- Title: Lebanese protest into the night across the country
- Date: 19th October 2019
- Summary: VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS SMOKING WATER PIPES ON ROAD SIDE PROTESTERS LYING ON MATTRESS ON ROAD PROTESTERS PLAYING BOARD GAME WOMEN ON SIDEWALK HOLDING LEBANESE FLAG (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER, KHALED ISSA, SAYING: "I am studying at LIU (Lebanese International University) but I have not found a job. So I am here, playing cards and all is good." PROTESTER DRUMMING WHILST BEING CHEERED ON BY OTHERS (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER, SAYING: "I don't want to talk politics, I want to talk about what people want, what mothers want for their children. Mothers don't want to grow old alone because their children have emigrated, they don't want to end up in care homes because their children are not able to come back to their homelands. Their homeland is rejecting them. Their homeland is forcing them to leave."
- 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: LVA003B1RJPS7
- 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)
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