From Beirut to London to Bicol, protests erupted against government oppression despite the ongoing pandemic. At the forefront of these protests were the Black Lives Matter marches, dedicated to the memory and murder of George Floyd, an African-American man who was killed at the hands of a police officer on May 25.
Twelve days later, the streets of the U.S. are still flooded with protestors and activists demanding police reforms and accountability for police brutality. This Saturday, June 6, saw millions march against racism while donning face masks as the pandemic continues to spread.
The Black Lives Matter movement was felt even beyond American soil as protestors gathered from Sydney, Australia, to Lisbon, Portugal, to call an end to global institutionalized racism.
It wasn’t just anti-racism protests that took to the streets. In Israel, the long-standing tensions between Israel and Palestine incited another protest as thousands of Israelis objected to the Israeli government’s plan to annex parts of the West Bank.
The move could aggravate the already volatile relationship between the two as protestors call for the peaceful coexistence of Palestinians and Israelis.
But not all protests this weekend were peaceful. Violence broke out in Beirut, Lebanon, when police forces and supporters and opponents of the Hezbollah political group faced each other in the heart of the city. Forty-eight were wounded, 11 were hospitalized, and many had to be treated on site due to skirmishes and tear gas.
The conflict between Hezbollah supporters and opponents is rooted in the Lebanese Civil War in the ‘70s and ‘80s.
Meanwhile, closer to home, a number of peaceful pocket protests took place around the Philippines as activists continue to stand against the controversial Anti-Terrorism Bill, which is being heavily criticized for the danger it poses to basic freedoms. Under the bill, the vague provisions could lead to detention without charge and terrorist-tagging of persons who show any dissent.