Lebanon protests move from blocking roads to surrounding state bodies

Elias Hubbard
November 8, 2019

The move on Wednesday suggests a shift in the focus of protesters from blocking roads and setting up barricades to holding sit-ins at state-affiliated sites as they seek to maintain pressure on the political establishment until their demands for the departure of the ruling elite and an end to chronic economic mismanagement and corruption are met.

Lebanon's President Michel Aoun yesterday announced that 17 files on corruption had been referred to investigation.

Even before the protests started last month, growth in Lebanon had stalled in the wake of repeated political deadlocks in recent years, compounded by the war in Syria.

Lebanon is ranked 138th out of 175 countries in Transparency International's 2018 corruption perceptions index, with key sectarian leaders accused of running demi-fiefdoms.

In response, Aoun said that the new government would have "competent ministers of good reputation and far from suspicions of corruption".

Lebanese students wave national flags and chant slogans as they gather in an anti-government demonstration in the southern city of Sidon on Wednesday.

Hundreds of schoolchildren led anti-government demonstrations across Lebanon on Wednesday, refusing to return to class before the demands of a almost three-week-old protest movement are met.

"What's going to I pause with a college leaver's certificate if I must not have a rustic", one pupil instructed Lebanese tv.

Hundreds of pupil-led protests took situation in the southern cities of Tyre and Nabatieh, the eastern metropolis of Zahleh and the northern metropolis of Byblos, in step with NNA and diverse Lebanese media experiences.

Besides the justice ministry, other protest points where large sit-ins are expected on Wednesday include the ministries of energy, foreign affairs, finance, tourism, communication and labour, as well as the offices of Electricite Du Liban, the main Lebanese electricity provider.

Banks were open and classes resumed at most schools after a two-week gap.

Demonstrators did however gather around key state institutions for a second day in a row, in what appeared to be a new tactic.

'We don't want judges who receive orders, ' read one placard held aloft by the crowd.

"Today, there is an opportunity to see real change" he said.

The current nationwide protests in Lebanon, starting on October 17, have succeeded in toppling the Lebanese government which failed to implement serious economic reforms.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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