Friday, June 29, 2012

Beach Racism 1: Saint George

Here is the video of an event that occurred earlier this summer in the Saint-George Yacht Club & Marina (Beirut).





This sort of event happens all the time in Lebanon, and it is time to put a stop to it.

Now that the Ministry of Tourism has issued a circular, banning discrimination at beaches, it has become easier for everyone to demand fair treatment of all people, regardless of skin color, background, occupation, or nationality. Although this circular is far from being a solution to the discrimination that plagues most of Lebanon's institutions, it is a start.

Having witnessed an act of blatant discrimination, the people in the video called the tourism police (Hotline: 1735), who were very cooperative and helpful. According to the tourism police, Saint-George will be fined (amount to be determined), and a date for the trial is currently being set. This should set a powerful precedent, which will deter other beaches and public institutions from continuing with their racist policies.

Please know that we do not intend to single out Saint-George in any way. It is obviously not the only beach with racist policies. We simply posted this footage because it is the only one we have until now.

Hopefully, with your help, we will be able to compile a comprehensive list of violators. But we also want to create a list of beaches which welcome all people into their resorts and pools. Before the end of the summer, we hope to have sorted most beach resorts into one of two categories: friendly beaches (those who respect the discrimination ban), and beaches to boycott (those who continue their racist practices).

Here is what you can do to help:

- If you witness an act of discrimination at a beach (not letting someone in, not letting them swim, or other "filtration policies", etc.), please call the tourism police right away (hotline: 1735), and let them know!

- If you do not want to call them, let us know (by phone, sms, or email), and we will deal with it! (contact details below)

- Please send us your experiences at beaches in Lebanon. You can email us, call us, send us a video or a picture. You will remain completely anonymous unless you ask for your name to be used.

Together, we can make sure that this discrimination ban is enforced, and does not end up forgotten like many other rules and laws in Lebanon. Little by little, things are starting to change. Finally.

Email us at antiracismlb@gmail.com

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