Posts tagged violence
Yesterday, a group of independent activists demonstrated in front of the Syrian embassy in Beirut to express solidarity with the people of Syria and condemn the Ramadan Massacre in Hama. Shortly after they had stood there in silence, a groups of thugs arrived violently chanting pro-Bashar slogans. The activists formed a human line to separate the two groups. Then another group approached from the other side with knives, canes, and metal chairs and began attacking the protestors. Many fled into nearby buildings, restaurants and shops and were still followed by the thugs who lurked around Hamra for hours after, continuing to beat up the protestors. Two police officers who were there at the beginning disappeared soon after and none of the army officers or police who were around the area interfered to stop the attacks. Check the video below for a scene of the horrific attack.
Some protestors suffered heavy injuries from the beatings and are still in the hospital, while many others suffered beatings, cuts, and bruises. Activists head to the Hobeich police station to report the attacks and found zero cooperation from the police. The perpetrators must and will be prosecuted for their illegal attacks and all Ministries are held accountable for failing to protect their citizens to express themselves freely and peacefully. This is an atrocity and we must not be silent about it.
Guest post by Christine @czahm
Yesterday, while having a coffee at Colombiano in Sassine Square, Ashrafieh, this is what I witnessed:
A shoe shiner came up to one of the customers and asked to shine his shoes. The customer being the super important person he is shoos away the guy with: rou7 min houn wla! (Get lost!)
And then, almost out of nowhere, Elie, one of the waiters, grabs the shoe shiner from the back by the shoulders and violently hurls/ pushes him. The shoe shiner barely has time to gain balance, when Elie slaps him very hard on the head!!!!!!!
I was ENRAGED! I couldn’t wait for Elie to walk back past my table, I got out of my chair and walked up to him. I’ll admit, I was scared; Elie is much bigger than I am, and I had just seen how violent he can be. As I stood in front of him, I had to put my hand on his chest, and push him back a little, otherwise, he would have walked right passed me.
I can’t remember what I said exactly, but something along the lines of: What’s wrong with you? Who gave you the right to hit someone? Who do you think you are? Shame on you.
His immediate response was: You don’t know what this guy has done before!!!!
My friend and I filled out a comments card, and asked for Zeina, the manager’s phone number. My friend called her a couple of hours after the incident, and I called her today.
Not so surprisingly, she was pretty chill about it, saying lines like: Well, I can’t undo something that was done already. This guy has stolen from our customers a couple of times before. I agree with you that Elie should not have been violent, I have talked to him, and we have taken corrective action. What we care about is that our customers be comfortable!!!! (Oh yeah, seeing a waiter act violently with a passerby, did put me at ease!!!)
I am grossed out… I am! I don’t mean this as a personal attack on Colombiano, Zeina, or even Elie. This incident could have happened at a different place, with a different waiter and handled by a different manager. But I just couldn’t let this go by unnoticed, and undocumented. The attitude some people have in this country is just disgraceful! Thinking they are better than someone with a less paying job, or from a poorer country… SHAME! Shame on them.