The same flag all over Lebanon, after the same burning tires all over our TV screens: thousands of protesters continued to demonstrate on Friday and block roads all over Lebanon to protest against the government’s policies, Al Jadeed local TV channel reported. Tension were high since last month’s demonstrations in Beirut.
Citizens chanted slogans against the government while accusing politicians of being corrupted and depriving people from their basic rights.
Protests have been ongoing since Thursday evening, leading to 23 injuries among citizens and 60 among the Lebanese army.
Citizens’ demonstrations came after the government discussed the possibility of imposing taxes on fuel, tobacco, WhatsApp and internet calling applications, and luxurious products in addition to increasing the value added taxes in its 2020 state budget.
The cabinet is supposed to meet later during the day to discuss the 2020 budget.
Meanwhile, interior minister announced earlier that Prime Minister Saad Hariri will give a speech on Friday.
The government has been facing a challenge of passing a budget by reducing the deficit which has reached 11.4 percent of GDP but it has been incapable of adopting serious reform measures to reach its goals and it resorted to imposing more taxes on citizens.
The kicking lady
As the protesters took the streets, Lebanese influencers took over the Net to spread the news. On October 17, at night, a Lebanese woman was filmed kicking the bodyguard of a Lebanese minister in the groin during a scuffle in Beirut last night.
Protesters were demonstrating against corruption and government’s inaction when Lebanese Minister of Education Akram Chehayeb’s convoy was spotted in the neighborhood.
Protesters were shouting when the convoys bodyguards got out of their SUV and started firing in the air. A Lebanese woman is filmed kicking one of the bodyguards in the chest. Iconic.