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The month of August marked a dramatic moment in modern Lebanese history, when tens of thousands of ordinary citizens broke free from their sectarian political anchorage and challenged the state to perform more efficiently and equitably.This month of September is likely to be equally telling, perhaps even historic, in that critical arena where citizens' rights, expectations and power come into contact – and confrontation – with the power of the government and the state, as well as the oligarchic elite that has managed them both throughout Lebanon's history as an independent country.The three most important of these are the extent of popular support for the protests, the ability of the activist groups to quickly harness that support and channel it into a coherent political process, instead of the powerful expression of grievance and pain that it has been to date, and the nature of the power structure's political counter-attack against the protesting citizens.Lebanon and its citizens breezed through the 20th century using the existing political system that apportions power to the country's religious groups, which effectively mothballed the practice of individual citizenship and entrenched the power of communal elites.
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