Lebanon News

Uprising day 23: Protesters, students paralyze state institutions

BEIRUT: Students joined protesters and blocked state institutions across the country Friday, in the 23rd day of the national uprising that saw hundreds of thousands in the streets since last month.

Dozens gathered outside the Lebanese University's administration in Beirut's Mathaf area, closing the building's doors. They called for a general strike and for the administration and professors not to force students to attend classes.

Earlier in the day, a few hundred teachers and students carrying their backpacks gathered outside the Education Ministry in Unesco, while other students blocked the entrances of the Central Bank in Jounieh and Sidon.

“We lose a year, but we gain a future,” a student protesting outside the Central Bank in Sidon said.

Students also protested outside LU's Faculty of Law in Sidon. The protests gained support from at least a couple of teachers, who told local media that they supported the students' demands and right to protest and would not resume classes as long as students protested.

Employees at mobile operator Alfa gathered outside their offices in Dekwaneh. They were later joined by students as another group gathered outside the company's offices in Jounieh.

People also gathered outside the Port of Beirut, the Bsharri municipal building, in Barja and at the National Social Security Fund offices in Jounieh, Jbeil and Tripoli.

Many also marched in Zahle, Marjayoun, Hasbaya, Baalbeck, Jbeil and Batroun, while others protested outside banks in Tripoli, Bekaa’s Jub Jennin and Rashaya.

In Zahle, people blocked the entrances of the Zahle Justice Palace and state-run telecoms company Ogero. Entrances of Ogero buildings in Jounieh, Chekka, Halba and Sidon were also blocked.

Lebanese have been in the streets since Oct. 17 in nationwide protests against corruption, the squandering of public funds and the sectarian political system that has been in place for decades.

Saad Hariri resigned from his post as premier on Oct. 29, bringing down the government.

People since have demanded the formation of a technocratic government, early parliamentary elections and an early end to President Michel Aoun’s 3-year-old term, in addition to holding all corrupt officials accountable and return of “looted public funds.”

Protesters also criticized Aoun’s delay in calling lawmakers for binding parliamentary consultations, which are necessary to designate a person to form the next government.

 

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