AFP News: “Lebanon: candlelight vigil in support of the protest movement”

From Journalist/Author Roula Azar-Douglas

An estimated number of 600 students walked out of the high school of Bambi’s niece in Beirut. Add to this number (from just one high school) all the other students from across the country, yesterday and again today.

Indeed, according to Naharnet Newsdesk (3 hours ago): “Waving Lebanese flags, students and high school pupils massed in front of the education ministry in Beirut to voice their grievances against a political class seen as corrupt and incompetent.

“I challenge any politician or official to send their children to state schools,” one pupil told a local television channel”.

“The economy is in trouble, there is no work, how will we survive in the future?.”

End of the quote from Naharnet.

Let’s also add to the student numbers above, all the continuous daily demonstrations over three weeks now, including a massive women-led protest in Beirut yesterday night, candles in their hands (see the video below, AFP news).

Let’s also not forget the 1-2 (maybe more now?) millions of people who have walked (and re-waked!)/danced (and re-danced) on the streets, since Day 1 of this revolution.

Some blocked roads. Some slept on streets to block them. Some used plants and flowers to block them :). Yet others got more upset and burned tires, especially at the beginning of the uprising.

In addition to all this, there is of course the support from the Lebanese diaspora in their adoptive countries, across the world.

The other day, The Moncton Lebanese Association showed its support (in addition to all the supportive walks in Halifax, Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Edmonton, Vancouver, etc.).

This coming Saturday, Toronto will walk in solidarity with the Lebanese people who are rising up against corruption. A big thanks to the “World Lebanese Cultural Union- Toronto Chapter“. Peacefully. United under the Lebanese and Canadian flags only.

To come back to Beirut, “is there anything more peaceful and hopeful than a burning candle”, as one protester said in the video below (sub-titled in French)?

So why are the Lebanese political leaders not listening to the population’s demands and aspirations? Why are they so disconnected from their people to that ridiculous extent?

Yesterday night, protesters sat in circles on the streets with candles. Some chanted “revolution”, some prayed for Lebanon. All sang the Lebanese anthem (with its new feminist version— men AND women all for you Lebanon!).

The people of Lebanon simply want a shift in governance: From corruption to accountability, from the “logic” of endless regional conflicts to a mindset of a real rule of law.

No one wants wars or fights. People want both economy and peace, which usually go hand in hand.

Ironically today, both peace and the economy are in danger of collapsing whilst having a historic chance of a “real” change, thanks to the inspiring winds of hope from Lebanon’s uprising against corruption.

To echo words from France 24 (earlier post/video), this is “a moment of truth” for all, including the most powerful of the Lebanese political elite (Bambi did not name them but France 24 did, yes it is the Hezbollah).

Best wishes to Lebanon and… Happy Birthday to Bambi’s mom today (Bambi loves her so much :))!

For Bambi’s mom in Beirut, Lebanon

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