The fencing of Dalieh

The fencing of Dalieh

The creative people at 5Ampere have just come up with this striking piece of protest art. The caption reads: “A country that is worth 10 Liras”

Of course this relates to very real fencing of Dalieh, the rocky promontory near the famous Raouche “Pigeon Rocks”

Fences started going up a few weeks ago:

Beirut Report

Developers are attempting to privatize and likely end public access to the area, which has been a picturesque picnic and swimming spot for generations of Beirutis.

First came the steel posts:

A week later they added razor wire, which seems quite dangerous to the public, as people regularly congregate near the Corniche rails:

Beirut Report
Finally, last week an additional layer of barbed wire was added to the top:
Photo: Mona El Hallak

…making the area look more like Guantanamo Bay than a place for a sunset stroll.

Curiously, municipal police have been deployed to monitor the scene. Do they have orders to protect the rights of the developer or the citizens’ access to the shore?

Mona El Hallak
Nevertheless, activists are resisting hard and their campaign has gained significant media coverage and momentum. Every Sunday, they have gathered with music and banners.
Mona El Hallak
Watch a recent drum circle here:

There have also been rap, beatbox and impromptu musical performances:

Live rap show at Dalieh– crowd growing #savedalieh #beirut #nonviolent #resistance #publicspace pic.twitter.com/VyhU8YbggC
— Habib Battah (@habib_b) May 18, 2014

And last weekend, artists began working on the fence:
Civil Campaign to Protect Dalieh
Civil Campaign to Protect Dalieh
Civl Campaign to Protect Dalieh
Civil Campaign to Protect Dalieh
See previous post for background on the campaign including an AUB video about the shaky legal and constitutional grounds this massive development rests upon.
Source
The campaign will be arranging new activities this Sunday. Check/like the Facebook group for updates on events and times. It’s an all volunteer group and they are always looking for new recruits of all skills, including the skill of just showing up and enjoying the site. The Sunday gatherings are growing every week.
And be sure to visit the array of natural caves and pools at the Dalieh peninsula and its rare biodiversity (including a family of sea lions) before it is too late.
UPDATE: The architect behind the project has been revealed and activists have launched a lawsuit to sue the state over unlawful attempts by developers and political elites to change laws in their favor. Read more in this follow-up post.

4 COMMENTS

  1. All these activities won’t have any impact…
    the only way is to organize continuous demonstrations IN FRONT of Beirut municipality and/or Gov Serail.
    In this country of sharks kites & drums won’t do… just threaten SHARK’s interests and they’ll listen.

  2. There is actually a lot going on with the campaign and it’s getting notice from both officials and the media. Ultimately more awareness (a lot of people still don’t know what is going on there) and media coverage can create momentum to bring this movement to the forefront of public debate. To say the weekly protests, research and presentations have not had impact is to deny that most people had little knowledge of the issue before the campaign began.

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