In support of the popular movement in Lebanon, against state repression
Beirut has been the scene of growing demonstrations over the past few weeks in reaction to the government’s disastrous management of waste disposal and treatment; this market-based privatised approach has catastrophic environmental consequences, hitting first and foremost the most impoverished regions of the country. The closure of the open-air landfill site in Na’ameh following local mobilisations means that tons of rubbish are left on the streets of the country’s major cities. The regime proposed to open another landfill site in the impoverished region of Akkar, another attempt by the ruling classes to make the most vulnerable layers of society bear the brunt of their failures.
In truth, the waste management affair is the latest scandal of a regime in a state of perpetual crisis. Neoliberal policies, mass privatisations and real estate speculation mean that the majority of the Lebanese population lives in precarious socioeconomic conditions. The omnipresent religious sectarian rhetoric serves the regime’s divide-and-rule strategy but threatens to plunge the country into another civil war. The democratic institutions of the State are de facto disintegrated, and power is shared among religious sectarian parties supposed to contain “their people” so the looting of the country’s resources by the regime’s oligarchs and capitalists can continue.
The increased radicalisation of the protests by the poorest layers reflects the mass discontent of a population that will not be silenced by State repression, which already wounded hundreds or propaganda campaigns that seek to divide protesters. The waste management question has become a catalyst for the rejection of religious sectarian-based solutions, a mode of governance inherited from French colonialism. It is therefore normal for protesters to demand the end of the sectarian regime.
In solidarity with “The People Want” campaign, in which our comrades of the Socialist Forum in Lebanon participate, we relay the demands expressed by the protesters for a secular democratic State dedicated to social justice, freedom and equality.
Internationale Socialisten (Netherlands)
Ligue Communiste Révolutionnaire-Socialistische Arbeidersparti (Belgium)
Nouveau parti anticapitaliste (France)
Socialist Workers Party (Britain)
Socialistische Alternatieve Politiek-Grenzeloos (Netherlands)
Socialistische Alternatieve Politiek
Vrede vzw (Belgium)