Lebanon: A crying soldier reminds us that every side of the trash protests is a painful one
The image of a crying Lebanese soldier was widely shared across social media channels on Monday, with users both criticising and sympathising with him. (Facebook)
What began as anger over a trash-crisis in July has since tumbled into some of the most intense protests Beirut has seen in years, followed by a security crackdown that's garnered inernational condemnation.
Thousands of demonstrators poured into the street and onto Twitter as #YouStink, demanding not just a clean up of the city but also one within the government. Police have been accused of using live fire and brutal beatings against largely peaceful demonstrations.
One protester has died and over 400 have been injured since Satuday. Since then, hundreds of photos have circulated online documenting excessive police force — even the moments after a protester was fataly shot were uploaded for the rest of the world to see.
But a video circulating social media Monday showed a different side of the protests, and people have debated its meaning ever since.
In it, a panoramic of the gray, smoky streets is broken up by protesters running past. Amid the chaos, you see a Lebanese soldier collapse against the wall, breaking down in tears.
Social media users have intermittently used the video to suggest both that soldiers are not the real enemy, and to point out why it means demonstrators should hate them more. Regardless of the response, the clip seems so full of emotion, it’s hard not to feel for everyone involved. And it reminds us that, amid the billowing chaos unfolding in Lebanon, real people are still standing on either side of the police barrier.
Here's the video. Via Facebook.
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