Lebanon: Hundreds of anti-govt protesters hit streets of Beirut

Protesters took to the streets of Beirut on Saturday in a peaceful rally calling for the government's resignation as the country sinks deeper into economic distress. The crowds marched holding Lebanese flags and various signs and banners, as the security forces looked on. «The facts of the collapse will be very strong,» a protester explained. «We do not continue because we like it, but because there is no second option and because there is a reason that this authority cannot adapt to this situation. There must be a peaceful transfer of power on the foundations of the civil state so that we can continue in this country.» The protests arose after two days of rallies spurred by a dramatic plummet of the Lebanese pound, despite a new pricing system, losing around 70 percent of its value since protests began in October 2019. The rallies have lead into violence, including attacks on banks and shops. Protests against allegations of government corruption broke out last year, as Lebanon was facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with soaring unemployment and the ongoing currency crisis that rapidly depleted the value of the local currency. The lockdown implemented due to the coronavirus pandemic has added further pressure on the struggling Lebanese economy, prompting a new wave of protests despite social distancing restrictions.

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