Residents of Mansourieh, in the Metn area, gathered around Wednesday morning to block the main road that leads to Beit Mery as a way to take a stand against the new installation of high-voltage powerlines.
The power lines, which were supposed to be installed starting this past Tuesday, were met with great opposition due to the indications that the high voltage can be harmful to the residents’ health.
However, Information Minister Jamal Jarrah defended the new installation, saying that there is no conclusive scientific evidence that these power lines can cause any damage to a person’s health. He stressed that there are many other high-voltage towers that have been installed across Lebanon.
“We will remain in the streets until our demands are met,” asserted the Mansourieh protesters via An-Nahar.
The protesters began gathering in the street on Tuesday at the site of the tower installation to try to go against it. They are continuing to gather in the street for two days now, threatening that they would escalate matters if their demands were not met.
In attendance with the protesters was Kataeb Member of Parliament Elias Hankash, who said via The Daily Star, “The work on the installation of the power lines should cease; otherwise, things are going to escalate.”
Crowds blocked the road that leads to Beit Mery, and they continued to push their way towards the building site, where they were met with resistance by the Internal Security Forces. A great police presence was also remarkable in the area.
“The problem is not with the Internal Security Forces but with the obstinacy of officials and the way they deal with the people…,” explained Hankash via The Daily Star.
The Maronite Church also condemned the installation, yet if completed, it will become an essential part of Lebanon’s power grid.
As of now, the protesters remain adamant about having their demands met. It remains to be seen what will come out of this clash between government and civilians.