Kafeh, the anarchist movement in Lebanon, has been active in the ongoing revolutionary uprising against the Lebanese state and its capitalist economic policies. We interviewed Kafeh for their perspective on the protests and anarchist organizing in Lebanon.
With so many uprisings taking place around the world, what are some unique features of the uprising in Lebanon?
Lebanon’s uprising is unique by being a revolution against not only one system or one symbol… but against several. Knowing that Lebanon has 18 sects, and each sect having its chiefs and leaders. So this uprising represents the people united against those chiefs that gave us nothing but war and fights and poverty and corruption. Although it has some similarities with other countries’ uprisings, concerning the oppression and the demands.
What issues are people most upset about and what was the turning point that led to such a widespread revolutionary movement in Lebanon?
The main idea is that there is an oligarchy ruling over the country for about 40 years and this regime refuses to give up. We even see fathers giving positions and powers to their sons and grandsons to carry on their corrupted ways of ruling. And as a result of that, the people that are suffering poverty, insecurity, economical and social crisis found no other solution than to revolt, to overthrow this regime.
What are some historical factors that have created the conditions for a revolutionary uprising in Lebanon?
The never-ending cartel of rulers and their families that have deep roots in Lebanon’s history in being regional ruling families over religions, and sects.
As anarchists, what are some of your goals for your involvement in the protests?
The overthrowing of the regime is a great first step, as well as the prosecution and punishment of the corrupt and the abolition of the sectarian laws.
What are some of the anarchist and revolutionary slogans that you have been chanted in protests or painted in graffiti?
All of them are in Arabic… but are translated as:
The people want to overthrow the regime
When the people get hungry, they will eat their rulers
Our war is a class war
Down with the rule of the military
We are the coming nightmare
And of course the anarchist symbol on walls, banks and government buildings.
What long-term preparations can anarchists make to defend the gains made in the revolutionary uprising?
To spread the anarchist philosophy among the people and show them how they can perfectly live without anyone ruling over them.
What current or historical revolutionary movements or figures do you find most inspiring for your group?
The Catalonian revolution, Rojava, Mikhael Bakunin.
Outside of the protest movement, what other organizing has your group been involved in?
Meetings, public debates, social media platforms, research and education.
What kind of actions would you recommend anarchists in other parts of the world taking to show solidarity with revolutionaries in Lebanon?
To be honest, a little funding would be great.
What is your position as anarchists in the Middle East on Trump’s so-called “Peace Plan” for the region?
We show solidarity with all oppressed individuals and groups. Therefore, the people of Palestine should be liberated from the oppression of Israel.