23rd of Jan. Protest outside of Egyptian Embassey, Beirut.
by Jamiel Jam
activist who was participating in the protest
Mubarak and the Egyptian regime, keen collaborators with US and Israel, is currently building an underground steel wall which is aimed to cut off the tunnels that reach Egypt. These tunnels are trade routes providing around 80% of food and other essential that are preventing mass starvation inside Gaza. If the Mubarak lead project is success, the consequences with be horrific.
In protest to against this murderous act activists throughout Lebanon meet outside the Egyptian Embassy to express their well justified anger.
Around 500 young, enthusiastic and firery activists participated, including members of the Communist Party, Lefist Assembly for Change, popular movement, PFLP, Palestinians from various refugee camps and independent leftists.
The street the embassy lives on was blockaded by a few rows of soldiers and some water cannon trucks. The protestors gathered on the main street in front of the army blockade.
After an hour of loud, energetic anti Mubarak chanting the Lebanese army had heard enough. The response was pre-meditated and brutal. The steel fence separating the hostile soldiers from the protests was drawn away and the batons began to be swung everywhere. There was no consideration to age or gender whilst the soldiers pierced the crowd by smashing anybody in their way.
The crowd retreated 20 meters but were not going to give up on their protest. In fact the casualties only gave more reason to continue. Amoungst the injured I saw one woman had one side of her head saturated with blood, blood which had seeped through her hair. Unable to walk and in a state of shock she was rushed away from the emotionless thugs.
The protestors began to reclaimed their spot promptly however this time they faced with a new enemy. It was members of the Communist party who were physically blocking and attempting to move the protestors away from the reformed army blockade. I saw fists thrown by the CP members who seemed absolutely determined to destroy all enthusiasm throughout the crowd. From that moment onwards many of them were stubbornly working on moving the crowd back and also asking for their members to leave to the protest.
For the Palestinians who have no rights in Lebanon and the activists who are determined for this genocide to not go unheard, these members an organization who calls themselves ‘leftist’ can only be seen as traitors to the protest. These actions potentially can discourage activists from leftist politics in general.
To the credit of the energy packed participants, these collaborators did not stop them. Anti Mubarak and pro Palestinian chants continued for another hour or so.
Overall, the size and energy of the event ensure it somewhat successful. Though I believe its true success will be shown if the protest was able to be used to build a stronger campaign group to follow up with an even stronger protest.