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Conflict Incident Report

Police disperse Sidon industrial workers protesting blackout

Associated Timeline/Case: 
EDL Conflict (starting July 11, 2014)
Date of incident: 
November 13, 2014
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
EDL workers
EDL - Electricite du Liban

Police used force Thursday to disperse workers and factory owners blocking the main highway between Sidon and Tyre in south Lebanon to protest against the government’s failure to repair electricity cables. The five-day power outage, due to electricity workers' recent decision to stop all maintenance work, caused a total blackout in Sidon’s industrial zone, security sources told The Daily Star. The protesters burned tires, blocking traffic in both directions between the two main coastal cities for several hours Thursday morning before police unblocked the vital road by force, the sources said. The blackout, which grounded businesses and factories for the past five days, occurred after the main cable supplying the industrial zone south of Sidon caught fire. Striking EDL contract workers had adamantly refused to answer queries to repair the cable, paralyzing work at dozens of factories, the sources added. EDL contract workers said last week they will stop all maintenance work across Lebanon, cautioning that it might result in major power disruptions. Until then, the contract workers were carrying out maintenance and repair work on the electricity network despite their three-month long strike over labor issues. Their decision to escalate their protest was meant to prove that their work was essential for the country to function.

Primary category: 
Collective Action [inc. protests, solidarity movements...]
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Conflicts of socio-economic development
Conflicts associated with lack of, or gaps in economic development, opportunities and access to resources.
Classification of conflict(secondary):
Power & governance conflicts
Violent or non-violent conflicts associated with antagonisms related to internal political tensions between local and/or national groups and parties. These tensions may be encouraged by internal, regional and international parties. Such conflicts are characterized by their defiance and/or opposition to central State power and governance.