An Urban Protest Movement Arises in Beirut

A new anti-sectarian political movement has emerged in Lebanon challenging the government. It is mimicking the successful urban strategies of ongoing Arab revolutions, like the occupation of public spaces.

May 17, 2011, 9:00 AM PDT

By Tim Halbur

The central square of Beirut is long since flattened and it seems every other corner of this beaten metropolis has been turned into canvas for posters preaching sectarian warfare.

Despite this, the anti-sectarian movement is opening up spaces in a country plagued by cantonization. In the process, they are developing a geographical discourse of direct action that rejects the symbolic and demands concrete change from a perpetually hung Parliament.

The symbology of protest in Lebanon has transformed over night. Suddenly, as images of a million waving flags Downtown for only themselves and the camera to see is being replaced by thousands marching neighborhood by neighborhood and pitching lonely tents in the face of police brutality.

This movement, these tents seem to say, is one for and from every neighborhood and every city in Lebanon.

Thanks to Alex

Saturday, May 14, 2011 in Mashallah News

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