Once again, political corruption protects economic injustice and result in environmental injustice, threats to livelihoods, and pollution.
What officially began as rehabilitation efforts for the fishermen’s ports in Beirut became construction efforts to privatize the port and deny these fishermen their livelihoods. Eviction notices were forced upon these fishermen – and yet they were denied their presence at the court.
And more recently, the crimes escalated to reach the Mediterranean Sea.
“The fishermen of Daliyeh in Beirut’s Raouche woke to the noise of drilling and trucks early Wednesday morning, November 13. A bulldozer was carrying the debris piled in front of the port, which it had brought from somewhere a few months ago, and throwing it into the sea. The fishermen lost their cool, knowing very well the damage this will cause. Fisherman Amer Mahfouz shouted at the bulldozer driver. “Stop,” he ordered. “We will stop you by force. You don’t know what you’re doing. This rubble will cause the fish to leave the area. You are destroying the fish population.”
The driver called the company he works for and informed them of the fishermen’s reaction. The company called another company, its partner in the works, to solve the issue. One is owned by Jihad al-Arab and the other by Milad Abou Rjeily.
Speaking to Al-Akhbar, Mahfouz, AKA Abu Adal, wondered, “Who allowed them to throw the rubble into the sea? It is garbage, metal, and dirt. There is nothing more harmful to the marine environment. Where is the Environment Ministry in all this?
This is not the first time that politically-supported companies in Lebanon throw rubble directly into the sea. It is yet another crime – to be added to an increasingly long list of environmental and economic crimes.