Lebanon

The Lebanese masses are moving once again. In the wake of the 4 August Beirut blast which devastated much of the city, the masses have taken to the streets to hold those responsible to account. Rightfully, they have aimed their anger at the corrupt government of Lebanon which caused the blast through their neglect and corruption. In the wake of this powerful movement, the government has resigned for the second time in less than a year. This is a great achievement, but the revolution must go further and take power into its own hands. What next for the Lebanese masses? How can the workers of Lebanon take power, and spread the revolution across the Middle East? This online discussion was

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The Lebanese government has resigned under pressure from the masses. This is an inspiring achievement, but the revolution must not stop here. Instead, it should take power into its own hands.

The explosion in Beirut last week has caused an explosion of rage and struggle, as the Lebanese masses take once again to the streets. We say: trust nobody but your own forces! Workers of Lebanon, overthrow the whole rotten system!

A massive explosion caused untold destruction and bloodshed in the Lebanese capital yesterday. This tragedy was a disaster waiting to happen, and will provoke the anger of the masses against the corrupt clique at the top of society. Only working-class struggle can put an end to this intolerable situation, Alan Woods writes.

On Tuesday 28 April – in what protestors are coining ‘the night of the molotov’ – working people streamed into the streets of Lebanon in an open show of force against the government. The masses are once more in the streets calling for a solution to the dire economic situation that the country faces.

The Lebanese Revolution has resurged after a period of relative inactivity, with protesters declaring a “week of rage" amid a continuing economic and political crisis. The struggling Lebanese pound and capital controls on foreign cash have provoked a new wave of indignation that has sharpened the stances of both the demonstrators and the state. The last two days have seen hundreds injured and arrested.

A disastrous speech by President Michel Aoun, the killing of a protester and a burgeoning student uprising have revitalised the revolutionary struggle in Lebanon. Sensing the masses’ energy beginning to wane, the ruling class became overconfident, and seriously miscalculated with a series of provocations that only strengthened the people’s resolve.

On Monday, 28 October, in the face of a massive movement of protestors from all backgrounds, Saad Hariri announced his resignation. This retreat of the government came after two million people – one third of the population – took part in huge protests across the country. Amidst calls for a general strike, people have blocked roads, and shut down banks and schools. Cutting across all the sectarianism that has dominated politics in Lebanon for decades, this movement has done more in two weeks than the corrupt politicians in Lebanon have done in years.

The following is an interview, conducted by our German section, with Lynn Beyrouthy: an activist from Lebanon who is involved in the revolutionary events unfolding in the country. She explains how the movement came about, the grievances behind it, and what its main demands are. Note that this interview took place before the announcement of a general strike.

The following is a letter, sent to us by a comrade of the International Marxist Tendency, who is visiting Beirut and is an eyewitness to the revolutionary events unfolding in Lebanon.

Demonstrators in downtown Beirut are under severe police repression. Dozens have been injured and at least 90 of the protesters have been arrested so far, but the count is likely to grow in the next hours. The sweeping protest of Lebanese youth, which took the name of the “You Stink” movement, started on August 22.

The dramatic events that have unfolded in the recent period in Lebanon have hidden a very important development. As Hezbollah moved into West Beirut they successfully cut across a general strike over wages that was planned for the same day. As the workers were coming together to fight for their common interests, Hezbollah pushed its own agenda, thereby heightening ethnic tension.

Hezbollah went into Beirut and came out again once the government had backed off on its plans to dismantle its communications network. Although powerful, the Hezbollah leaders are only interested in maintaining their share of power. They are not interested, and are incapable of, solving the real problems facing the masses.

Last year's war in Lebanon ended in defeat for Israel, but it also shook up Lebanese society. The general strike that took place shortly afterwards is testimony to this fact. Luke Wilson interviewed a student activist in Beirut on how he sees the situation now.

The killing taking place in a Palestinian refugee camp in northern Lebanon is now being added to the long list of barbaric acts the masses have had to suffer in that country. But what is behind all this? Why for instance is the US government preparing to send millions of dollars to the Lebanese army to crush a tiny group of Islamic militants?

On Sunday up to two million people came out onto the streets in the largest demonstration in the history of this small country. The protest was aimed against the Siniora government, which now stands exposed as a government with no support among the population. The people of Lebanon want genuine change, but who is going to offer it to them?

There is much myth-making about what is happening in Lebanon. But what is the truth, what really lies behind the periodic breakdown into internecine civil war? Lebanon faces the real danger today of renewed civil war. The source of this conflict, however, lies mainly beyond its borders.

The International Conference in Solidarity with the Lebanese Resistance against Imperialist aggression was held at the UNESCO Building in Beirut on November 16-19. Lal Khan, Pakistani Marxist, had been officially invited to speak and here we provide a summary of his speech.