Faces of non-violence

    1
    With almost 50 dead, the images from Saida this week have sickened most Lebanese, enough for many to lose faith in the entire political system or any attempt to change it.

    But confronting government need not be violent.

    Just two days before the clashes erupted, hundreds of young people peacefully occupied downtown’s main street (Amir Bachir) for over 24 hours in a protest against parliament’s cancellation of elections and unconstitutional extension of their own terms for another year and a half.

    They were brave, but did not use weapons…

    Despite police brutality…

    They stood their ground:

    But also knew when to sit:
    And sing Fairuz like no one was watching:

    Dance:

    Invite celebrities who don’t want trouble:

    Dabke through the night:
    Brought their moms:

    Made new friends:

    Were happy campers:
    Practiced non-agressive male boding:
    Called up some MPs and put them on loudspeaker:
    So everyone could collectively boo their wishy-washy answers:
    Brought someone to lean on:
    Or at least a comfortable pillow:
    Or a good book:
    But were also ready to get back up at a moment’s notice–facing the barbed wire when the police waited till 2AM to roll it out:
    Until they were forced to pack it back up as everyone sang the national anthem:
    And trucked it away to applause:
    Only to bring it back from a side street, 15 minutes later:
    But they didnt’ give up:
    Tired the riot police:
    Until many agreed.
    They brought an electrician to stay connected:
    And kept up hope the next morning, even when almost everyone was gone:
    Someone brought sandwiches:
    And then they got back up and asked people to join:
    Even those least likely to listen:
    Always respectful to MPs by hanging up their pictures:
    In appropriate places:
    Eventually their call was heard and more people did show up:
    And helped out with that barbed wire fence:
    Hands over weapons:
    Channeling Gezi park:
    Again, only using MPs pictures appropriately:
    Yes you could wear those heels:
    And constantly break out into dance:
    Take group shots:
    But they made sure to clean up:
    Leaving behind graffiti instead of casualties:
    Wouldn’t it be great if most disagreements in Lebanon could be handled this way? And political expression didn’t mean shooting up the town?
    They’ll be back tomorrow (Friday) at six if you want to join.

    1 COMMENT

    Leave a Reply