BEIRUT: From blocking roads to forming a human chain across the country, Lebanese protesters certainly know how to get creative. Their latest initiative is the “Thawra bus” or the revolutionary bus, which took off from Akkar this morning with the aim of passing through all of Lebanon’s protest areas, from the North to the South. It paused in each area for about 15 minutes during which the organizers spoke to various media outlets.
“This event was orchestrated to show that the demands of the Lebanese people are one, from the North all the way to the South,” Mira, a passenger on the bus who came all the way from Nabatiyeh, said. “For the first time, we are united by our demands.”
After passing through Tripoli, Batroun, Byblos, Zouk Mosbih, Jal el dib, Achrafieh, Ring bridge, Martyr’s Square, Khaldeh and Barja, the bus reached Sidon, where it was met with opposing opinions.
Protesters' in Sidon were divided on whether they should allow the bus enter their city and pass through Elia Square or not, claiming that it was organized by political parties and funded by the US embassy. The US embassy shortly tweeted that it has nothing to do with the bus.
“The only organizers in this [initiative] are regular people like you and me. If you want to talk to someone you can choose anybody from the bus, as this is a group initiative,” Ahmad Salameh from Akkar told Annahar.
In addition, there were claims that MP Osama Saad, leader of the Popular Nasserite Organization, was the one who ordered the army to stop the entrance of the bus to Sidon. Saad, however, released a statement to the media stating his wishes for the army to facilitate the entry of the bus. He also headed himself to Al Awaly, Sidon’s entrance, to facilitate talks.
The bus was finally able to enter Sidon, but decided to end the tour there without visiting Nabatieh and Tyre.
“They [the people with power] can no longer separate us using religion and sects as a tool. We are brothers and sisters,” Mohammad El Saj, another passenger from Akkar, told Annahar.
Photo from Martyr's Square, Downtown (Annahar Photo)
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