American University of Beirut

Demands raised by certain groups who participated in the October 2019 Uprising

​In an attempt to highlight and understand the demands of protesters of the October Uprising in Lebanon, the AUB Issam Fares Institute for Public Policy and International Affairs (IFI) is publishing a series of visuals featuring the results of a desk review of the demands presented by selected groups who participated in the Uprising, including those who had set up tents in Martyr's Square and Riad El Soloh, Beirut.

For the first visual in this series, researchers used a convenience sampling technique to identify groups whose demands were easily accessible through newspaper reports that were published on October 17, 2019, onwards, and a social media search, particularly of data publicly available on Facebook and Twitter. Demands were cross-checked between different sources where possible. It is important to highlight that for this visual a frequency distribution was conducted of all the demands that were identified between October 17-30, 2019, either through published statements and/or lists of demands. The demands were then assigned to recurring issues and themes and ranked in decreasing order of recurrence.

While this technique is useful given the limited resources and time, the generated sample is not representative of the whole population of groups that took part in the October Uprising, nor of all protesters, and thus generalizations pertaining to the entire population are not intended to be made. The main purpose of the desk review is to shed a light on the most commonly stated demands by these groups and is not meant as a comprehensive exercise. The selected groups (n=30) include an array of civil society organizations, grassroots movements, students and academics societies, political movements, professional groups, and coalitions.

Further analysis will explore the most recurrent demands by general categories (e.g. need for good governance, accountability, and corruption, environmental issues, legal/judicial issues, political reforms, and social & economic rights, etc.) and by sector, taking into consideration that groups' demands are constantly changing. In addition, and to allow for a more heterogeneous sample, IFI researchers are currently compiling the demands of additional groups participating in the Uprising, such as those in other districts in Lebanon.

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