Dr Mohamed Ajami died on Sunday, March 28 in a car accident. He is the latest emblematic victim of the systemic crisis that hits Lebanon. A victim of roads full of potholes, a victim of the lack of electricity on the road network and a victim of a health system in full decay. While he came out of the accident alive, he was denied access to medical treatment because he did not have enough money to go to the hospital. He waited for three hours for his son to collect the required $40. This wait was fatal for him.
Dr Ajami is a front-line figure of the October 17, 2019 uprising. Since the beginning of the protest movement, he didn't leave the streets, being present at almost all the rallies in his city in South Lebanon, Tyre. He was known in all the strongholds of the uprising for his enthusiasm, his iron will and his revolutionary commitment. His car accident occurred while he was returning from a national demonstration in Beirut. This demonstration is part of a series of popular protests that have occurred in recent weeks and will be amplified in the coming months.
The main conclusion of this demonstration is clear: it is now time to move ahead to the second phase of the uprising. Indeed, the revolutionary movement in Lebanon that started on October 17, 2019, is characterized by an awakening of the masses to their fate while the political, economic, and social system is collapsing. Today, if we want to overcome this system, we need a better organization of the street, a structuring of the political forces that demand a radical change of the system and the establishment of a common program for the opposition.
In fact, in recent months, there have been initiatives to unite the opposition forces around a common program. This alliance is composed of left-wing and non-confessional political parties, independent unions and civil society movements working for in-depth change of the system. Its program revolves around two main demands: citizenship as the sole basis of the representative political system and, more broadly, the achievement of social justice as an essential condition for a new national pact.
This qualitative evolution of the protest movement is a sine qua non condition for the triumph of an uprising that must lead to revolution. A wish dear to Dr Ajami.