I posted the following comment in response to a post on the Lebanese Political Journal. I’ve made some additions to make it stand as a post alone:
Here are a few observations you might find interesting regarding the people who are camping in the Downtown:
1. The Chrsitians that went down on friday were all from the metn and keserwan. Additionally, those who came down from the north from Tripoli and Zgharta with Omar Karami and Sleiman Frangieh totaled according to LBC sources, 42 buses and 300 cars.
2. Barely any Christian came down from Achrafieh. My room balcony overlooks nazlit Sofil and there were only a few hundred who went down from there. This is compared to the tens of thousands that walked down that road on March 14, 2005, February 14, 2006, and November 23, 2006.
3. Buses, minivans, and construction trucks were organized to bring in people from the South, the Beka’a, and the north. I saw this incredibly gigantic construction truck, the kind that is meant for either sand or large rocks, carrying about 45 people standing up and waving their flags on their way to the downtown area. I also saw the convoy of Talal Arslan, which you could recognize because they had his picture put up on each bus. Interestingly, I saw no pictures on minivans of Nasrallah, Berri, or Aoun. I don’t know if this was because I didn’t see any or if there weren’t in fact any.
4. The LPJ had a very catchy title: More Arslani than Aouni in the tents: The Tragedy of Hezbollah. I heard this from three people. However, I checked once again to reconfirm and I got more conservative estimates from a very reliable source. Perhaps these are more reflective of what is on the ground:
Aoun tents: 10-15
Marada tents: 4-5
Communist tents: 4-5
SSNP tents: 6
Arslan tents: 4-5
You can find the Aouneh tents right under the bridge of Charles Malik. If you go down Monot like you’re going to downtown, there is a place with rubble under the bridge. The tents are hitched there with their orange identification.
Yesterday, members of the Future Youth went down just to take a look at what was going on. They talked with a couple of people who were setting up a tent. They assumed that they were Shi’a from the south and asked them a variety of questions as to why they were there, etc. Then, turns out that one of them said he was Syrian. I don’t know if he actually came from Syria or if he was a Syrian living in Lebanon. At a Future Youth meeting, this was mentioned and someone in the meeting said that he heard this from a couple other people. I however do not know if there are a significant number of Syrians that are camping downtown.
Ok, I’m looking from my balcony at Sofil and there is a huge convoy of Aouneh supporters that are headng for the downtown area. I would say about 8-10 cars are going down. They have been honking for the past ten minutes.
December 3, 2006