Mass protests in Lebanon after port explosion kills over 150

Daniel Forrest, is a member of the YCL in the North East

As the body count rises to over 150 confirmed dead, thousands in Lebanon took to the streets over the weekend to protest government corruption and negligence.

Tensions are running high in the aftermath of the tragic blast that has claimed at least 150 lives and shattered those of many more in Lebanon this week. Many in Lebanon are furious with the government over the negligence that led to the devastating blast, seeing it as further evidence of the corruption of the ruling class in the country which prompted mass protests in the country last year.

One example of the mood in Lebanon can be seen in Martyr’s Square, where protesters have constructed gallows. Another case of open hostility to the government was showcased when two ministers attempted to visit badly affected areas but were chased out by angry locals.

Even before this week’s devastation, anti government sentiment has been very prevalent in Lebanon over the last year, when mass protests rocked the country in October of 2019 over the deepening economic crisis and soaring unemployment, both of which have only worsened since then.

Several officials have resigned in the wake of the disaster, but only time will tell if the anger of the people of Lebanon will foster a change in government and bring an end to the corruption and criminal negligence that led to the disaster that has claimed so many innocent lives.

Daniel Forrest


Donate Now – Aid Work Appeal for the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth

Dear comrade/friend,

Lebanon is in dire need of your help after the tragic events on Tuesday 4 August that devastated Beirut.

The explosion left at least 158 dead, 6,000 injured and 300,000 people homeless according to the BBC.

Meanwhile, Lebanon has been experiencing a severe economic crisis, with over 50,000 people protesting against the Government on Saturday 8 August.

We are asking for donations to fund relief, rescue and rebuilding work as well as support for affected and impoverished people by the Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth (ULDY), our sister progressive youth organisation and member of the World Federation of Democratic Youth in Lebanon.

DONATE here today!

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Our comrades in the ULDY have been on the front line of the disaster:

• Carrying out search and rescue activities,
• Clearing and repairing roads and other infrastructure,
• Restoring people’s homes,
• Transporting injured people,
• Donating blood,
• And giving affected and other impoverished people, affected by the worsening economic situation, food and a roof over their heads.

But they cannot do this alone and without funding, so we are asking you to make a donation to support this essential aid work by the Lebanese youth.

What will your donation mean to the ULDY and the people of Beirut?
Your donation will go towards food, medicine, equipment such as shovels and workwear, and other essential items whose costs are skyrocketing due to the economic decline and black market speculation.

For example, approximately £25 will feed a poor family for 2 weeks.

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Adnan Al Mokdad, president of the ULDY and vice president of WFDY:

“After the blast, we sent our comrades in 4 ambulance teams, and 6 other teams who looked for and rescued people, cleared the roads, transported the injured and communicated the whereabouts of people to the Red Cross.

“More than 600 of our members from all over Lebanon have come to the affected area in Beirut to help people. We are organising blood drives and accommodation for people who have lost their homes, as well as others who are suffering from the economic decline, including 25 Sudanese workers who lost their jobs and homes.

“We are political, of course. The Government has not sent anyone to the site of the blast, or done anything to stop the black market speculation. We believe that Lebanon needs to change its imperialist system, otherwise the nation will collapse.

“90% of our people are poor. At the port, 50% of all buildings were destroyed. Our message is we need to help the poor people of Lebanon now!”

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We are closing our appeal and withdrawing the total raised at 2pm on Sunday 16 August. The total will then be transferred to the ULDY via Western Union.

We will provide updates about how our donations are used as well as information about the relief work by the ULDY and WFDY and the situation in Beirut.

Please donate and share our appeal TODAY so that we can reach our target of £1,000 for our comrades’ essential relief work by this Sunday!

Thank you,

Robin Talbot
Chair and International Officer
Young Communist League of Britain

Ewan Simpson
Member of the International Commission
Young Communist League of Britain

PS. Please share with your friends and comrades, and remember to donate BEFORE Sunday 16 August!

Click here to download our A4 poster for fundraising in your local area.

The Young Communist League of Britain (YCL) is the youth wing of the Communist Party of Britain and member organisation of the World Federation of Democratic Youth (WFDY).

Follow us on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter to keep up to date with our campaigns.

The Union of Lebanese Democratic Youth (ULDY) is a progressive, secular, anti-imperialist youth organisation and member organisation and holder of the regional vice presidency of WFDY. Find out more on their Facebook page.

WFDY organises the World Festival of Youth and Students every four years and has consultative status with the United Nations (ECOSOC) and a relationship with UNESCO. It was established in 1945. Find out more on their Facebook page and www.ycl.org.uk/international.

https://www.gofundme.com/f/ycl-uldy-aid

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