that the use of water cannons and tear gas was excessive and that people were fed up, but I believe the organizers should have dissolved the protest the second it got violent just like every time. We all know the police won’t let them through and even if they did, there’s nowhere to go. Going back to the protests, people have been losing interest whether we like to admit it or not because they no longer understand who’s doing what and what we’re protesting against. I said it since day1 that we should keep our focus on the garbage issue and stay away from fighting class wars and toppling regimes because you need years to achieve that and people will lose interest quickly. In all cases, I just felt I needed to clarify one again that this is not about throwing rocks but using violence as a means to achieve change. I blame the state for everything that’s happening and I’ll always support protests, but I never believed in violence and never will as long as there are other alternatives.
This is just wrong. Even if the police is using excessive force, throwing rocks at them and damaging public properties won’t get us anywhere. I’m not pointing fingers at anyone here and I’m definitely not siding with the police, but organizers should make sure that the protests stay peaceful. Police violence has to be documented, not countered with more violence.
Pictures via Jessica
A lot of the damage happened due to the pressure caused by the pumped water as well.
I was there, and I don’t blame the protesters for what happened. The police was being all kind of brutal – verbally and physically and they had absolutely no reason to be this brutal with us.
Families that stood in the back, far from the front line, hoping to be safe in case of any trouble, were victims of tear gas that directly hit them.
The reaction of the protestors was only human, and they had every right to be outraged for the way police were treating us. In a perfect world, maybe people would respond to the oppression by staying peaceful, but people are fed up. No one wants to see destruction happen anywhere (no matter what MTV and Al Joumhouriya say) but when people see that no one is responding to them, no one is protecting them and their basic rights are being stolen from them, even their right to demand their basic rights, they will fight with everything they have, even if it was their bare bodies.
I blame the state, and only the state, not only for causing all this destruction that happened yesterday, but also for the injuries that happened both to the protestors and the Police officers.
Again I am not siding with the police or trying to defend them anyhow. They’ve been using excessive force since day1 but countering the water cannons by throwing rocks is pointless. It will not achieve anything but further violence.
It is our sacred right to protest but we should keep it peaceful and document police violence. This is how I see things.
Sometimes it’s better to use violence against police.This is how we should fight repression
no sympathy with police that was throwing gas bomb at families in the back of protest. they drove people like sheep from their necks, chokeholding them and kicking, they were animals. It is our right to protest in nejmeh square, it is our right to protest wherever we choose. Its freedom of speech, freedom of expression.
So the answer is throw rocks at them and attack them? Then what?
yes dont cry over rocks, you want something to cry over, cry over the 100,000 lebanese and the lebanon they destroyed before we were even born. This is a protest for a change, a change against warlords, yes we do expect it to be violent. But the outcome will be the most fruitful thing that would have happened to this country. We want a secular state, a state where the condition for a president would not be him being a christian but rather his competence in serving the nation and the same for everyone else. We want a state as Thomas Jefferson said, there would be separation of state and church. we want a state where there is separation of state and mosque. we want a state where there is separation of state and sectarianism. The benefits of of these goals will surely make throwing rocks marginal
back to awaiting moderation bro … sigh
I added a note to the post.
Yallaaaa ,yallaaa la shouuuf ,tfeeeeh with the Isf and Leb army , always do that
Sometimes violence is necessary and a must to make a change
We have been waiting 3 months for a garbage solution, 1 year for a president and 6 year for a new electoral law.
we cant wait anymore, peaceful protests wont do us good, we must escalate and use violence to be heard.
Same people ruling us for 30 years, failure on all levels, the only way to remove them is to use violence.
All damages done to public properties are the state’s responsibility.
European countries used violence in the 60s and 70s to achieve their goals and are still using it now. Violence is the only way now…
I usually tend to agree with much of what you say on this blog but this time I believe you are wrong. I am no way with violence but on the other hand I would understand why some protesters would resort to this, given the way they were treated last night. There were strict orders of not allowing us into the street by any means possible, which are silly as this is a clear denial of the peoples’ rights. We have been peacefully demonstrating for a while now, and yet arrogantly they tell us that they will not hold a session to solve the trash crisis in the next 3 weeks!!
Now, the Lebanese law allows the use of violence in cases of self-defense, when your life is at risk. I do not see the trash crisis as anything less than that, as the trash is slowly killing you and other people, either through its long-term cancer causing agents or through cholera and other infections.
I would personally never throw rocks or resort to violence, but if I was one of those who have nothing to lose, who have already lost their family to the neighboring countries, their children to poverty or to war, who have not been educated and know no other language, then you should be more understanding of what they’ve done and that they cannot and probably should not be controlled.
The real killers, robbers are inside and some of them have done much worse but have never thrown a rock.
I added a note to the post. Hope it makes my point clear on this.
Maybe this wouldn’t happen if the trash situation had been solved. I was there as well and people were getting gassed left and right. Obviously it’s ideal to be peaceful, but when you attack innocent people, you can’t expect some of them not to retaliate. It has been 4 months with trash on the streets. I’m surprised there wasn’t more violence from the protestors, and taking this situation into considerarion, they kept it together for the most part. People were suffocating and passing out. But yeah let’s focus on the rocks being thrown.
Seriously?You all think throwing rocks is only because of the garbage crisis ?What abt the lowwww salaries , the superrrr expensive apartments ?
I really like it when political analysts/politicians/… Go on TV and say how these protests are harming the economy, as though the economy hasn’t been at rock bottom for the past 6 years (maybe even 40 years).
Guys these are not rocks that were thrown at the police, they’re almost definitely the tile cladding of the Gray hotel that was blasted by the water cannon a few times that night, these fell and shattered, which explains the huge amount of rocks that are all exactly the same colour and also happen to match the tiling on the Gray.
I was there but kept my distance, that is a TON of rocks in the picture, you’re not going to get that amount thrown without noticing the barrage of rocks in the air.. and neither are the riot police going to just respond with the water or gas, if that much rock was actually thrown they would have been shooting rubber bullets