Historical records have been set on the one-month anniversary of the popular uprising in Lebanon: one month of continuous protests in all the Lebanese regions, albeit at varying frequencies; closure of the banks for three weeks out of four; and failure of the traditional political mechanisms of government, parliament, due cabinet formation consultations and appointments. These simultaneous occurrences are not coincidental: banks’ closure is a result of the severe and unprecedented financial crisis, persistence of the people in the streets is also a consequence of the same reason. The third consequence to this crisis, albeit less obvious, is the fall of the political system, a system based on an alliance and quota allocation of six leaders for four sects and their subjugation of others. This system has collapsed due to an interruption of the flow in its basic artery, that is, the interruption of the flow of dollars into the distribution cycle.
It is important to assert that the bankruptcy was not caused by the demonstrations, nor was it caused by the cowering of some politicians behind the protests after they had resigned from their responsibilities while other politicians arrogantly attempted to exhaust and threaten the people. Nor did the bankruptcy occur because of external interventions, and the longest arm of intervention nowadays is the US hegemony and its Western partners, and especially its local arm, Israel. None of this is to say that these foreign interventions are not occurring; they are present and they are active whenever societies are divided.
We, in the political movement of ‘Citizens in a State’ (Mouwatinoun wa Mouwatinat fi Dawla), see this juncture in the history of our country as very delicate and tainted with great dangers that may lead to the devastation of the society. We also recognize this juncture to be a valuable opportunity to undertake a historic correction in our political course through building solid foundations for a true state, i.e. a civil state. Only a civil state is capable of protecting the society, and thus protecting everybody.
Because this historical juncture is extremely delicate, it is inevitable to address the problematic challenges in the Lebanese political scene, starting with the most urgent— the escalating financial crisis — all to the very root of the tragedy unfolding today: power formation in society, with no disregard to the controversial issues that may be seen as dividing the social and confusing therein symptoms and causes of its very ailment.
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