The Lebanese maintain the pressure in the street against the Government, in the fourth day of mass protests

ROSA MENESES
Sunday,
twenty
October
2019

17:37

On the eve of the expiration of the deadline imposed by the Prime Minister on Monday for the coalition Executive to agree on his reform plan, protesters continue their WhatsApp Revolution to demand the progress of the political class  A demonstrator carries the national flag as he stands on the balcony ...
Protesters with the Lebanese flag observe from a balcony a march against the Government, this Sunday in the center of Beirut. In the graffiti it is written: “Revolution”.
MOHAMED AZAKIR / REUTERS

Protests

The WhatsApp revolution burns the streets of Lebanon and demands the resignation of the Government of Hariri

Crisis.

El Lbano, a country to the limit
National flags and patriotic critics have splashed this Sunday a mass demonstration with festive atmosphere in the center of Beirut, on the fourth day of protests to demand the resignation of the Libyan Government. The demonstrators, in which it is the most numerous concentration since Thursday, sang one of the slogans of the Arab Spring: “The people want each regime.” Lebanon has been shaken by an unprecedented response movement in recent years that demands the exit of power from a political class that it accuses of corruption and nepotism . The trigger was the announcement of the Government to impose a fee of 6 dollars a month to messenger services such as Whatsapp, which was forced to withdraw hours later before the street rebellion. But the march behind the politicians has not stopped the street. Baptized as the ‘WhatsApp Revolution’ they are the most massive protests for five years and this time they are special because they encompass citizens of the entire ideological and sectarian spectrum, in a country traditionally divided into political groups. religious of marked affiliation. “We are a nation that loves life, partying and dancing. Politicians have found a way to separate us for a long time, but the last four days have shown that we are united at heart and that their stupid schemes cannot separate us anymore.” , commented the civil rights activist Elie Khoury to the local digital newspaper ‘An Nahar’. The protests this Sunday come after a night of mobilizations in all regions of the country, which developed without disturbances or serious incidents. From north to south, the marches took place in almost every city in the mountainous Lebanese geography, from Trpoli to Akkar through Baalbeck, Tire or Sidn, shouting “Revolution!”. The country has been paralyzed since Friday and it has already been announced that on Monday, bank offices, colleges and universities throughout the State will remain closed.

Ultimtum de Hariri

This Monday expires the 72-hour deadline imposed on Friday by Prime Minister Saad Hariri to the parties that form the Government coalition to approve its reform plan. If they don’t, Hariri insinu that he will resign. Although there are those who have advanced. On Saturday night, the leader of the Maronite Christian party Lebanese Forces, Samir Geagea, announced the withdrawal of the coalition of its four ministers. “We have reached the conclusion that this Government has no power to take the necessary steps to save the country from a worsening of economic conditions,” Geagea said in a televised speech. The rest of the unity government forces tried to calm the population’s spirits. Economa Minister Ali Hasan Khalil announced that the Executive had given the green light to budgets that would not increase taxes. One of the reasons for the Lebanese tiredness is the lack of life, which they must face with very low salaries and decadent public services . More than a quarter of the Lebanese population lives below the poverty line, according to World Bank data. Meanwhile, the party-militia chi Hizbul says that he will do everything possible so that the Cabinet does not fall, that he assumed his duties last January and that it cost nine months of negotiations. “If we do not find a solution we will go towards the collapse of the country, bankruptcy and the loss of value of our currency,” warned Hasan Nasrala, leader of Hizbul . “The second danger is a popular explosion,” he added in a televised speech on Saturday. His warning arrives late, as Lebanon is already in the midst of an unstoppable popular outbreak reminiscent of the Cedars Revolution the mobilizations that in March 2005 managed to expel Syrian forces from the country, ending with 30 years of predominance and interference. Those protests, like those of these days, united the Lebanese in their struggle for independence and freedom.

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