Lebanese Protest in Downtown Beirut About Lack of Services

Published July 15th, 2018 - 01:38 GMT
Beirut protesters, Sunday (Twitter)
Beirut protesters, Sunday (Twitter)

Protesters gathered in Downtown Beirut’s Riad al-Solh Square Sunday in condemnation of the government’s failure to provide basic services, also decrying rampant corruption and abysmal pollution levels throughout the country.

“We’re here to protest everything from pollution, corruption, schools and businesses closing and even the vacations these politicians are taking while we suffer,” a mother of two, who asked not to be named, said at the Sabaa Party-organized demonstration.

Speaker Nabih Berri, Prime Minister-designate Saad Hariri and caretaker Foreign Minister Gebran Bassil all returned to Beirut from vacations abroad last week at a time when talks are at a standstill over the formation of a new government.

But in spite of representing concerns widely expressed in Lebanese society, Sunday’s protest drew a meager 100 demonstrators. Asked why the turnout was so low, the mother said, “Lebanon is graced with idiots.”

 

 

She called on all Lebanese mothers to protest and set up tents in Downtown Beirut until their demands were heard. “My kids and husband live abroad, but I will go down to any protest by any movement for the good of this undeserving country,” she said, saying she drove to Beirut from Metn's Bolonia to participate in the demonstration.

Another Lebanese mother, Rana, said that parents who didn’t attend the protest do not deserve to have children. “Do they not care about the s**t on the fruits and vegetables they feed their kids?” the mother asked, in reference to contaminated water reportedly being used on some crops.

While both women turned up to the square alone, many other participants brought their children to the protest.

The Sabaa Party came to the front after the “You Stink” protests against the garbage crisis in 2015, and was led by young activists that aimed to combat sectarianism, corruption and nepotism they claimed corrupted the established political parties in the country.

The party gained more exposure after current MP Paula Yacoubian joined, announcing Sabaa as “the first political” party to which she has belonged.

 

This article has been adapted from its original source.


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