Seattle stands with the #LebanonProtests for the second Sunday in a row.
Back home, a human chain was formed earlier today connecting cities across Lebanon’s coast in a show of unity, as the fissures begin to manifest on day 11 of the revolt. Pro-President friends and family have started to speak out after days of silence; moods swings in people once exuberant and supportive are more noticeable—maybe due to the daily inconveniences to ordinary lives, maybe thanks to pro-government agitprop, I don’t know.
Tempers are flaring on the other side as well; the vanguards are in tension, with some raising red flags to call out “bougie” academics monopolizing public space in the name of critical pedagogy, for example; I’m not seeing their interlocutors’ responses, but I’ve heard that it’s not good.
A little bit of that dissensus even showed up here, on the shores of the Puget Sound. A younger man with a scruffy face tried to lead the crowd today in a round of “hela hela ho,” but was shouted down and shamed by an older man with a permatan. I found that amusing.
None of this tension is a problem, of course. Shows of unity are only symbolic, and the best that this wave of protests can achieve is setting up the conditions for real democracy to emerge, which means real disagreement and real agonism. This is only the beginning, but will people have the stamina?