Late on a smoggy Friday afternoon Dec. 13, three friends sat huddled around a laptop at Raseef coffeeshop in the Hamra neighborhood of Beirut. On Twitter, many Lebanese users urged people to head down to Martyrs’ Square to protest over the weekend. Thousands did, with state security forces tear gassing and shooting rubber bullets at demonstrators, who posted videos of the confrontations online.
With each day of the mass anti-government demonstrations that have swept Lebanon for the past 12 weeks, protesters are adding a new page to the country’s history books. To ensure their activism is not lost or distorted by the passage of time, a handful of tech-savvy citizens are working to preserve and archive materials associated with the demonstrations through open-source online projects.