Protesters in Lebanon call for “the downfall of the rule of the bank”

Protesters in Lebanon call for “the downfall of the rule of the bank”


I am wondering if you could talk a little
bit about the growing wealth inequality that’s at the root of many of these demonstrations
and protests in Lebanon. After all, Hariri is one of Lebanon’s richest
people. He’s worth about $2 billion. It has been a tough week for world leaders
who are billionaires. Over in Chile, Sebastian Piñera, another
billionaire, is having massive protests in the streets as well, against wealth inequality. How has this widening gap affected Lebanon? About 1% of the people in Lebanon control—or
hoard, I should say—the majority of the wealth, and in the past decade, that has incrementally
grown. Since the beginning of this year, there has
been also demonstrations because of recently passed austerity measures. There has been cuts to the only public university
in Lebanon, the Lebanese University. There has been cuts to various ministries
such as the environment ministry that is crucial to maintain as we continue to face an environmental
crisis. There has been additional taxes that primarily
impact the working class and the poor. Aad also because Lebanon has one of the highest
debt-to-GDP ratio at almost 150%, making Lebanon the third most indebted country in the world. So this public debt that is at almost $89
billion and continuously growing, the servicing of this debt primarily benefits the wealthy
at the expense of the very poor. So there is a lot of anger on the street. These demonstrations have somewhat been referred
to by the international press as a WhatsApp revolution. That’s far from the truth. WhatsApp was a very, very small trigger to
what is happening here. There were also plans to not only add the
tax of about $.20 per day, amounting to a maximum of six dollars per month—and also
for context, WhatsApp is used by almost everybody in the country, especially because telecommunication
costs are so expensive. So what we see is a gradual increase in taxes
that do not really serve the people who are being taxed, and tax evasion by the most wealthy
and by the banking sector. You mentioned more than $80 billion in debt. Who holds that debt? What countries are benefiting specifically
or what financial groups from the Lebanese debt crisis? It is not really the international community
that’s benefiting. It’s actually the local banking sector that
benefits from the servicing of this public debt. Of course, some the members of the international
community—Saudi Arabia, Gulf states and others—but for the most part, it is the
local banking sector that is benefiting. And the local banking sector is very tightly
affiliated or close to the political class, so they are in essence serving each other. You’ve described this as a really anticapitalist
mobilization. Can you also talk about how this dates back
to and what were the trash protests of 2015? That this has been building. I will just briefly talk about the 2015 demonstrations
that were ignited after a garbage crisis that continues to be unresolved. Again, the primary difference between what
is happening now and what happened then, even though in 2015 there was a lot of anticapitalist
sentiment that was expressed, we see it much more vividly today. One of the main protest sites is actually
at the Central Bank. People have been there for almost two weeks. They are calling for not only the downfall
of the current political class, but they’re also calling for the downfall of the governor
of the Central Bank, Riad Salamé. They are also calling for the downfall of
the rule of the bank in Lebanon.

16 Comments on "Protesters in Lebanon call for “the downfall of the rule of the bank”"


  1. I wish we in America would get some balls and demand the end to the rule of banks here. We need a renewed Occupy 2.0 cuz' capitalism is destroying everything.

    Reply

  2. Exodus 32:30-33 Now it came to pass on the next day that Moses said to the people, “You have committed a great sin. So now I will go up to the Lord; perhaps I can make atonement for your sin.” Then Moses returned to the Lord and said, “Oh, these people have committed a great sin, and have made for themselves a god of gold! Yet now, if You will forgive their sin—but if not, I pray, blot me out of Your book which You have written.” And the Lord said to Moses, “Whoever has sinned against Me, I will blot him out of My book.

    Mark 11:15 So they came to Jerusalem. Then Jesus went into the temple and began to drive out those who bought and sold in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who sold doves.

    Luke 16:14 Now the Pharisees, who were lovers of money, also heard all these things, and they derided Him.

    Reply

  3. Amen! This is a great idea, world wide! The banks have too much power all over! Usury should be illegal, worldwide!

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  4. Specificaaly who owns the local banks and what foreign banks if any back and finance them??? Thamk you for your complete and thorough reporting

    Reply

  5. The revolutionary force of unregulated unfettered capitalism, the neoliberal market fundamentalist agenda, the multinational corporate capital capture of governments, using governments as the authoritarian arm of “rule by capital”, and systemic political corruption, are an unmitigated global disaster. We already know that labor is subject to a totalitarian relationship with corporations, we see what corporate neoliberalism has inflicted, and we know that the solution is to democratize the workplace. A majority function of government should be to regulate capital, so that the catastrophic failure of banksters crashing entire empires doesn’t occur, which requires massive emergency bailouts through processes such a “Jubilee”.

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  6. History shows if the wealthy are too greedy, the poor will rise against them. Banks are why the expression capital scum exists.

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  7. I can’t wait until you anarcho communists idiots try to revolt to steal money you didn’t earn. I promise that you idiots have lost the working class too. You will not win and you will be lying in a unknown grave after this is all done. You want to attack be my guest we will defend ourselves against you.

    Reply

  8. Hezbollah is the reason Lebanon has all this trouble They control most of the drug production in Lebanon.

    Hezbollah makes plenty of money from drugs and organised crime.

    Hezbollah pays Lebanese politicians bribes to support them and keep them in power.

    Hezbollah must be destroyed.

    Reply

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