Protests Broke Out In Several Parts Of Lebanon Against Dire Living Conditions


People in Sidon, south of Lebanon, took to the streets on Saturday to demonstrate against the most recent full lockdown extension imposed by the government as a last mean to put an end to the alarming increase of coronavirus infections.

With the country recording daily deaths by the coronavirus, the Higher Defense Council had to extend the strict lockdown and around the clock curfew for another two weeks.

However, citizens forced under a total lockdown are not met with government assistance in order to make it through the day without work and daily income.

People unable to meet their basic needs were prone to revolt against long lockdowns without any financial assistance from the state, as most live by day-to-day income.

In Sidon, they marched protesting from the Revolution Square by the Elia intersection, voicing out their anger toward the lockdown extension, disregarding the curfew and the lockdown.

People protest against the lockdown extension in Sidon, Jan. 23, 2021. Photo by: Mohammed Zaatari

Activist Suheil Al-Sous told local media reporters that they were forced to take to the streets “as people are going hungry and corruption in the country is rampant, the dollar has gone up and the prices have sky-rocketed.”

The activist warned that this lockdown will “kill people.” He added that if the state cannot provide help for the vulnerable and those living on daily wages then they should be allowed to work to survive.

People protest against the lockdown extension in Sidon, Jan. 23, 2021. Photo by: Mohammed Zaatari

In the north, people also protested for the same reason and blocked the Tripoli-Minieh highway and the Palma highway with vehicles.

People from Akkar and the region joined the revolutionaries in Tripoli, expressing solidarity and calling for their rights and justice.

A large group marched through the alleys of Tripoli, threatening to reignite the revolution, and calling for all Lebanon to take to the streets, “every person in need, every person suffering, and every person oppressed by the state in their rights.”

They headed towards the office of the Future Movement of Saad Hariri, intoning the Thawra chants against the regime.

Other protesters blocked the roads of Al-Qobbeh and Al-Beddawi with burning tires.

There were also protest activities in some areas of Beirut, with protesters chanting against the leaders and the state for not providing any aid or alternative during the general lockdown.

For weeks now, heartbreaking messages of hunger have been swamping the country. Lebanon is in dire conditions when it comes to the people trying to survive both the pandemic and the harsh economic crisis without a way to generate money to put food on their table because of the lockdown.

Meanwhile, the ruling leaders are busy holding on tight to their conflicting political agendas, particularly with the country’s president and the PM-designate, which is toughening further the deadlock of the government formation.

Hence, while the government formation appears to be a “mission impossible,” the authorities have also failed their lockdown strategy, not taking into serious consideration how the people could possibly survive without any income and any assistance.

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