Lebanon protests have taken a new turn as the country marked its 100 days of anti-government demonstrations, with citizens rallying in the streets of Beirut on Saturday. The protestors holding the Lebanese flag were seen protesting against the newly formed Cabinet outside the central government headquarters in the capital city.
Since, the protests were a result of government’s failure in providing basic necessities to the citizens, the protestors never thought that the government could respond by forming a new cabinet. It was never a solution to their problems. The Lebanese protestors stated that the new cabinet was the reformation of the corrupted, long-serving, political class against whom they have been protesting since October.
Previously, the former Lebanese Prime Minister, Saad Hariri resigned after allegations of running a corrupt government surrounded his political career. His resignation led to a political crisis in the country, giving way to civil uprising in Lebanon. The announcement of the formation of the new cabinet aggravated the protestors, who breached the tight security around the government building Serail, removing a metal gate and barbed wire, while simultaneously hurling stones and firecrackers at security forces.
More than 400 protesters and 100 security forces were injured over two nights of clashes outside the parliament building, last week. Blast walls and large cement blocks were erected behind the barbed wire and soldiers stood on alert, a few meters away.
Some protesters scaled those walls and taunted the soldiers. The protestors’ aggressive attitude and growing steps towards the government building prompted the security forces to respond with water cannon and tear gas to push them back.
With the extension of Lebanon protests, the capital city has metamorphosed into a security zone, with riot place and soldiers deployed in every street and barricades and checkpoints erected. The parliament has become a center of attraction in the recent days for confrontations between protesters and security. The market has been equally damaged by the clashes between the riot police and the protestors as the latter urged the citizens to join their rallies.
As and when the new government was formed on Tuesday, the security forces installed new barriers and metal gates around official buildings to prevent any such event to happen again. Meanwhile, the views of the protestors appear to be divided upon whether to continue the protests or to give a chance to the newly formed cabinet. The fact that the existing economic crisis has worsened in the wake of the Lebanon protests cannot be neglected.
Since, the new government is backed by the militant Hezbollah group and its allies, who are already dominating the Lebanese parliament, the growing voices of dissent amongst the protestors are united, saying that “They are the same people.” It appears that the involvement of Hezbollah, often designated as a foreign terrorist group, is one major reason that has provoked the once peaceful Lebanon protests to turn violent. In all, the protests in the country are continuously being undermined by the Lebanese politics.