Chammas speaks during a news conference in Beirut. (The Daily Star/Mohammad Azakir)
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Refusing to back down, demonstrators called for a protest Saturday as activists challenged the logic of comments made by Nicolas Chammas, head of the Beirut Traders Association who said protesters were "cheapening" the high-class district of Downtown Beirut.Chammas had warned that demonstrations would transform the city center into an "Abu Rakhussa" market, during a joint news conference with other businessmen who called for the protesters to leave Downtown Beirut.Even before Lebanon's 1975-90 Civil War, Downtown Beirut was bustling and populated despite the country's grave inequalities.Separately, activists Friday created a Facebook page calling for an Abu Rakhussa market, lampooning Chammas' remarks.Chammas had also provoked the Lebanese Communist Party after describing members of the group as "economic charlatans".Azar echoed LCP's remarks.
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