Lebanon: Anti-government Protests Turn Into Giant Street Party

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Scores of people in Lebanon came out to the public places in the capital city of Beirut and other places on October 20 in the largest protests in the country.

Written By Sounak Mitra | Mumbai | Updated On:
Lebanon

Scores of people in Lebanon came out to the public places in the capital city of Beirut and other places on October 20 to join the largest protests in the country since 2005. The protests were staged in revolt against the traditional leaders who have reigned for three decades and plummeted the economy to the brink of disaster. The widespread protests began four days ago after the government of Lebanon unveiled new tax proposals. Lebanon is one of the world's most indebted countries, with a deficit of around $86 billion more than 150 percent of gross domestic product, according to the Finance Ministry. Public anger surged after parliament passed an austerity budget in July as part of efforts to unlock the $11 billion. The nation also suffers from high unemployment and very slow growth.

READ: Lebanon's Saad Hariri's Govt Scrambles To Respond To Mass Protests

A protest with music, songs and dance 

The public services have remained off for years now and power stations remain neglected. The protest was not like the regular protest scene. The protestors blared music, danced, sang songs and chanted, “The people want to bring down the regime.” Many people were seen carrying placards that read, "Happiest depressed people you’ll ever meet.” Protestors which include men and women carried blue bags to clean the streets of the capital city Beirut in the morning, picking up trash that was left behind by the previous night's protests.

READ: Lebanon: Hariri Agrees For Reforms To To Resolve Economic Crisis

Some demonstrators set up small bathing pools 

In Beirut, some demonstrators set up small bathing pools on the main ring-road and in Martyr's Square and camped out in a paddling pool. During the late-night in Tripoli, Lebanese people waved their mobile phone lights and danced turning out the protest into a giant open-air nightclub. The sidewalks have been prompted into impromptu cafes. The protestors waved national flag across the country chanting and echoing slogans from the 2011  Arab Spring uprisings that toppled governments. The protest remained mostly good-natured with people singing and dancing into their traditional dances. A 50-year-old in Tripoli,  Nazih Siraj said its a time for change adding that he was demonstrating for the future of his four daughters. Lebanese expats on Sunday gathered to demonstrate in Paris, Los Angeles, and Washington.

READ: Lebanon’s Nasrallah Says He’s Against Government Resignation

READ: Lebanon: Civilians Stage Protest Against Government In Beirut

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