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    Default Turmoil in Lebanon

    Beirut's half-hearted concessions spark Lebanese unity, organizers proclaim 'it's what we've been dreaming of'

    Sputnik
    Tue, 22 Oct 2019 03:50 UTC


    Lebanese anti-government protest in Beirut, October 20, 2019 © AP/Hassan Ammar

    Hundreds of thousands of people have taken to the streets in Lebanon to protest corruption, economic instability and the ruling class's austerity measures, continuing to grow after half-hearted concessions from Beirut. For political organizers, the unity between sects, genders, and nationalities is "what we have been dreaming of."

    The mass protests will go down in history as the first time the working class in Lebanon has come together in solidarity despite differences in sect and demographic, Jana Nakhal, an urban planner and Central Committee member of the Lebanese Communist Party, told Radio Sputnik's By Any Means Necessary Monday.

    The unrest in Lebanon began five days ago in response to the government's attempt to impose taxes on tobacco and internet calls through messaging apps like WhatsApp. However, the protests have since evolved into a call for the resignation of government officials and the transfer of power to a council of judges until new elections can be held.

    Nakhal told hosts Eugene Puryear and Sean Blackmon:
    "These protests are about neoliberal policies, austerity measures, the [International Monetary Fund] IMF policies in general which have been straining the state of this country since the end of the civil war in the '90s up until now.

    "This started in the '90s, but in the last year, more and more destruction has been ongoing in the Lebanese economy specifically because the neoliberal policies have built the whole economy of a country ... on one sector, destroying basically industry, agriculture, all forms of production and holding the whole country on banks and real estate. Because of the war in Syria, there was no tourism. There was no work for the banks and real estate anywhere. This has caused a huge hit to the sector, which is already weak. Last year, the Lebanese state organized a conference called CEDRE in Paris. This was the fourth conference of its kind with the help of the EU, the support of the IMF and the World Bank in order for the Lebanese state to be more and more indebted.

    "We came out of a civil war in 1991, supposedly came out of the war, with the $2 billion debt .. after the end of the war, in less than 30 years, the government, the Lebanese state, was successfully able to make the debt into $100 billion in a country where unemployment is rising. Around 300,000 Lebanese people are estimated to become unemployed this year in itself. The youth are leaving the country in huge numbers, because there are no jobs and no future. So, basically it is the direct cause, the CEDRE, which imposed more and more austerity measures on the state, in which the state has promised to basically privatize everything, destroy its services - which are already weak - and weaken the middle class and totally impoverish the already poor working class."
    In response to $10.2 billion in loans and $860 million in grants promised at the conference last year, Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri promised to cut its deficit by 5% in the next five years, Reuters reported.

    Rania Khalek, a journalist in Lebanon with "In The Now," drew explicit links between the protests in Lebanon and those unfolding in Chile, as well as the demonstrations earlier this month in Iraq, during a Monday report from inside the protests.

    Under pressure from mass protests against the governing elite, Hariri and other ministers drew up a package of steps over the weekend to restore the people's confidence in the government, Sputnik reported.

    Under the plan, the government would decrease the salaries of current and former lawmakers and pass a law to institute an anti-corruption committee, just to name a few measures. However, that didn't quell the protesters, who still took to the streets following Hariri's announcement, calling for additional reforms. Nakhal noted:
    "The protests are still ongoing. Even more people came down to the streets after Hariri's speech, because we can read the speech in two folds. First of all, it is a victory for us because they were forced to actually impose these changes, but most of these changes are not real; most of these changes are a camouflage of the actual neoliberal policies. But the fact that they were able to produce anything in 72 hours is very much meaningful to how strong these protests are.

    "This is the first time that 2.5 million people came down to the streets yesterday. We're talking about a country of around 4 million people. This is the first time that we see the diversity of people joining these movements. This is the first time that we see cities, towns and villages [also participating in the protests]. Mostly what we are seeing is a certain liberation of the working class ... The change this time is that there's an uprising from within the masses and the groups and the individuals which classically and traditionally belonged to the hegemony, belonged to the sectarian, confessional political parties in power."
    "The class struggle is very much alive," Nakhal added, noting that Syrian and Palestinian refugees are also part of the mass protest movement because "everyone is suffering not only from the economic situation but from the incredibly fascist and racist government that we've had."
    "The beautiful - I've never witnessed such a thing in my life, I've been organizing since 2009 - the beautiful demonstrations have developed their own chants and slogans and solidarity between one region and another ... This is what we have been dreaming of in Lebanon. A movement that is cross-sectarian, cross-confessional, cross-nationalist, [across] genders and which connects the working class across the regions."

    Update:
    Sputnik: 22/10/2019:
    Lebanese Government approves 17-point economic plan
    The Lebanese government has endorsed a 17-point economic reform plan, including measures to resolve the electricity crisis in the hope to address demands of mass protests that have been ravaging the country since last week, the presidential office said on Monday.

    Prime Minister Saad Hariri unveiled a package of economic measures at the government's session in the Baabda presidential palace.

    "The Council of Ministers has approved the reform plan and is now discussing the last item related to electricity," the Lebanese president's office wrote on Twitter. The office noted that "the atmosphere is calm, and the debate process is positive," with the reform plan comprising 17 points.

    After discussing the reform plan, the council also approved a draft budget for 2020. The prime minister stressed that the next budget would have a 0.6-percent deficit and would not include any new taxes. The government will also boost support for the poorest families.

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    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Lebanon

    Quote Posted by Hervé (here)

    "This started in the '90s, but in the last year, more and more destruction has been ongoing in the Lebanese economy specifically because the neoliberal policies have built the whole economy of a country ... on one sector, destroying basically industry, agriculture, all forms of production and holding the whole country on banks and real estate.

    Sounds familiar doesn't it, banks and real estate come in, and production withers.

    Yes, I think this country does have a justifiable gripe with a board of Oligarchs. That does not mean "we" need to bomb it or hire militias. Another Color Revolution is not desirable here, but, that influence must be hard to get rid of.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Lebanon

    This is Tripoli, Lebanon. For 11 days, 2.5 million people (more than half the country's population if you exclude Syrian immigrants) have been invading streets to protest against the corrupt government.



    Reading into what is going on, religion, creed and race have made no difference to the profile of the protestors.



    Finally we have the same images as in Catalonia, Chile, Ecuador and many more places of the military thugs on the ground stopping the people from making a change.


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    Default Re: Turmoil in Lebanon

    Lebanese PM Resigns After Days of Protests in Beirut

    Farsnews
    Tue Oct 29, 2019 5:49


    TEHRAN (FNA)- Lebanese Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri announced his resignation on Tuesday, saying that he has reached a dead end, after over a week of demonstrations as people accused his government of being corrupt and causing an economic collapse.

    Hariri, who was in the office since December 2016, announced quits during a televised address to the nation.

    “I have reached a dead end today,” the 49-year-old prime minister added, adding that he should account for the nationwide public protests.

    Speaking about the need for a change in his country, Hariri stated, "I'm going to the Baabda Palace to submit my resignation to the President [Michel Aoun]" in response to many Lebanese people who took to the streets.


    "For all partners in political life, our responsibility today is how to protect Lebanon and promote the economy. There is a serious opportunity that must not be lost," Hariri stressed.

    On 17 October, the Lebanese government announced tax hikes on tobacco and internet calls, sparking mass protests, with demonstrators blocking roads and highways, demanding the resignation of the government and political reforms.

    Last week, the head of the government announced a set of economic reforms and anti-corruption measures as thousands of protesters walked out across the country, blaming the faltering economy on widespread corruption and abuse of privileges among politicians.

    But the move backfired for Hariri, with people saying it weren’t enough and remaining in streets.

    President Aoun had expressed solidarity with the protesters who have flooded the streets of the country in recent days, saying their agitation shows "people's pain".

    Secretary General of the Lebanese Resistance Movement Hezbollah Seyed Hassan Nasrallah said on Saturday that the Hezbollah party was “determined to work hard” to solve the country’s problems and “not allow anyone to drown this country and take it to the abyss”.

    Hariri already announced his resignation in November 2017, and it came under very strange circumstances. His statement back then was made from abroad, when he was on a visit to Saudi Arabia. This led to speculation that it was Riyadh that had forced him step down, amid a spike in tensions between the oil rich kingdom and Iran, which always had strong ties with Hezbollah.
    "La réalité est un rêve que l'on fait atterrir" San Antonio AKA F. Dard

    Troll-hood motto: Never, ever, however, whatsoever, to anyone, a point concede.

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    Default Re: Turmoil in Lebanon

    Never heard this was happening, but this is EXACTLY WHY the evils probably sped up their timeline to start the 4th Reich. Not that it wasn't already started before, but I (at least) didn't know it was going to happen this fast & the end would be so close.

    With all the Yellow Vest protestes worldwide & France really going at it, the only bloody countries that didn't prostest were the US & Canada (well they tried, but Canadians aren't protestors by nature).

    I even heard that Italy had been fighting against vaccines back in 2018. Again, something the evils won't tolerate, as their plan is to poison & kill off as many humans with their deadly poison.

    Kudos to Lebanane that you got this in there.

    Now no one can protest anywhere & that's EXACTLY how the evils wanted it!

    The question is, will anyone worldwide have the balls to go up against the military b/c that's what it will take now.... for the ENTIRE 99% to gather together & fight back BEFORE they have set up 5G worldwide, b/c once that's out there, nothing can be done to stop it.

    I'm still trying to find out everyting that weapon can do & no one seems to know.

    But most people don't want to. They are content being held prisoner in their own home beliving all the lies the MSM spews.
    Looking for mature deep conversations with some laughter thrown in for levity.

    I'm still looking for my like minded tribe. Maybe the next lifetime? LOL

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