This time it was not another episode of the social rebellion that has been shaking that small and suffering country for months, but the sudden explosion of 2,700 tons of explosives stored in the port of Beirut, the Lebanese capital. As we publish this, 135 are dead, dozens are missing, over 5,000 are injured and some 300,000 people have been left homeless. These are the tremendous provisional figures of the tragedy that mourns Lebanon.
From Beirut, our comrades of the Movement for Change, some of whose militants and relatives were injured by the glass explosions, confirm that it was ammonium nitrate, which was brought by a ship in 2014 that was possibly heading towards Syria, but that it was detained in the Lebanese port and those explosives were confiscated there and stored in very poor conditions, and worse, very close to another deposit of pyrotechnic material.
The official explanation is that it was accidental, or rather a case of criminal negligence by officials of the corrupt government of the six parties – including Hezbollah – who share power and business in Lebanon. Another hypothesis is that of an intentional attack: in Beirut there is a recent version about an airplane that would have fired first at the pyrotechnic tank and then at the ammonium tank, causing the two consecutive explosions that destroyed half the city and affected the rest.
The Lebanese government has initiated a process of investigation into the disaster and promises a “harsh punishment” to those responsible, but does not deserve any confidence given its anti-popular nature. The right-wing government of Israel deserves it even less. Through President Netanyahu, it has ruled out a terrorist attack and now offers “humanitarian aid”, but since its birth, it has exercised State terrorism against the Palestinian people and the Arab peoples of the region, including bordering Lebanon.
For now, our comrades of the Movement for Change, who during the rebellion set up several tents in Martyrs Square, in the heart of Beirut, to support the struggle against the Harari government and for a working-class and popular solution, have now set them back up, but to collect donations (drinking water, clean food) and distribute them among those most affected.
From the place of the disaster they send us these words: “This system kills us, this country kills us with its stupidity and failure! Today we mourn the victims and join hands to save Beirut from destruction. Beirut is hurt and its people are in the rubble and on the streets, so we can go help them. We go to hospitals to donate blood and we open our houses for the homeless.”
We call for an international solidarity campaign. Collaborate and help us raise funds to send to those affected by this tragedy.
All the support of the International Socialist League!