On Revolution, Uprising and Resistance: Lebanon - Iraq - Syria
“Tomorrow the revolution will rise up again,clashing its weapons,
and to your horror it will proclaim with trumpets blazing: I was, I am, I shall be!”
– Rosa Luxemburg –
In Lebanon and Iraq, people have taken to the streets in mass protests since October 1st, 2019. While these movements share important structural similarities, they remind us of the uprisings of 2011/2012 that swept across many countries in the MENA-region. In Syria, this protest movement has developed into a full-blown civil war that has been raging on ever since.
Media coverage of the conflict has mainly been focusing on the narratives that violence and war dictate, and as a result, waves of social mobilization and crucial revolutionary moments have been overlooked. This year’s uprising in Lebanon and Iraq has gained only limited coverage by English and German Media. We, therefore, dedicated a special section on our website to gather information and shed light on past and present protest movements in Lebanon, Syria and Iraq. This includes Chronicles of the Uprisings in Lebanon and Iraq, Visual testimonies, Written testimonies and Articles.
Timeline of the Uprisings in Iraq and Lebanon
Since October 1st, 2019 until the present day, mass protests take place both in Lebanon and Iraq. Both movements did not only break out nearly simultaneously, the people on the street express also similar grievances and demands: against the dominant political system and against the dominant political elite, against confessionalism, clientelism and corruption, against political violence and arbitrariness, against neoliberal and capitalist politics, against the established political system and regime, and therefore for a reinvention of political practice and system in both countries. Media coverage in English and German on the current protest movements in Lebanon and Iraq is rather scarce. This timeline therefore offers an overview of the most crucial events and dates, seeking answers to some of the most important issues within the protest movements: Why are people taking to the streets? Who are they? What are their demands? And how are the governments handling the protests?
Editorial Staff: Miriam Younes,Mohammad Blakah and Katharina Borlinghaus | Rosa-Luxemburg-Stiftung Beirut Office
Revolution in times of COVID -19 – testimonies from Iraq
In March 2019, the Iraqi government had imposed a countrywide lockdown due to the spread of the COVID-19 virus in the country. In April 2020, about 1500 cases suffering from COVID-19 were reported in the whole of Iraq. Due to limited testing the estimated number of unknown cases are probably much higher. Since the beginning of the pandemic the protesters in Tahrir Square took their own precautionary measures, as the manufacturing and wearing of facemasks, the disinfection of tents and the decision that only 20 % of the protesters are to remain in the square. Moreover, many political and social activists started initiatives to support people in need since the lockdown led to increasing unemployment, poverty and an economic recession due to dropping oil prices. Since the end of April, protesters launched the hashtag “we promise the revolution will return”, meaning that after the end of the lockdown protesters will return to the streets to demand their political, social and economic rights and the fall of the political system. We asked several political activists and protesters to describe to us diverse impacts of the corona-virus on the current situation in Iraq.
Nadia Mahmoud - Academic Researcher and feminist activist
Defection statement - Idleb Countryside
Sami Adnan From “Workers against Sectarianism”
Frontline - Aleppo
“We are insisting on this revolution because we can no longer live in this situation” – Moussa Yaakoub* on the Lebanese uprising, the work on the ground and the oppression by the security forces
What kind of groups are you working with, and how did you meet?
I work with a group of independent young men and women. We have no political affiliations and are not members of any party; each of us
‘Iranian Society Has Reached a Political, Economic, and Social Breaking Point’ | On the Mass Protests in Iran and the Assassination of Qassem Soleimani
An interview with HS*, conducted by Miriam Younes and Mohamad Blakah
The November protests
How would you describe the
Lebanon witnessed its last big protest movement in 2015. Where do you see continuities and differences between the previous and current movements?
There are many people who are trying to delegitimize the