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Bassem Chit

Targeting the Arab rulers over inaction on Israel

(6 January 2009)

From Socialist Worker, 6 January 2009.
Transcribed by Christian Høgsbjerg.
Marked up by Einde O’Callaghan for the Encyclopaedia of Trotskyism On-Line (ETOL).

Demonstrations and sit-ins have been organised daily in Beirut and other cities in Lebanon since the beginning of Israel’s aggression against Gaza.

During the first few hours of the war, groups of students and young workers from Palestinian and Lebanese left wing and socialist organisations organised a sit-in in front of the United Nations headquarters in Beirut.

This sit-in has become the centre of a wave of protests and demonstrations. There was a march from the city centre to the Egyptian embassy on Sunday 28 December.

Barbed wire, soldiers and riot police were in place to protect the embassy.

Demonstrators chanted against Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak and called for Egypt’s borders with Gaza to be opened.

The demonstration drew in people from the surrounding neighbourhoods and there were clashes with security forces.

Similar demonstrations and sit-ins took place in other major cities and the Palestinian refugee camps.


That evening the Lebanese resistance group Hizbollah called for a big gathering in the southern suburbs of Beirut the following day, which drew in tens of thousands of people.

These protests spilled over to a mass rally on New Year’s Eve and a new round of demonstrations.

When news of the Israeli land invasion came through, the sit-in called for a march on the US embassy located in the hills above Beirut.

The army and police fired water cannons and tear gas at the protesters after we broke through three lines of security forces.

Our battle is to break through the silence of the Arab regimes and convince people to take to the streets in support of the resistance and against the collaboration of our rulers.

“Regime change” – removing the Arab rulers by a movement from below – is now the phrase on everyone’s lips. Our regimes are politically weak and have failed their people on all questions.

Only the masses can create the necessary change and their voice is beginning to be heard.

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Last updated: 4 November 2014