Anti-Govt. Protests Ongoing in Lebanon
Anti-government protests demanding an overhaul of the political system shows no sign of abating with thousands of school and university students demonstrating for the third day on Friday to boost the protests as they enter their third week.
On Friday, protests mushroomed around different parts of the country. Students, retired servicemen and activists marched from Beirut’s Martyr’s Square to Beirut Port to protest “squandering of public funds.”
Others staged sit-ins near the state-institutions in Dekwaneh, Jounieh, Hasbaya, Zahle, Jbeil and other parts in the country.
In the eastern city of Baalbek, students rallied in the main square and marched towards the local banks in the area. People blame the country’s Central Bank for fueling the economic crisis.
Grievances initially focused on poor infrastructure and abysmal public services quickly grew into an unprecedented nationwide push to drive out an elite which protesters say has ruled the country like a cartel for decades.
After blocking off roads for days, protesters have switched to preventing access to institutions seen as the most egregious examples of mismanagement and corruption.
In Zahle, students rallied outside the Grand Serail preventing its employees access to their offices as they sang the Lebanese anthem.
Prime Minister Saad Hariri tendered his government's resignation on October 29 in response to pressure from the street.
That did little for his popularity with protesters in Tripoli, where giant posters of him were replaced with the Lebanese flag in several locations, a stunt that was met with applause by residents.
The cabinet has stayed on in a caretaker capacity but efforts to form a new line-up seem to be stalling, with each faction in the outgoing coalition seeking to salvage some influence.
Hariri met President Michel Aoun on Thursday and said that consultations were ongoing with all political players but gave no details.