Lebanon News

Day 54: Protesters briefly block "Ring Bridge"

A Lebanese anti-government protester walks past a slogan written with rocks on the road and reading in Arabic: "Lebanon's uprising" at the highway in Nahr el-Kalb, linking the capital Beirut to the northern city of Tripoli in the area of Dbayeh on November 14, 2019. AFP / JOSEPH EID

BEIRUT: Protesters briefly blocked Beirut's "Ring Bridge" Monday evening on the 54th day of nationwide protests, before being forced to the sidelines by riot police.

At least one person was detained after scuffles between demonstrators and police, leading to calls of "shame, shame" from the crowd.

Protesters also toured the streets of the nearby Gemmayze neighborhood and attempted blocking some sideroads with various obstacles, including plastic food boxes.

In Tripoli, protesters threw trash at politicians' homes in Monday afternoon, while blocked roads across north Lebanon.

Most schools and universities in Tripoli went on strike, while state institutions and banks kept their doors open.

Gathering under the slogan, “Like you drowned us in trash, we will drown you in it,” demonstrators in Tripoli went to the houses of politicians from the area to throw bags of garbage at them.

“For 30 years they’ve been treating us like trash, so today we’re putting them in it,” one protester told a local TV channel, as people threw bags of rubbish at the house of former Justice Minister Ashraf Rifi. Another protester added that they would go to the homes of former labor minister Mohammad Kabbara and former prime minister and current MP Najib Mikati.

Scuffles broke out between protesters and the bodyguards of MP Faysal Karami in front of his house. The Lebanese Army deployed and used tear gas to disperse the trash-throwing protesters from Karami’s property.

President Michel Aoun postponed binding parliamentary consultations to Dec. 16, after candidate Samir Khatib withdrew his candidacy Sunday. Caretaker Prime Minister Saad Hariri remerged as a candidate for the premiership.

Following Sunday's developments, protesters called for a nationwide strike Monday. There were no roadblocks in the capital on Monday morning; however, traffic was disrupted by localized flooding, following heavy rain.

In Zahle’s Saadnayel, protesters blocked the road from 5 a.m. to 11 a.m. The Barr Elias road in Zahle was also reopened at around 11 a.m., the Traffic Management Center (TMC) reported.

Residents of north Lebanon also obstructed roads in Minyeh, Tripoli and Akkar.

Protesters set up two tents in the road at the North Marina intersection, near Tripoli, in order to prevent traffic heading into the city. They also blocked the main road from Tripoli to Koura.

Meanwhile, authorities reopened the Dahr Al-Ain road in Koura shortly after midday, the TMC reported.





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