Monday, 15 March 2010
Yesterday was the fifth anniversary of March 14. In 2005, this day marked the beginning of a new era in Lebanon as hundreds of thousands from all over the country gathered in Place des Martyrs to demand the withdrawal of Syrian forces and the restoration of Lebanese sovereignty in the aftermath of former PM Rafic Hariri's assassination.
This year however, the event was marked by little more than partisan convoys and TV shows. March 14 has officially retreated from Beirut's public squares, to closed doors and round tables.
Nader Fouz writes sarcastically in the daily pro-March 8 Al-Akhbar "a number of majoritarian [March 14] MPs walked into [Hotel Le] Bristol and their biggest worry was to keep the sweets away from former MPs Naila Mouauad and Solange Gemayel." He quotes "March 14 started in public squares, then moved to Biel (exhibition hall) and now the Bristol... Maybe their 6th anniversary will be held in my house or even in my own bedroom."
Has March 14 unveiled itself and revealed that it was all but a social, popular movement - even if the protest on March 14, 2005 were otherwise? Has the elitist nature of March 14 been made obvious enough to its supporters? Have the latter realised that March 14 is little more than a gathering of feudal lords, business tycoons and oligarchs?
Yesterday, the pro-March 14 An-Nahar carried another piece by Sagean Qazzi in which he analysed the future of the March 14 movement. Mohammed Ali Meqled also wrote an article which appeared in An-Nahar's Opinions Page yesterday in which he analysed March 14, five years later. In his piece however, he accused March 14 of violating its own slogans by inviting and encouraging foreign intervention in Lebanon in the name of restoring sovereignty and implementing UN resolutions.