- Title: Lebanese protest into the night across the country
- Date: 19th October 2019
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (OCTOBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) FIREWORKS GOING OFF VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS JUMPING AND CHANTING FIREWORKS GOING OFF TIME-LAPSE OF PROTESTERS IN THE STREETS OF BEIRUT WALKING AT NIGHT (MUTE) TRIPOLI, LEBANON (OCTOBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) (NIGHT SHOTS) PROTESTERS GATHERED IN STREET PROTESTERS CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) PROTESTER FROM TRIPOLI, ABU OMAR BAKISH, SAYING: "They have left us with nothing. They even want to take our phones. Today, Tripoli is united. Christians and Muslims together. The Alawites are with us. They are our brothers, heroes, and this land is for us, all of us. The thieves in the Serail (government building) want to divide us. They are losers. They want to tax us on WhatsApp, fuel, TVA (value-added tax). Enough with the oppression." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS BURNING TYRES (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) UNIDENTIFIED PROTESTER, SAYING: "We are dying. We have nothing to eat. Why are you raising taxes? Our lives are miserable and you (the government) don't care about anything, not even God. Enough, the people are dying. We want our rights and we will not leave until we get them. And that is that." PROTESTERS GATHERED IN SQUARE
- 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: LVA001B1RJPS7
- 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
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