BEIRUT: While the world celebrated Black Friday with the usual immense sales and discounts, a group of activists in Lebanon decided to seize the opportunity to have a Green Friday instead.
The trees of the Gibran Khalil Gibran Garden, Centre Ville, displayed a collection of donated clothes. Additionally, the space was occupied by stacks of DVDs and books for anyone to exchange in return for their used clothes or gadgets.
This idea of exchanging clothes and/or gadgets was first initiated by Fridays For Future, a global movement that began after 15 year old Greta Thunberg protested in front of the Swedish parliament for three weeks against the lack of action on climate change. Activists Andrés Succar Rahmi and Marianne Eid decided to join the movement and bring it to Beirut.
"We're mainly a youth movement that are organizing protests around the world in order to demand a safe future given that climate change might very easily change the way we live," Rahmi told Annahar. "We are trying to raise awareness and push our politicians to change policies to tackle the climate crisis."
During the first few minutes of the sale and while the activists were still opening the bags to display clothes, protesters in Riyad el-Solh quickly joined them in setting up the space and choosing their favorite sweaters, jumpers, and over-alls to take home.
Eid explained that the purpose of the exchange is to save clothes and gadgets from ending up in the garbage where they are not disposed properly. The exchange also aids those who cannot afford to buy their own.
"People have been going to stores buying clothes without realizing the negative impact of that on the environment. People need to realize that they can buy second hand clothes in good conditions," Eid said.
The activists also had multiple university and school books on display to fight against the increasing prices of standardized education books.
"I feel like there's a huge problem in Lebanon, education is very expensive with no regard to the student. While climate change is the main cause we're fighting for, we decided to include education in today's movement," Rahmi said.
Other than the Green Friday, the group of activists had previously protested at the Bisri Dam in order to stop the deforestation of the land. They have also organized diverse strikes to bring attention and awareness to climate change.
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