BEIRUT: Protesters gathered outside the Finance Ministry’s VAT building for the second day Friday and prevented employees from entering, before security forces pushed them away from the entrance.
Dozens of protesters gathered outside the building in Adlieh from 7 a.m. Riot police and the Lebanese Army later arrived, pushing the protesters away from the entrance and forming a human chain around it.
“They told us to open roads and protest outside state institutions. We did, and now they are not letting us protest. How can we achieve our goals then?” a protester said.
A nationwide uprising that started on Oct. 17 saw thousands take to the streets, in opposition to Lebanon's ruling class and its failure to deal with the country's dire economic and financial situation.
Protesters used roadblocks and burning tires a main strategy in the first weeks of the uprising. People who opposed roadblocks clashed with demonstrators on multiple occasions, telling them to redirect their anger towards state institutions and not the people.
In the Chouf area, protesters closed the offices of the nationalised Electricite du Liban Friday, the state-run National News Agency reported.
In the nearby Shehim town, protesters blockaded the offices of the state telecommunications company Ogero and the Mount Lebanon Water Establishment, the NNA said.
Protesters in Nabatieh and Zahle gathered outside the Central Bank buildings in their areas, waving the Lebanese flag.
In the afternoon, dozens of protesters gathered in front of the Helou police station in Beirut to demand the release of Dana Hamoud who was arrested after clashing with a police officer. A video circulating social media showed Hamoud getting into an altercation with the officer.
He grabbed her arm as Hamoud was yelling at him, after which she fought back. Later in the video, Hamoud was brought down to the ground by two officers who pinned her hands behind her back.
Reasons for the confrontation are not yet clear but an audio recording of a lawyer has asked for incident to be investigated.
Meanwhile, hundreds of protesters gathered in Baalbeck in the late afternoon in Motran Square. They chanted, waved flags and sang the national anthem.
Renowned Lebanese singer Marcel Khalife later performed his songs of the revolution at the demonstration to the jovial crowd. “No one loves Lebanon like us,” he said.