USJ students clash with security forces
Protesters injured during attempt to march on summit
Maha Al-Azar -Daily Star staff
17.10.02: A pro-sovereignty demonstration at the Law Faculty of Universite Saint Joseph (USJ) in Achrafieh saw five protesters arrested and another three hospitalized on Wednesday.
The students had planned to march to the Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, where the three-day Francophone summit begins Friday, but were prevented by scores of Internal Security Forces (ISF) and soldiers who blockaded the campus.
When students attempted to march out of campus, security forces drove them back, sometimes using their rifle butts.
The ISF issued a statement saying that the students ignored the current ban on   demonstrations, and insisted on leaving the campus “in a chaotic fashion,” which it said led to a clash. The ISF said one of its troopers was injured, while two students were “lightly injured.” Students said that at least three of their number required medical attention and more than a dozen were roughed up. Two of the seven detained were released a few hours later. One student, Richard Younan, was reportedly dragged away and arrested while “in the hands of the Red Cross.”Cynthia Zarazir was left with a dislocated shoulder and a back injury. Zarazir, who spoke to The Daily Star as she was being admitted for X-rays, said she was inside the campus when security forces pulled her out and beat her up with a rifle butt.
“They beat me on my head, my left ear, my left shoulder and my back … I’m bruised all over and am feeling dizzy,” said the 20-year-old student from the American University of Technology in Halat, who participated in the sit-in “because I always support freedoms.”“This is the only country out of all those attending the Francophone summit that is still under occupation,” said the Free Patriotic Movement’s (FPM) Samer Beshaalani, referring to the presence of Syrian troops.
USJ’s student committees, the FPM, the banned Lebanese Forces, the National Liberal Party, some leftist groups and supporters of former President Amin Gemayel joined forces to organize the protest, which attracted several hundred students, who were planning to spend the night on campus in protest as The Daily Star went to print.
Waving MTV banners and Lebanese flags and wearing stickers reading “520” in reference to UN Security Council Resolution 520, which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, the stident protesters braved rain and mud to make their point. Banners in French called on Francophone leaders to “push Lebanon to no longer undermine freedoms.”
“Save us from Syrian barbarism,” said another banner. In a speech by Jad Jabbour on behalf of the student committees, the authorities were accused of painting a perfect picture of the country to their Francophone guests. “There (at the Phoenicia), a grand feast is held during which the Lebanese authorities wear their black ties and act according to protocol,” Jabbour declared. “In the Phoenicia, Lebanon is a free, democratic country that respects human rights. “Its citizens are completely content,” he quipped, “exactly like the people of Iraq, who would not wish for Saddam Hussein to be replaced.”He continued: “The authorities promote Syria’s presence in Lebanon as one that helps Lebanon and (ensures) its stability and national consensus.”Jabbour urged the representatives of France, Canada, Belgium and Switzerland “not … to do our work for us in liberating Lebanon and building its democratic system. Just look at your hosts and let them know that you don’t believe a word they say.

USJ Protest.
 A pro-sovereignty demonstration at the Law Faculty of Universite Saint Joseph (USJ) in Achrafieh saw fifty protesters arrested and another nine hospitalized on Wednesday. Our Lebanese students had planned to march to the Phoenicia Inter-Continental Hotel, where the three-day Francophone summit begins Friday, but were prevented by scores of Internal Security Forces (ISF) and soldiers who blockaded the campus. When students attempted to march out of campus, security forces drove them back, sometimes using their rifle butts. ”Cynthia Zarazir was left with a dislocated shoulder and a back injury. Zarazir, who spoke to The Daily Star as she was being admitted for X-rays, said she was inside the campus when security forces pulled her out and beat her up with a rifle butt.  “They beat me on my head, my left ear, my left shoulder and my back … I’m bruised all over and am feeling dizzy,” said the 20-year-old student from the American University of Technology in Halat, who participated in the sit-in “because I always support freedoms.”“This is the only country out of all those attending the Francophone summit that is still under occupation,” said the Free Patriotic Movement’s (FPM) Samer Beshaalani, referring to the presence of Syrian troops. USJ’s student committees, the FPM, some of Lebanese Forces, the National Liberal Party, some leftist groups and supporters of former President Amin Gemayel joined forces to organize the protest, which attracted several thousands students, who were planning to spend the night on campus. Waving MTV banners and Lebanese flags and wearing stickers reading “520” in reference to UN Security Council Resolution 520, which calls for the withdrawal of all foreign forces from Lebanon, the stident protesters braved rain and mud to make their point - Banners in French called on Francophone leaders to “push Lebanon to no longer undermine freedoms.” ; “Save us from Syrian barbarism,” said another banner.