We’re sharing our experiences, thoughts, and uncensored opinions during lockdown, quarantine, and self-isolation. For some of us, it’s DAY 79.
Tonight’s topic: Civil Resistance & Revolution
RJD, #Beirut, #Lebanon
This is what we call a revolution in Lebanon. It is something we have been doing for a short time, only since October 17, 2019.
What we are seeing in the U.S. this week is a Thawra against police brutality, oppression, inequality, and racism. I am so proud to see so many people out in the streets in many cities, speaking out for #BlackLivesMatter, but truly, ALL lives matter.
I have been saying for the past 28 years, ever since the Rodney King riots in Los Angeles in 1992, that the U.S. is facing a ticking time bomb when it comes to racial issues. Beating, torturing, and killing non-White men because of their color or race is not justified by any means. No matter the situation. Why don’t we see a White American being “handled” in the same manner by the police?
You guys out there protesting, more power to ya!
So let me tell you how we do Thawra here, only to give you some additional ideas:
- Daily protesting in the streets and city squares til the wee hours
- Closing down main arteries and roads into big cities with cars and trucks
- Daily car and truck convoys to politicians’ and governmental officials’ houses
- At 8 pm daily, we take out our pots and pans and make lots and lots of noise
- We write songs about Thawra and we blast them from trucks carrying big loudspeakers
- We wear the Lebanese flag as bandanas, face masks, and arm bands.
- We destroy government buildings (look at how the Lebanese Parliament is barricaded now)
- We have DJs hosting Thawra parties in all big cities and we yell and scream against the “nizam” (the screwed up system)
- Watch out for fifth-column infiltrators; in your case, the Aryans.
So my dear fellow Americans, go out and make noise, because we cannot let the system remain status quo. We must, we absolutely must, make the rights of every citizen mean the same to every American citizen.
Palestine: We Need #Change
Tina F., Fairfax, #Virginia
Right after the George Floyd murder by a White police officer, I made a comment to my family about how the police tactics used today are as brutal as those used by Israeli soldiers towards Palestinians.
My son responded that I should not compare this incident with what’s happening to Palestinians under occupation, because we need to address the issue of social and racial injustice in America for what it is.
I totally agree and I am outraged by the blatant discrimination and murder of Black people at the hands of police officers in this country. However, as I read the news I see a few words tucked away amidst the myriad of US headlines. I see this international headline: “Israeli Forces Shoot and Kill Unarmed Autistic Palestinian Man.”
How can we pretend that this is okay? Iyad Halak, 32, was a mentally challenged autistic man. His crime? He was a Palestinian man walking down the street carrying something that was mistaken for a weapon. When the armed forces yelled for him to stop, this mentally disabled man ran away and attempted to hide. The police pursued Iyad and began to shoot at him. As Iyad lay dying, one officer continued to shoot at him.
This happens a lot to innocent of Palestinian men, women, and children. Most of the time, it doesn’t even make the news, or the report is tucked away discreetly at the back of the paper.
What can be done? Just as the Palestinians who protest the mistreatment of their people at the hands of the Israeli soldiers are called terrorist thugs, the Americans expressing their frustration to the mistreatment of Black people are called unpatriotic thugs.
As we saw during the South African apartheid, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. People can only be held down for a limited time before they respond emotionally in order to be heard.
You may be wondering how this is related to America. If I told you your U.S. tax dollars help fund a violent, racist Israeli occupation of the Palestinian people, would that make a difference? What if I told you that almost all Palestinians murdered by the U.S.-funded Israeli military forces were unarmed? Would that make a difference?
The world has completely lost sight of humans and humanity, especially when we turn a blind eye. It is time to demand change and make change.
Syria: The #Revolution Continues
RafifJ, #Malaga, #Spain
It started in early 2011 with simple, peaceful demonstrations and hundreds of brilliantly creative displays forms of nonviolent expression. Activists launched ping-pong balls marked with the words “freedom,” “democracy,” and “dignity” from a mountaintop in Damascus. There were original songs – the kinds that drew crowds of up to 500,000 in one instance, defying curfews and regime orders – about telling the dictator to get lost. Syrians held sit-ins, stand-ins, and flash mobs. They ran social media campaigns, flooding Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube with hashtags, posts, and videos. They banged pots and pans in noise demonstrations, then went totally silent in flat-out strikes. Once someone filled a water fountain in a main city square with red food coloring – the leaping, dancing water, when the water flowed, symbolized the blood of activists who were getting shot at, with increasing precision and savagery, by militarized police and soldiers. The regime released criminals from prisons, armed them, and had them infiltrate the peaceful protests to agitate and stir up violence. Suddenly, nonviolent activists were labeled “rioters,” “looters,” and “terrorists.”
Sound familiar in 2020s America?
Here’s part of an article I wrote in 2012 about the nonviolent movement in Syria:
“The cycle of demonstrations and gunfire repeats itself, every day, and we understand perfectly the need to defend against a brutal regime. We understand perfectly the urge to respond to the government’s crackdown with gunfire. Yet we maintain our position: “Violence plays into Assad’s hands. Violence begets more violence. Revenge begets more revenge.”
We are certain that if we truly want democracy, the transition must begin with us. We will not become the tyrant we are fighting.”~ Me
That was all before the regime started using warplanes and barrel bombs to target residential buildings and schools and hospitals and markets. That was before the regime started using chemical weapons with alarming impunity.
As the police and other law enforcement in the U.S. get progressively more violent and use increasingly lethal weaponry, I hope my brothers and sisters in humanity – of all races and ethnicities – fare better than Syrians did in the quest for freedom. Trump’s calls on governors to use more force and show strength in the face of protests are reminiscent of Assad’s orders to his paramilitary troops on what to do with protesters: shoot them, arrest them, torture them, kill them.
Today, badged members of the press get shot at in crowds across the U.S. In Syria, reporting the truth is a crime punishable by permanent disappearance. Hell, you can get arrested and tortured for a Facebook post or a Tweet. Is that where the U.S. is headed?
It’s time to ask ourselves if America is any better than a third-world country led by a tin-pot dictator. Ironically, Assad also once hid in a bunker in an undisclosed location.
Syrians have not given up. Today, despite the 1 million dead, quarter-million disappeared, 6 million internally displaced, and nearly 6 million refugees, we still have a couple of favorite sayings: “Down with the dictator” and “the Revolution continues.”
And so, brothers and sisters in humanity, you must do what you must do in America, for the sake of future generations. Just like in Syria, the revolution continues.
#BlackLivesMatter #ResistDictatorship #Riots2020 #TrumpResign
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