Many Lebanese protested and blocked roads on Wednesday after polemical statements by the president.
Thousands of angry Lebanese blocked roads in the country and demonstrated near the presidential palace Wednesday, November 13, after statements by President Michel Aoun, seemingly ignore their claims. While the unprecedented protest movement launched on October 17 calls for the departure of the entire political class, deemed corrupt and unfit, Aoun said on Tuesday that those who believe that none of the political leaders is decent have to "Emigrate".
This statement immediately provoked the ire of protesters, who set fire to dumpsters and tires at night, blocking arteries and roads in several cities. Waving Lebanese flags, hundreds of them headed for Baabda's presidential palace on the heights of Beirut Wednesday, demanding the departure of Mr. Aoun. But they were blocked by the army which closed all the roads leading to it with barbed wire barriers. In the evening, they set up tents nearby.
"There was a lot of contempt in the president's statements, maybe he thinks we do not exist, so we came to make him hear our voicessaid Angie, a 47-year-old engineer. Our hope in Lebanon is great and we do not want to emigrate! "
A protester killed on Tuesday
Elsewhere in the country, thousands of protesters burned tires and blocked roads at the entrances to the capital, Tripoli and the districts of Akkar (north) and Bekaa (east). Altercations sometimes took place with soldiers trying to unblock the roads. In Tripoli, thousands of demonstrators gathered in the evening in the center of the northern capital. In Jal El-Dib, near Beirut, a man in a car fired a machine gun at protesters blocking the road before being controlled by the protesters, according to the national news agency. The Lebanese Red Cross said they transferred four shot dead to the hospital.
On Tuesday, a protester was shot dead south of Beirut after an altercation with soldiers in a car. The army announced the opening of an investigation and the detention of the soldier who opened fire. On 17 October another demonstrator was killed in an incident in Beirut.
Triggered by the announcement of a tax more in full economic slump, the protest got on October 29 the resignation of the Prime Minister, Saad Hariri. Since then, the negotiations to form a government are waiting while protesters demand a government of independents and technocrats. They claim their exasperation at the lack of public services, unemployment and corruption, with a ruling class almost unchanged for decades.