Mobile  |  About us  |  Photos  |  Videos  |  Subscriptions  |  RSS Feeds  |  Today's Paper  |  Classifieds  |  Contact Us
The Daily Star
SUNDAY, 20 APR 2014
04:35 PM Beirut time
Weather    
Beirut
23 °C
Blom Index
BLOM
1,214.01down
Lebanon News
Follow this story Print RSS Feed ePaper share this
Students at sit-in look for direction after tents trampled
Prime Minister Najib Mikati heads a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
Prime Minister Najib Mikati heads a Cabinet session at the Grand Serail in Beirut, Lebanon, Wednesday, March 21, 2012. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
A+ A-

BEIRUT: When hundreds of angry young people attempted to storm the Grand Serail in downtown Beirut, a sit-in at the Riad al-Solh roundabout was trampled underfoot in the chaos.

The protest, meant to be a unified response to the killing of intelligence chief Wissam al-Hasan, was thrown into disarray. Student groups had organized a tent-camp sit-in to demand the resignation of Prime Minister Najib Mikati, the expulsion of the Syrian ambassador and generally voice their outrage at feeling abused on the political stage.

But after tear gas canisters were shot, rocks and sticks thrown, and the sit-in trod underfoot, the young protesters are trying to figure out what to do with little political direction.

“What now?” one demonstrator wondered aloud.

On one side of the streets young men in the sit-in supporting the Future Movement and hailing from the north of the country lay in the road on mattresses, refusing to be moved.

They hinted at more drastic protests similar to the Grand Serail attack and said major steps like those that have been employed by their political opponents need to occur to bring change. They said they would stay in the road blocking traffic until the government collapsed and their demands were met.

Politicians tried to convince protesters to change their location, but they would not be swayed.

“Not one of us will leave,” said one of the young men who declined to be identified. “We are with God,” he said when asked his political affiliation.

On the other side of the street a more moderate voice prevailed. Kataeb and Lebanese Forces students fixed their damaged tents but said they wouldn’t block the road. They would wait until their voices were recognized and justice was done.

“People like me they are not going to leave from here until there is a change,” said Anthony Hobeiche, a 20-year-old LF supporter from the American University of Beirut. “A huge change politically in Lebanon.”

The sit-in was originally intended to be a lasting response to the killing. Student groups from universities and parties across the country had pledged to work in shifts to keep the tent camp open indefinitely at a central roundabout in the city.

Yet, with only a few dozen students remaining in the square by nightfall, it’s uncertain if there are the resources or coordination to make the protest happen. But those in the square are convinced they will remain until their demands are met.

“We are staying here until we solve all the problems that we have,” Challita said.

 
A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on October 22, 2012, on page 3.
Home Lebanon News
 
     
 
Riad al-Solh / Grand Serail / Sit in / March 14 / Lebanon
Advertisement
Comments  

Your feedback is important to us!

We invite all our readers to share with us their views and comments about this article.

Disclaimer: Comments submitted by third parties on this site are the sole responsibility of the individual(s) whose content is submitted. The Daily Star accepts no responsibility for the content of comment(s), including, without limitation, any error, omission or inaccuracy therein. Please note that your email address will NOT appear on the site.

comments powered by Disqus
More from
Stephen Dockery
 
 
Marky’s cheesesteaks offer a taste of Philly
 
 
Demo for fugitive Assir held in Downtown Beirut
 
 
Bliss’ Gift Mania fills long-neglected niche market for collectibles
 
 
ISF: HRW abuse report not reflective of police conduct
 
 
HRW: World should act on Lebanon police abuse
Advertisement


Baabda 2014
Advertisement
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Linked In Follow us on Google+ Subscribe to our Live Feed
Multimedia
Images  
Pictures of the day
A selection of images from around the world- Saturday April 19, 2014
View all view all
Advertisement
Rami G. Khouri
Rami G. Khouri
Why Israeli-Palestinian talks fail
Michael Young
Michael Young
Why confuse gibberish with knowledge?
David Ignatius
David Ignatius
Echoes of 1914 characterize the Ukraine crisis
View all view all
Advertisement
cartoon
 
Click to View Articles
 
 
News
Business
Opinion
Sports
Culture
Technology
Entertainment
Privacy Policy | Anti-Spamming Policy | Disclaimer | Copyright Notice
© 2014 The Daily Star - All Rights Reserved - Designed and Developed By IDS