Map­ping mo­bi­liza­tion across Le­banon

Executive Magazine - - FRONT PAGE -

Col­lec­tive ac­tions in Le­banon from Novem­ber 2017 to Oc­to­ber 25, 2019

The in­fo­graphic on page 38 is based on data from the Map of Col­lec­tive Ac­tions that tracks mo­bi­liza­tions by groups of peo­ple across Le­banon whose goal is to achieve a com­mon ob­jec­tive. The map is a pro­ject by Le­banon Sup­port, a lo­cal non­profit re­search cen­ter for and about civil so­ci­ety.

This vis­ual looks into the buildup of mo­bi­liza­tions from Novem­ber 2017 (when data col­lec­tion started) un­til Oc­to­ber 25, high­light­ing the fo­cus of protests on ac­cess to so­cio-eco­nomic rights (mo­bi­liza­tions re­lated to a lack of pro­tec­tion and rights, in­ef­fi­ciency of the jus­tice sys­tem, and per­sist­ing so­cial and eco­nomic vul­ner­a­bil­i­ties) over the years and lead­ing up to the Oc­to­ber de­mands for change.

The in­fo­graphic shows that these on­go­ing na­tion­wide protests are not new—var­i­ous groups have been mo­bi­liz­ing for years, no­tably around so­cial and eco­nomic de­mands. This year, up un­til Oc­to­ber 16, 200 col­lec­tive ac­tions were mapped; there were 188 in 2018 and 96 in 2017. The main de­mands, across all three years, were fo­cused on wages and the salary scale, the new rent law, and in­creas­ing prices and in­fla­tion—il­lus­trat­ing the so­cioe­co­nomic dif­fi­cul­ties faced by the peo­ple. Of the col­lec­tive ac­tions mapped this year, 89 per­cent (508 col­lec­tive ac­tions) were linked to ac­cess to so­cioe­co­nomic rights. Col­lec­tive ac­tions linked to so­cioe­co­nomic griev­ances have in­creased steadily and ex­po­nen­tially from 2017 un­til Oc­to­ber 25 this year (the cut­off point for the in­fo­graphic). The Oc­to­ber 17 to 25 pe­riod high­lighted be­low saw a sud­den peak in col­lec­tive ac­tions seek­ing rad­i­cal change on the level of so­ci­ety or the po­lit­i­cal sys­tem.

The 308 col­lec­tive ac­tions mapped be­tween Oc­to­ber 17 and 25 are all linked to so­cioe­co­nomic griev­ances and pol­icy griev­ances (mo­bi­liza­tions around po­lit­i­cal de­ci­sions on mat­ters of pub­lic con­cern), and con­sti­tute 60 per­cent of the to­tal num­ber of col­lec­tive ac­tions mapped since the be­gin­ning of the year. Bear­ing in mind that pro­test­ers of­ten em­ployed more than one mode of ac­tion dur­ing the same mo­bi­liza­tion, the main modes of ac­tion in this pe­riod con­sisted of: road­blocks (76 per­cent), tire burn­ing

This lat­est mo­bi­liza­tion has con­trib­uted to break­ing the bound­aries of fear and pa­tron­age re­la­tions with sec­tar­ian and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, no­tably out­side of Beirut.

(68 per­cent), demon­stra­tions (60 per­cent), and sit-ins (38 per­cent).

Ob­serv­ing and map­ping col­lec­tive ac­tions over a longer pe­riod al­lows Le­banon Sup­port to de­con­struct gen­er­al­iza­tions in the me­dia, academia, and else­where on Le­banon’s so­cial mo­bi­liza­tions and show that peo­ple in Le­banon are con­tin­u­ously mo­bi­liz­ing, us­ing var­i­ous modes of ac­tion, and in re­sponse to a di­ver­sity of griev­ances not merely lim­ited to par­ti­san and/or con­fes­sional af­fil­i­a­tions.

Based on Le­banon Sup­port’s on­go­ing mon­i­tor­ing of col­lec­tive ac­tions, this in­fo­graphic con­trib­utes to show the ac­cu­mu­la­tion of suc­ces­sive move­ments over time, thus steer­ing away from nor­ma­tive and lin­ear per­spec­tives on these mo­bi­liza­tions and pre­dic­tions or ex­pec­ta­tions on the out­comes of protests. So far, one of the main out­comes and break­throughs of this lat­est mo­bi­liza­tion is that it has con­trib­uted to break­ing the bound­aries of fear and clien­telis­tic and pa­tron­age re­la­tions with tra­di­tional sec­tar­ian and po­lit­i­cal lead­ers, no­tably out­side of the cap­i­tal (in Tripoli and Sour, for ex­am­ple).

Ul­ti­mately, it is the view of Le­banon Sup­port that all these street mo­bi­liza­tions un­der­line the ur­gency of a new so­cial con­tract whereby cit­i­zens re­claim the Le­banese state. One that is based on so­cial jus­tice, re­dis­tribu­tive poli­cies, and pro­gres­sive taxes.

This in­fo­graphic and ac­com­pa­ny­ing anal­y­sis were pro­vided to EX­EC­U­TIVE Mag­a­zine by Le­banon Sup­port, a non-profit, lo­cal, mul­ti­dis­ci­plinary re­search cen­ter for and about civil so­ci­ety in Le­banon.

Col­lec­tive ac­tions in Le­banon from Novem­ber 2017 to Oc­to­ber 25, 2019

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