- Title: "Till the last breath" - Lebanese activist's struggle for rights has just begun
- Date: 20th October 2019
- Summary: BEIRUT, LEBANON (OCTOBER 20, 2019) (REUTERS) LEBANESE ACTIVIST DANY MORTADA CHANTING AT PROTEST IN BEIRUT VARIOUS OF MORTADA MAKING HIS WAY THROUGH PROTESTERS / MORTADA CHANTING ANTI-GOVERNMENT SLOGANS LEBANESE FLAGS WAVING DURING PROTEST MORTADA WALKING THROUGH PROTEST (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE ACTIVIST, DANY MORTADA, DURING PROTEST, SAYING: "The energy is present. When I see this scene and all people from all religions coming down to the streets, this is energy by itself. When I see the Sunni, Shi'ites, Christian and Druze from all regions, they don't care where from, how and why, all united with one hand, this is alone energy." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS GATHERING AND WAVING LEBANESE FLAGS MORTADA CHANTING WITH PROTESTERS MORTADA CHANTING (Arabic): "(CENTRAL BANK GOVERNOR) RIAD SALAMEH IS A THIEF" PROTESTERS WALKING MORTADA SPEAKING WITH PROTESTERS VARIOUS OF MORTADA CHANTING BEIRUT, LEBANON (OCTOBER 19, 2019) (REUTERS) MORTADA AND PROTESTERS CHANTING ANTI-BANKING SYSTEM SLOGANS MORTADA AND PROTESTERS CHANTING (Arabic): "SHAME. THE LEADERS OF MY COUNTRY ARE MERCHANTS. THEY SOLD LIRAS IN DOLLARS." (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE ACTIVIST, DANY MORTADA, SAYING: "We are continuing with the movement, even if we had to escalate. We will remain part of the movement, until the last breath. This, at the end, has become like our job, because there are no jobs in the country, our job has become to come and demand our rights." LEBANESE SECURITY FORCES WATCHING PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS BUILDING VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WAVING LEBANESE FLAGS AND CHANTING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE ACTIVIST, DANY MORTADA, SAYING: "We are here since the protest started, and we are not leaving until our demands are met. As they say, we are the children of the streets in 2015, 2011, 2009, we were going to the streets during all those years and we are continuing. We are staying in the streets." MORTADA AND PROTESTERS CHANTING (Arabic): "BREAD, FREEDOM, SOCIAL JUSTICE" VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS VARIOUS OF MORTADA AND PROTESTERS CHANTING, LEBANESE SECURITY FORCES WATCHING PROTESTERS OUTSIDE THE GOVERNMENT HEADQUARTERS BUILDING (SOUNDBITE) (Arabic) LEBANESE ACTIVIST, DANY MORTADA, SAYING: "We have hope, because I think people are over the sectarianism they are in. Hunger reached their homes, bread was cut on them for some time, fuel was cut, people felt the pain, they had to go on the streets. No one is listening anymore to their leader who is dealing with the corrupt system and making them numb. I think this is enough." VARIOUS OF PROTESTERS WAVING AND CARRYING LEBANESE FLAGS LEBANESE SECURITY FORCES BEHIND BARBED WIRE VARIOUS OF MORTADA CHANTING WITH PROTESTERS
- Embargoed: 3rd November 2019 10:51
- Keywords: Lebanon economy protests activist politics
- Location: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- City: BEIRUT, LEBANON
- Country: Lebanon
- Topics: Conflicts/War/Peace,Civil Unrest,Editors' Choice
- Reuters ID: LVA001B1WHZYF
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Protesters in Lebanon returned to the streets early on Sunday (October 20), keeping pressure on Prime Minister Saad al-Hariri as a self-imposed deadline to deliver a package of badly needed reforms for the country's crumbling economy drew near.
Among the protesters is Lebanese activist Dany Mortada. He has been on the streets for four days in a row for the anti-government protests that swept the country since Thursday (October 17), pulling together all segments of Lebanese society in an unusually unified call for the downfall of a political elite that protesters blame for plunging the economy into crisis.
Dany, in his twenties, is unemployed. Instead, he said his job now is to take to the streets and put forward people's demands and fight for his rights. "We will remain part of the movement, until the last breath," he said.
Mortada has been joining protests for years, but this time he feels particularly motivated by the energy of the people "from all religions and all regions" who are protesting.
"We have hope, because I think people are over the sectarianism they are in. Hunger reached their homes, bread was cut on them for some time, fuel was cut, people felt the pain, they had to go on the streets. No one is listening anymore to their leader who is dealing with the corrupt system and making them numb. I think this is enough," he added.
The mounting unrest was triggered in part by a proposed fee on WhatsApp calls, a measure which was quickly scrapped but that was seen by many as the latest government attempt to squeeze citizens receiving little in return from the state.
Hariri gave his feuding coalition partners a 72-hour deadline on Friday (October 18) to agree to reforms that could ward off economic crisis, hinting he may otherwise resign. He accused his rivals of obstructing budget measures that could unlock $11 billion in Western donor pledges and help avert economic collapse. Government sources said Hariri was waiting for his coalition to get on board with the economic proposals, which include taxes on banks and a plan to overhaul the country's costly and crumbling state electricity utility.
(Production: Alaa Kanaan, Yara Abi Nader, Ayat Basma, Chiara Rodriquez)
- Copyright Holder: REUTERS
- Usage Terms/Restrictions: None