Public transportation drivers have organized a nationwide protest on Thursday to paralyze the country in order to pressure the state for effective actions regarding the dire living conditions.
With the living conditions further deteriorating, the Public Transport Union found itself compelled to take this extreme measure to put pressure on Lebanon’s ruling body for their rights as citizens.
The rise in fuel and food prices, the health crises, the unstable dollar rate, the collapse of the local currency, the shortage of meds, people’s savings withheld by banks, and the lack of essentials like electricity, among other critical issues, have rendered the living conditions a daily hardship for the people.
And with all that, the government of PM Najib Mikati has not met since October 2021 due to some ministers boycotting parliamentary sessions for their own agenda.
People have found themselves with no option but to protest for the ruling body to act responsibly towards the country they have pledged to serve.
Many main roads have been blocked from 5:00 am on Thursday by cars and trucks and burning tires, cutting off all roads from South to North.
Schools, universities, and banks had issued statements earlier that they will close their doors on Thursday, taking the same stance as the unions of the general workers and the road transport trade.
The traffic control has reported many closed roads in Zahleh, Saida, Beirut, Tripoli, Bchamoun, Chekka, Dora, Bhamdoun, Aley, Verdun, Sarba, Hamra, Tyre, and many more with Lebanese Army units taking measures to keep pace with the movement of drivers.
Amidst the “Thursday of Anger”, a spike in the prices of gas, diesel, and gasoline has been reported, further inciting people’s anger.
On Wednesday night, sit-ins and protests took place in front of the Central Bank, the parliament, and other ministerial building, and violent clashes soon erupted.
In response, Lebanese President Michel Aoun and PM Mikati are now calling to end the political deadlock.
“President Aoun calls on boycotters to stop their arrogance and agree to hold a frank dialogue so that we can decide our future in our own hands,” the presidential office issued in a statement.