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Lebanese Peaceful Revolution against Syrian Occupation of Lebanon

 

 

Pro-Independence demonstrators in occupied Lebanon

Lebanese youth, university students, engineers, physicians, lawyers, teachers and citizens from all parts of Lebanese society are leading a peaceful revolution to implement UN Security Council Resolutions 520 and 1559 that call for a Syrian pullout from Lebanon. The media around the world called the peaceful movement "The Cedar Revolution” after the mass demonstration defied the military ban and managed to force the pro-Syrian government to resign on February 28, 2005, and the Syrian army to withdraw late April 2005.

 

 

Around 200,000 Lebanese defied the demonstrating ban and walked for miles to gather near the Lebanese Parliament, forcing the pro-Syrian government to resign.

Lebanese celebrating their first victory in the peaceful Cedars Revolution – ousting the pro-Syrian government

A Lebanese holding a Muslim Quraan and a Christian rosary showing the unity of Christians and Muslims of Lebanon against Syrian occupation

 

The People Power: The Lebanese peaceful "Cedars Revolution" against Syrian occupation continued - larger, louder and bolder - until the Lebanese pro-Syrian government resigned in February 28, 2005

 

The protesters kept their peaceful demonstrations demanding: forming neutral government to hold internationally-supervised elections and a full Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon

 

(bottom) A Lebanese holding a Muslim Qur’an and a Christian rosary showing the unity of Christians and Muslims of Lebanon against Syrian occupation

 

Hundreds of Thousands rally in Beirut waving the red and white scarves, chanting " Syria out Now "

Lebanese students support UNSCR 1559 that calls for Syrian pullout from Lebanon

Mass demonstrations in Lebanon against Syrian Occupation

Hundreds of Thousands rally in Lebanon to end Syrian Occupation

The “Statue of Martyrs” in Beirut mounted by Lebnaon revolution youth

 

(Top and middle) Hundreds of Thousands rally in Beirut waving the red and white scarves, Lebanese flags and banners, holding roses and chanting " Syria out Now ". February 21, 2005 (red and white, the colors of the Lebanese flag, became the symbolic colors of the peaceful revolution)

 

(bottom) The “Statue of Martyrs” in Beirut ’s famous Martyr Square is a stage for enthusiastic youth representing different political groups united for independence. In addition to Lebanon and the Vatican, the flags and signs represent the Free Patriotic Movement, the Lebanese Forces, the Progressive Socialist Party, Kataeb Party, Ahrar Party, the Guardians of the Cedars, the Future Current and college groups

Anti-Syrian Demonstrations after assassinating Rafiq Hariri

Anti-Syrian demonstrations after Hariri assassination

banner with a cross and a crescent expressing the Christian-Muslim Lebanese unity against Syrian occupation

 

Demonstrations supporting UN resolution 1559 to end Syrian occupation of Lebanon . The wide Christian-Muslim united opposition front announced on February 18, 2005 the start of “The Peaceful Uprising for Independence” against Syrian occupation. This call came after the assassination of Ex-Premier Rafik Harriri who had been in confrontation with the Syrian regime when it imposed a three-year extension term of the pro-Syrian Lebanese President "Emile Lahoud". Hariri was assassinated on Feb. 14, 2005 after he joined the Anti-Syrian opposition.

 

(middle) Night demonstration with thousands of Lebanese, some holding French flags in gratitude to France ’s support through UN Resolution 1559 in response to their demands for freedom and sovereignty

 

(bottom) A demonstrator holding a banner with a cross and a crescent symbolizing the Christian-Muslim Lebanese unity against Syrian occupation

 

Demonstrators supporting UN resolutions 1559 to end Syrian occupation of Lebanon

Lebanese Demonstrators supporting UNSCR  1559 to end Syrian occupation

Demonstrators supporting UN resolutions 1559 and 520 to end Syrian occupation of Lebanon (Nov. 21, 2004)

The pictures below show the pro-Syrian security forces’ oppressive practices against peaceful demonstrators calling for Syrian withdrawal from Lebanon (1991-2004)

Lebanese youth demonstrating against Syrian occupation faced by violent security forces
Lebanese students demonstrating against Syrian occupation, subdued by violent security forces and water hoses
Demonstrators supporting UN resolutions against Syrian occupation
Demonstrators supporting UN resolutions 520 and 1559 against Syrian occupation
Lebanese demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation
Lebanese demonstrations to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation escalated after the Israeli withdrawal from South Lebanon in May 2000, Syria remains the only country that keeps an army presence in Lebanon
Lebanese demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation at Mathaf-Beirut
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation at Mathaf, Beirut in support of UN Security Council Resolutions 520 and 1559
Lebanese college students and professionals lead most of the peaceful resistance demonstration against Syrian occupation of Lebanon
Lebanese college students and professionals lead most of the peaceful resistance demonstration against Syrian occupation of Lebanon.
Lebanese youth demonstrating against Syrian occupation in a face-off with security forces
Lebanese youth demonstrating against Syrian occupation in a face-off with security forces. Hundreds are normally prevented from reaching sites of demonstrations. Those who make it are usually brutalized, arrested, detained and tried before martial courts.
Lebanese college students holding a portrait of exiled Prime Minister Gen. Michel Aoun who led a liberation war against Syrian occupation
Lebanese college students holding a portrait of exiled Prime Minister Gen. Michel Aoun who led a liberation war against Syrian occupation, but was outgunned by the Syrians and their Lebanese lackeys in October 1990, and exiled in France where he remains until this day. General Aoun has a large popular base of supporters in occupied Lebanon especially among students and young professionals who play a crucial role in resisting the Syrian occupation of Lebanon
"Liberty - Sovereignty - Independence ” is the popular slogan shouted by Lebanese protesters denouncing Syrian occupation

"Liberty - Sovereignty - Independence ” is the popular slogan shouted by Lebanese protesters denouncing Syrian occupation and interference in Lebanon . The Syrian-imposed regime in Lebanon banned the slogan during the visit of Pope John Paul II to occupied Lebanon in 1997. In an act of resistance to the Syrian regime and its proxy government in Lebanon , the resisting groups continue to defiantly use “Liberty-Sovereignty-Independence” slogan

Brutal arrest and ill-treatment for the Anti-Syrian-demonstrators

Brutal arrest and ill-treatment of Anti-Syrian-demonstrators where many Syrian intelligence members and pro-Syrian individuals in civilian clothes join uniformed forces in arresting and brutalizing Lebanese demonstrators

Lebanese against Syrian occupation of Lebnaon
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation
A Lebanese student, during a sit-in, holds a picture of his brutalized  colleagues in a  previous demonstration against Syrian occupation
A Lebanese student, during a sit-in, holds a picture of his brutalized colleagues in a previous demonstration against Syrian occupation
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation

Protesters against shutting down Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) 2002

Protesters against shutting down Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) in 2002.

The Pro-Syrian government in Lebanon shut down MTV and Radio Mount-Lebanon, owned by an Anti-Syrian parliamentary election candidate who won in a popular election against a pro-Syrian candidate, the result of the vote was later overturned
Lebanese youth demonstrating against Syrian occupation faced by violent security force

Lebanese youth demonstrating against Syrian occupation in a face off with security forces, hundreds are normally prevented from reaching the sites of the demonstrations. Those who make it are usually brutalized, arrested, detained and tried before martial courts

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Civilian agents backed by Syrian troops and their proxy regime in Lebanon attack Lebanese students who were demonstrating in what became known as the "Events of August 7 th".

In August 7 and 8, 2001, the Lebanese Mronite-Catholic Patriarch Nasrallah Boutros Sfeir sponsored a historic reconciliation between Druze and Christian former militias –former bitter enemies during the Lebanese civil war.

The Syrian regime and its proxy government in Lebanon were unhappy with the reconciliation that was seen as a potential threat to the influence of Syrian troops in Lebanon .

Security forces in occupied Lebanon arrested hundreds of Lebanese opposition activists in their homes and businesses, males and females aging between 16 and 77. Most were sent to martial courts with political charges; some spent years in jail.
Civilians protected by Syrian troops and their proxy regime in Lebanon attack Lebanese student

Civilians agents backed by Syrian troops and their proxy regime in Lebanon attack a Lebanese student who was demonstrating what became known as the "events of August 7 th" (see photo above)

Ironically, portraits of the Syrian-appointed president in occupied Lebanon ‘Emile Lahoud’ appear in the background.

Lahoud, a staunch Syrian ally, was appointed by the Syrian regime to rule occupied Lebanon. He ultimately serves Syrian interests in occupied Lebanon rather than interests of the Lebanese people. The Syrian regime was pleased with his attitude and granted him a 3-year term extension in his position violating the Lebanese constitution and confronting the international community that issued the UN Res. 1559 to counter the undemocratic acts in Lebanon
Lebnaese supporting UN Resolution 1559 to end SYrian occupation

Lebanese college students and professionals lead most of the peaceful resistance demonstration in support of UN resolution 1559 to end Syrian occupation and control of Lebanon

Security forces attacking a protester against shutting down MTV

Security forces aggressing a civilian who was protesting the shutting down of Lebanese Murr TV in 2002.

The Pro-Syrian government in Lebanon shut down MTV and Radio Mount-Liban owned by a popular Anti-Syrian candidate
Lebanese college students and professionals lead most of the peaceful resistance demonstration against Syrian occupation of Lebanon

Lebanon youth lead most of the peaceful resistance demonstrations against Syrian occupation of Lebanon.

Lebanese youth against Syrian occupation of Lebanon

Lebanese youth demonstrating against Syrian occupation in the anniversary of the “War of Liberation” against Syrian troops that was declared by the Lebanese government in 1989

Faced by security forces, hundreds are usually brutally arrested, detained and tried before martial courts
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian occupation and influence
Lebanese youth demonstrating in support of the UN Security Council Resolution 520 that calls for Syrian pullout of Lebanon

Lebanese youth demonstrating in support of the United Nations Security Council Resolution 520 that calls for Syrian withdrawal of Lebanon. The demonstrators risked detention by smuggling banners in favor of UNSCR 520.

The Syrian-imposed government in Lebanon removed UN Resolution 520 articles and links from all its official websites. Until very recently, it was risky to mention Resolution 520 in public. However, after issuing UNSCR 1559 in 2004, more Lebanese groups were encouraged to publicly announce their support to resolutions 520 and 1559.
Protesters against shutting down Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) in 2001.

Families protest against shutting down Lebanese Murr TV in 2002.

The Pro-Syrian government in Lebanon shut down MTV and Radio Mount-Lebanon owned by a popular Anti-Syrian candidate
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian domination
Lebanese youth demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian domination
Lebanese students demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian control
Lebanese students demonstrating to free Lebanon from Syrian control

 

Protesters against shutting down Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) in 2002

Families Protesting against shutting down Lebanon's Murr TV in 2002

 

Both Photos Left:

Protesters against shutting down Lebanese Murr TV (MTV) in 2002

After the death of an MP in the Syrian-controlled Lebanese parliament, an election took place to fill the seat. The Syrian regime planned to appoint an MP in a rigged election process.

However, the opposition groups planned for Gabriel Murr to run against the Pro-Syrian candidate since the elections were taking place in one district only which makes it harder to manipulate the results. The pro-Syrian regime was confident of its victory because of the deceiving techniques it uses such as forcing citizens to vote without the use of the secret ballot and allowing newly naturalized Syrians to vote. Despite all the illegal methods used, the Anti-Syrian candidate won with about 45% of the vote while the pro-Syrian candidate got 43%.

The Pro-Syrian authorities in Lebanon annulled the results, and appointed a third candidate who got only 2% of the votes for the empty seat.

Furthermore, it shut down MTV and Radio Mount-Lebanon owned by the Anti-Syrian candidate resulting in unemployment for hundreds of staff and loss of livelihood for their families
Lebanese flag torn by security forces

Lebanese flag and a portrait of exiled Premier torn by security forces

It became a custom for the pro-Syrian government in Lebanon to attack Lebanese youth who are holding Lebanese flags

In a demonstration day, even before the demonstration takes place, the security forces would arrest any person with a Lebanese flag, even if they were miles away from the site of the demonstration
A child holds a Lebanese flag during the celebration of the victory of opposition candidate over the pro-Syrian candidate

A child holding a Lebanese flag during the celebration of the victory of the opposition candidate over the pro-Syrian candidate. The picture is taken from the MTV broadcast.

The pro-Syrian government in Lebanon shut down MTV and Radio Mount-Lebanon a few days later and annulled the results of the elections (2002)
 
 

Most of the photos were taken from Al-Nahar Archives (www.annahar.com.lb)

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