Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth: "Solidarity with Gaza an “Obsession” all over Lebanon"

Reproducing a statement below, released by the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth, on the past months' mobilizations of youth protests against the Gaza massacre.

The harshness of the Zionist massacres in Gaza district, the savage Israeli attacks on the Palestinian land and the Arab and international support for Israel were the motives of the protests that were held by ULDY in all its braches all over Lebanese districts in addition to the central activity that was done through an open Protest/Sit-in in front of the ESCWA (home to UN offices) building in downtown Beirut.

The Branches' Activities

Nabatiyeh branch in Southern Lebanon carried out, a series of actions, including lighting candles in the Nabatiyeh square. Flyers distributed during the activities called for the Arab people to take a united stand and express solidarity with the Palestinian people and the people of Gaza, by all means.
A solidarity protest was also done in Adloun, another southern village. A lot of statements were raised to condemn the Zionist aggressions, and attack the treacherous Arab leaders.
A similar solidarity protest was done in Sidon, which saluted the people of Gaza and condemned the vicious attacks in the Palestinian lands.
In Tyr, ULDY branch had a protest with the participation of the social organizations active in the area…
In Salima, a village in Mount Lebanon, ULDY organized a photo exhibition in the center of the village, which displayed pictures from Gaza portraying the harshness of Israeli terrorism, and raised Palestinian flags in the village. The participants then moved in a rally that went across the roads of the village.
Aley Branch in Mount Lebanon also participated in the protest organized by a coalition of many political parties in the area.
In Bekaa Valley, the Ein branch organized a march protesting the Arab abandonment of the Palestinian cause. Candles were lit and flyers were handed to cars on the side of the road.
At the same, Mashghara branch spread out through most of the western Bekaa, to perform a series of activities, which included collecting donations and distributing flyers that call for the solidarity with the people of Gaza.
A campaign was launched from Baalbak also in Bekaa Valley, in the form of an open sit-in, similar to the central protest in front of the ESCWA, to launch a series of activities throughout the Bekaa regions.
In the north of Lebanon, the Tripoli branch participated in a sit-in with the other parties and political organizations in the area. Speeches were made to condemn the Arab cowardice and the imperialist terrorism practiced daily in the occupied Palestinian lands. This terrorism reached its peak through the Israeli massacres against the people of Gaza.

ESCWA our permanent station

In addition to the activities of the branches, ULDY continued in its central movement in the open protest/sit-in in front of the UN headquarters in Beirut (ESCWA), which was held with the participation of a number of Lebanese and Palestinian leftist youth organizations, and this open protest became the start of a lot of the effective activities.

The beginning of the Open Protest

"Down with the raids of the Arabic silence!" as soon as the news of the Zionist attack on Gaza was heard and the news of the massacre that killed 200 Palestinian spread, many leftist organizations started gathering around this slogan in front of the ESCWA to put a plan of the actions that we will be taken in the coming days.
The organizations conducted a meeting and agreed on launching the open sit-in in front of ESCWA building under the title "Supporting the resistance in Gaza, together against the repressive and silent Arab regimes". The open sit- in was also meant to be a start point for every move supporting Gaza and for the activities held in front of the Arab embassies denouncing the position of their countries toward what's happening in Gaza. They also agreed to organize, on the second day, a sit in front of Egypt's embassy. On the first day the media started visiting the sit-in were Bassem Sheet spoke on behalf of the organizations present in the sit-in and he said: "Since the morning the Israeli warplanes are bombarding Gaza in strategy similar to July 2006 war: formal Arab support for the blockade, and organized plans to eliminate resistance. The daily Israeli aggression on Gaza and all Palestine is not an Israeli aggression only but a war initiated by the Zionist state in alliance with the Arab repressive regimes”. After reading the statement, Protesters started shouting "they are killing our people", "the child in Gaza is as valuable as the child in Greece", and "we should kick out all the ambassadors of conspiring countries"….

Towards the Egyptian embassy

The day of the Egyptian Embassy came, the leftist protestors at the ESCWA headed towards the "Wretched embassy", as some have called it, carrying statements that demanded the Egyptian regime to stop cooperating with the Zionists and help in ending to the siege on Gaza. The number of youth crowd to the Egyptian embassy on Sunday was great, the logos were as tough as the Egyptian regime, and what they were saying expressed the voice of the Arab streets.
"Palestine is the blood that flows in the veins of all the revolutionaries on this earth, it is the proof of the deterioration of these fascist regimes that govern most of the countries across the continents, it is the proof that a better world that it is desperately needed, we announce that we will not remain silent, we will shout out laud long live the resistance".

Towards the League of Arab States

The second protest was in front of the Arab League in Ashrafeye, where the protestors where very angry because of the delay of the Arab Summit. There the Palestinian flag was raised, and the protestors kept saying, "No for diplomatic relations with the Zionist State", "Open Rafah’s Border Crossing and let the living pass, don’t after they die".

A note was submitted to the Arab League's office demanding all the Arab countries that have diplomatic relations with the Zionist State (Egypt, Jordan, and Mauritania) to cut these relations and close all the embassies of the enemy and expel their ambassadors, the note also asks the government and states that have economic partnerships with Israel like Morocco, Qatar, Tunis and Amman to cancel all these agreements. It asked the Syrian government to stop all direct and indirect negotiations with Israel, and the Lebanese government to stop the social and the economical siege on the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon, it also asks to open the boards especially Rafah's Border Crossing to supply the resistance and the people with what they need from supplies and weapons. It appealed to the Arab people to take action and impose these claims to their governments and regimes.

Protest in front of the EU commission and Canadian Embassy

In response to the EU and Canadian position concerning the Israeli aggression on Gaza, youth left organizations in Lebanon arranged two sit-ins in front of the European commission in Beirut and the Canadian Embassy in Lebanon. The organizations denounced the formal European position that turned a blind eye on the massacres that took place and supported the fierce Zionist acts in Gaza. The organizations also called for the European commission to respond to the voices of the European people and work to stop the aggression.

On the other hand, the Left organizations arranged another sit-in at the Canadian embassy denouncing the Canadian "No vote" against condemning Israel in the Human Rights Council of the UN and forming an investigating committee to look into Gaza massacres.

Spontaneous activities

On parallel the left youth initiated a series of activities in different regions in Beirut were they distributed statements that condemn the silence of the Arab regimes toward what was happening in Gaza. Moreover, protesters organized a series of spontaneous activities on the Egyptian embassy and surrounded it several times, in many forms. In the first day, protesters surrounded the embassy with the Palestinian flags that was soon removed by the security forces bordering it with a number of shoes that started increasing daily as protesters called out for all Lebanese citizens who feel that Egypt is engaged in the recent events to throw a shoe on the embassy as a gift from the Lebanese people to the Egyptian regime. On the third day protesters slept on the road in front of the Egyptian embassy were they covered their bodies with the Palestinian flags, blocked the road for a while and were then separated by the security forces. ESCWA protesters continued with their spontaneous moves so they fabricated a gigantic shoe that was placed in front of the Egypt's embassy and wrote on it statements that condemn Egypt's formal position toward the situation in Gaza, they also bordered the siege with the Israeli flag and then burned it.

On the other hand, the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth conducted a protest in front of the Egypt's embassy sole entrance with the participation of some international and Arab delegates. This protest aimed at delivering a message that Lebanese people can block all the entrances of the embassy just like they blocked Rafah Crossing.

Protests at the US embassy

Afterwards, the Lebanese and Palestinian left organizations organized two protests in front of the US embassy whereby 9 protesters were injured in the first one and 20 in the second one due to the interference of the Lebanese security forces that didn’t allow protesters to move toward the embassy. In addition, the organizations arranged a one day tour to all the Arab embassies were they put a coffin in front of each embassy, raised their slogans that condemn and refuse the acts of the Arab regimes toward the situation in Gaza and asked them to remove the American bases from their countries and to cut off all kinds of relations with Israel and stop the negotiations taking place.

Regional and International activities in Lebanon

In addition, Union of Lebanese democratic youth and Arab youth organizations members of WFDY conducted a synchronized protest in front of ESCWA- UN were they lighted candles and tied their hands with chains. At 6 pm of that day protesters in 8 countries read a common statement that condemns the silence towards Gaza massacres.

Moreover, Union of Lebanese democratic youth hosted in the open sit-in an international event in collaboration with WFDY were a press conference was held in presence of a representative from Greek Communist Youth and some Arab youth organizations that expressed their solidarity with people of Gaza and denounced the Israeli aggression. In addition, these delegates participated in a many activities at Egypt's embassy and US embassy.

In Tyr, Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth organized an international solidarity event where many representatives from Palestinian, Arab and international youth organizations and WFDY participated and expressed their solidarity with Gaza. On the other hand, Lebanese and Palestinian youth organizations conducted 5 lectures on boycotting American and Israeli products and on the rights of the Palestinian refugees in Lebanon.

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