last night against the continuing Israeli attacks on Lebanon and Gaza,
at a candle-lit vigil called by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign.
session of Parliament until 10pm. The police presence was low-key.
Shortly after ten pm, a small group blocked the road between the
square and Parliament, almost immediately joined by hundreds of others.
After a few minutes, plain-clothed Lebanese stewards insisted on the
demonstrators moving back into the square, joining hands around the
crowd to push us back, and punching at least one demonstrator. They
said that they were worried they would lose permission for the march on
At least one person was arrested, who was then de-arrested by the
police a short drive away, without being taken to a police station.
there's a humanitarian catastrophe emerging in the middle east, with hundreds of thousands of peaceful civilians caught up in a totally illegal bombing campaign.
people are rightly angry that our government is effectively supporting it by not unreservedly condemning it.
and yet, dissent is so seditious and protest is so controlled in our fine free democracy, that we have to witness the sight of lebanese stewards committing the thuggery normally reserved for our police, just because they are worried they might lose the "permission" to hold a demonstration in a few days time.
well, we are still (just) clinging to the human rights act, and i have news for you. in a free country i don't need "permission" to demonstrate, and you don't need "permission" to demonstrate, and when our government is condoning the actions of a vicious, lying, imperialist state, as well as helping to arm and train them, then it is not only our right to demonstrate, it is our duty.
no steward will ever tell me how, where and when i can exercise that duty.