While some are figuring out ways to try and foil the revolution, by either coming up with conspiracy theories and sending out negative vibes, I think it is important to look at the factors that have made this revolution a success so far and try to build on them.
– No Political Cover: Despite several attempts by parties to ride the wave, the revolution is still at one distance from all traditional parties. Every party or individual trying to infiltrate it in a way or another is getting burned and encouraging more people to take the streets.
– A Leaderless and decentralized revolution: The revolution never needed a leader and never will. The demands are pretty clear and the ball is in the authorities’ court, no matter how hard they’re trying to throw it at the people. It is not the people who should organize committees to meet them half way but the other way around. We wanted the government to resign, it took them two weeks. We want a new government, they’re still stalling. They’re the problem not us.
– The Army & ISF: The position that the security forces took since day1 has significantly helped keep the protests alive and kicking and built up the momentum. Despite several violations and use of excessive force, the general guidelines not to engage with protesters were almost always respected and the absence of any noticeable incident in the past month or so is a clear proof of that.
– Social Media: This goes without saying that social media is playing a huge part in the revolution and pretty much any aspect of our lives, but its importance lies in the fact that traditional media and especially TVs can no longer dictate what’s happening or not. More importantly, they cannot get away with fake and fabricated news.
– Women & Students leading the way: Women have been at the heart of every protest and students took the relay last week and proved to all they want the change more than anything else.
– No one wants a civil war: No one wants a civil war and even those who are hinting at chaos and civil wars cannot afford it. The revolution is bringing people together from all regions and all sects, and civil war is not happening. Simple.
– Whistleblowing: The corruption reports Al Jadeed showed proved one thing, that at the core of every corrupt body, there are decent people trying to set things straight, and I hope what they did will inspire more and more honest and hardworking Lebanese to expose corrupt managers, employers, businesses you name it!
I’m sure there are plenty of other factors, but a deciding factor that is keeping the revolution alive is the responsiveness of protesters, basically the people, to what’s happening around them. When road blocks became a liability, they turned to blocking and pressuring key institutions. When some parties tried to organize anti-revolution protests, students from ALL universities and schools took the streets across the country. And this is exactly what’s troubling our politicians and make them sound so hesitant.
At this point, there’s one thing I’d like to stress on, which is of utmost importance for the next phase. While the revolution’s main slogan is “Kellou Ya3ne Kelloun” (All of them means all of them), it is important to distinguish between the corrupt leaders and the average Lebanese who follows this party or that Zaiim because of peer pressure, because of his entourage, because of his parents or because he/she got them a job. While some are accomplices to their leaders’ corruption and briberies, many deep inside want this revolution to prevail but at the same time are reluctant to supporting it because of previous experiences and political attachments, or simply out of fear and uncertainty.
This being said, it is important and crucial to engage with each other in the most constructive way possible, because early elections are not going to rid us of all these parties, but changing these people’s perspective will help pressure from within and even ideally get these people on the right side. Turning people against each other is what those in power do best, so let us not play their game and open up to each other instead of spreading more hate and creating more rifts.
If your neighbor or friend or cousin or parent belong to a certain party and constantly doubting the revolution, invite them over to the open sessions in Riad El Solh and Martyrs Square, show them what this revolution has achieved so far, show them the corruption reports broadcasted on TV, list the key steps to achieving a better future.
Let us not fall into their traps and keep hoping for the best! Every time you doubt what’s happening, remember where we were a month ago, and where those in power were (and still are) taking us.