Televisions station cameras can all attest to the falsehoods and fabrications of the sectarian political parties and the authorities. Their methods have now become clear and obvious for all to see.
1- Before every protest, political parties and including officials release false information regarding the goal of the movement. They promote fabricated news about the participation and the boycott of the protest by different parties. First, they start by accusing the protests of being sectarian, attributing divisive false slogans to them. These ideas, despite being held by some, are not part of the protests’ primary goals that are agreed upon widely since the beginning on October 17th.
Intimidation and Terrorization
2- Authorities and political parties rely on intimidation and coercion to dissuade the public from participating in demonstrations. They begin a few days prior to the announced date of the protest through directly pressuring civilians and threatening them on an individual level.
3- They pressure the media into disseminating false information or urging them to broadcast particular programming. Some media outlets have become a marketpalce for these political party messages and programs. Other media outlets even host figures who are against the protests while they take place in order to incite against them. Sometimes they host individuals or run programming completely unrelated to the event in order to divert attention. These tv programs do not reflect the opinions held by the protest nor its goals.
4- They launch a series of arrests and investigations into certain individuals involved in organizing these protests in order to intimidate protestors.
5- They disrupt the protests directly by sending infiltrators. These infiltrators repeatedly, at the end of every demonstration, attempt to divert attention from rightful and crucial demands by resorting to violence and vandalism. The scene then becomes polarized, and the media flock towards the spectacle at the expense of the truth; knowing that the square is open for everyone. It is also peculiar that the police force has never been able to apprehend any of those violent rioters.
6- They use sectarian slogans to instigate clashes. Motorcycle gangs are sent downtown, and they cry out “Shia, Shia, Shia” as well as other accompanying insults directed towards all other religious groups. These groups harass protesters for the one simple reason that they call for the accountability of all corrupt political figures under the banner of “Every Single One”! This time around they used the pretext of a subgroup within the protesters calling for the implementation of the 1559 resolution which involves Hezbollah’s surrender of its weapons. This ploy however, was useless. Since the beginning of the popular protests, these attacks happened for frequently over a variety of novel excuses. Opinions regarding the weapons of Hezbollah belong, as they have always, to each individual. The issue was never a matter of contention or consensus. Even those who believe that Hezbollah should join forces with the army do not discuss the matter, as it is not on the list of priorities.
Allegations of Treason
7- Authorities and political parties frequently attempt to accuse protesters of being funded by foreign agencies, mainly embassies (even going as far as Zionist foundations) in order to discredit them by accusations of treason. This method also attempts to remove all other concerns as it makes poverty and oppression minuscule in comparison.
8- Several parties accuse their opponents of weaponizing the revolution politically. Despite being sometimes true, these accusations are incapable of justifying nor discounting that only the Lebanese flag is allowed within protest squares.
9- Coronavirus has is being used a tool to curb large gatherings. It has become a tool to justify oppression. The dangers of Coronavirus are real, but the authorities are using this danger as a means to disperse protesters and demonize them.
10- The police and the army are used to antagonize the public against protestors. They are ordered to protect the authority and its figures instead of the people. The military protect the people in some cases, and use force in others. Ultimately however, the military personnel has a salary similar to everyone else, and as a result they are all part of the same struggle. The stark devaluation amidst the economic collapse is going to have a severe impact on the livelihood of all military personnel and their families. The authorities will not be able to curb the dangerous effects of devaluation which is more than enough to topple the system.
This is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the authority’s political methods. However, since political parties thrive on maintaining constant strife and suffer from ignorance, intolerance, and absence of civil responsibility, they spend tremendous efforts on maintain their divisive propaganda. Whether against protests in general or the most recent on the 6th of June, whether in the heart of Beirut or in the Suburbs of Ain El Remmene and Barbour, their attempts will always be rejected by the revolution, and they will never succeed.
Sooner or later, the revolution will be immortalized by a plaque on the ‘Nahr El-Kalb’ tunnel inscribed with a date when the sectarian forces that ruled Lebanon were removed from government. It will declare the formation of a new civil rule in Lebanon free of sectarianism, oppression, and slavery.