Press Release-Lebanon: An Open Country for Civil ResistanceBeirut August 7, 2006
Rasha Salti, +961 3 970855
Huwaida Arraf, +961 70 974452
Samah Idriss, +961 3 381349
Wadih Al Asmar, +961 70 950780
On August 12, at 7 am, Lebanese from throughout the country and international supporters who have come to Lebanon to expresssolidarity will gather in Martyr's Square in Beirut to form a civilian convoy to the south of Lebanon. Hundreds of Lebanese and international civilians will express their solidarity with theinhabitants of the heavily destroyed south who have been bravelywithstanding the assault of the Israeli military.
This campaign isendorsed by more than 200 Lebanese and international organizations.This growing coalition of national and international non-governmentalorganizations hereby launches a campaign of civil resistance for thepurpose of challenging the cruel and ruthless use of massive militaryforce by Israel, the regional superpower, upon the people of Lebanon.August 12 marks the start of this Campaign of Resistance, declaringLebanon an Open Country for Civil Resistance.
August 12 also marksboth the international day of protest against the Israeli aggression."In the face of Israel's systematic killing of our people, theindiscriminate bombing of our towns, the scorching of our villages,and the attempted destruction of our civil infrastructure, we say No!In the face of the forced expulsion of a quarter of our populationfrom their homes throughout Lebanon, and the complicity of governmentsand international bodies, we re-affirm the acts of civil resistancethat began from the first day of the Israeli assault, and we stressand add the urgent need to act!," said Rasha Salti, one of theorganizers of this national event.
After August 12, the campaign will continue with a series of civilactions, leading to an August 19 civilian march to reclaim the South."Working together, in solidarity, we will overcome the complacency,inaction, and complicity of the international community and we willdeny Israel its goal of removing Lebanese from their land anddestroying the fabric of our country," explained Samah Idriss, writerand co-organizer of this campaign."An international civilian presence in Lebanon is not only an act ofsolidarity with the Lebanese people in the face of unparalleledIsraeli aggression, it is an act of moral courage to defy the will ofthose who would seek to alienate the West from the rest and create anew Middle East out of the rubble and blood of the region," saidHuwaida Arraf, co-founder of the International Solidarity Movement andcampaign co-organizer. "After having witnessed the wholesaledestruction of villages by Israel's air force and navy and havingvisited the victims (so-called displaced) of Israel's policy ofcleansing Lebanese civilians from their homes," continued Arraf, "itis imperative to go south and reach those who have stayed behind toresist by steadfastly remaining on their land."
If you are in Lebanon and want to sign up and join the convoy, contact either:
Rasha Salti. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
. Tel: +9613 970 855
Rania Masri. Email: email@example.com
. Tel: +961 3 135 279or +961 6 930 250 xt. 5683 or xt. 3933
If you are outside Lebanon and want to sign up and join the convoy,you should know:
1) You need to obtain a visa for Lebanon and for Syria if your plan isto enter Lebanon from Syria.
2) We don't have the funds to cover for the cost of your travel,however we can help with finding accomodations.For questions and help for all internationals please contact AdamShapiro at: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also sign up on our website: www.lebanonsolidarity.org
This campaign is thus far endorsed by more than 200 organizations,including: The Arab NGOs Network for Development (ANND), InternationalSolidarity Movement (ISM), Cultural Center for Southern Lebanon,Norwegian People's Aid, Lebanese Center for Policy Studies, LebaneseAssociation for Democratic Elections, Frontiers, Kafa, Nahwaal-Muwatiniya, Spring Hints, Hayya Bina, Lebanese TransparencyAssociation, Amam05, Lebanese Center for Civic Education, Let's BuildTrust, CRTD-A, Solida, National Association for Vocational Trainingand Social Services, Lebanese Development Pioneers, Nadi Li KoulAlnas, and Lecorvaw.