- Title: Lebanese protest into the night across the country
- Date: 19th October 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WAVING LEBANESE FLAGS
- Embargoed: 2nd November 2019 21:15
- Keywords: economy Nasrallah dancing unity rave protests Hezbollah politics demonstration government Lebanon
- Location: BEIRUT, TRIPOLI AND SIDON, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, TRIPOLI AND SIDON, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest
- Reuters ID: LVA004B1RJPS7
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Tens of thousands took to the streets of Lebanon on Saturday (October 19) for a third day of anti-government protests, directing growing rage at a political elite they blame for entrenched cronyism and driving the country to the economic brink.
In central Beirut, the mood was fiery and festive, with protesters of all ages waving flags and chanting for revolution outside upmarket retailers and banks that had their store fronts smashed in by rioters the night before.
From the south to the east and north of Lebanon, protesters marched and blocked roads to keep the momentum going despite gunmen loyal to the Shi'ite Muslim Amal movement appearing with firearms to scare them away.
The latest unrest was sparked by anger over the rising cost of living and new tax plans, including a fee on WhatsApp calls, which was quickly retracted after protests - the biggest in decades - broke out.
The protests followed a build-up in grievances over perceived government corruption, mismanagement of funds and a failure to address high unemployment.
No leader, Christian or Muslim, was spared protesters' ire, creating a rare unity in a country riven by sectarianism.
At night, patriotic songs blared from loudspeakers in Beirut and fireworks exploded over a sea of people dancing and singing, holding banners reading "unite against corrupt politicians".
Prime Minister Hariri gave his government partners a 72-hour deadline on Friday (October 18) to agree on reforms that could ward off economic crisis, hinting he may otherwise resign.
(Production: Alaa Kanaan, Walid Saleh, Hassan Hankir)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: Audio restrictions: This clip's Audio includes copyrighted material. User is responsible for obtaining additional clearances before publishing the audio contained in this clip.