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Anti-Government Riots in Lebanon Continue With A Rise in Violence

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Anti-Government Riots in Lebanon Continue With A Rise in Violence

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Since January 14th, protests in Lebanon have resumed, after approximately two weeks of calm. On January 17th, protesters blocked several main roads across Lebanon, including a vital road connecting central Beirut’s east and west. Hundreds of protesters were said to have also gathered outside the Lebanese central bank and close to the parliament.

On the next day, in an attempt to break up gatherings of anti-government protesters attempting to reach Martyr’s Square, dozens of people were injured as security forces used water cannons and tear gas to dissipate the protesters.

This was not unwarranted, since rioters were spotted at Martyr’s Square throwing rocks, fireworks and Molotov cocktails at security forces, as well as shining lasers at them to interrupt series of tear gas rounds.

The security forces used water cannons and tear gas in response to the rioters were attacking them with the makeshift weapons.

“A direct and violent confrontation is taking place with anti-riot police at one of the entrances to parliament,” the Internal Security Forces (ISF) said on Twitter. “We ask peaceful protesters to keep away from the site of the rioting for their safety.”

The ISF uploaded videos showing security officers warning protesters to stop their attacks or they will be met with force.

The ISF, on the evening of January 19th reported that no tear gas had been used, despite media reports, only water cannons.

There were also photographs published showing security forces personnel injured from the stones and other projectiles that rioters were throwing at police.

The Red Cross said that more than 160 people from both sides were wounded in the clashes.

“Over 65 people … have been taken to nearby hospitals and over 100 people have been treated at the scene,” a spokesman said.

According to videos, as well as the ISF, rioters are being violent, with the security forces providing a very tame and balanced reproach. There’s been no casualties, as of January 19th, only minor injuries on both sides.

People in the country are frustrated with the delay in forming of a new, independent government, which President Michel Aoun said was due to various “obstacles.”

Meanwhile MSM is working hard to demonize the Lebanese security forces, similarly to the usual practice of coverage of protests in non-Western countries.

To provide some background is a short overview of the protests:

Prior to New Year’s Eve, the anti-government protests continued for 1 weeks, beginning on October 19th until December 29th. There was almost no violence throughout, up until they subsided around the holidays.

Notably, on October 29th, Prime Minister Saad Hariri announced his resignation in a televised address. Several hours after the resignation of the Prime Minister, celebrations swept the nation with demonstrators cautiously welcoming the resignation celebrated through fireworks, songs, and releasing flagged colored balloons.

Regardless, on the next day, tear gas was fired at protesters in the northern district of Akkar by the Lebanese Army trying to reopen the roads. Protesters also blocked roads in the southern city of Sidon and Bekaa Valley. In Central Beirut, dozens of protesters blocked the “Ring Bridge” while a big crowd returned to Tripoli’s al-Nour Square to protest. The Lebanese Army intervened in many regions to prevent escalation.

On October 31st, President Aoun delivered a speech in which he spoke about Lebanon’s economic and financial crisis. He also spoke about his commitment in fighting corruption, ensuring political stability, eliminating terrorists and the return of Syrian refugees within the country. He also promised the new government will be made up by specialist instead of political loyalists.

Protesters took to the streets and blocked roads across the country almost immediately after President Aoun’s address to the nation, demanding early parliamentary elections and the formation of a technocratic government.

Following that, Saad Hariri announced that he wouldn’t run for the prime minister role again, and little progress was made for approximately a month.

On December 19th, Hassan Diab was designated as the next Prime Minister succeeding Saad Hariri.

Diab was a Minister of Education and Higher Education between 2011 and 2014. The announcement of Diab becoming Prime Minister was immediately followed by street protests and road blocks in Tripoli and Beirut. Near Beirut’s Nejme Square, hundreds of protesters sang an anti-Diab chant.

Despite protests, Hassan Diab continued consultations to form a government through December 29th. As of January 14th, when protests resumed, no government had been formed, but Diab hadn’t resigned.

The demonstrations are on-going with no clear demands, or aim, simply wanting a better economic situation and an end to corruption.

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  • Z.P.

    Sick and tired of american “color revolutions” !
    Can’t wait that US goes to hell and starts to burn in riots and civil war.

    • jm74

      I have always wondered why foreign states haven’t done to the US what the US has done in the ME supporting terrorists, regime changes etc. There are numerous dissidents in the US that can be nurtured, trained, financed to create chaos. Trump also has foreign assets and why haven’t they been bombed?

      • Z.P.

        Don’t you know about the FBI scheme to even create terrorists themselves by seeking mentally unstable people to commit terrorist attack , receive “explosives” and go to jail immediately after that.
        There are many people who claim that all “terrorist attacks” in US are false flags for the objectives of security apparatus. (take away personal weapons ,reduce freedoms even more)
        US are militarized police super surveillance state.
        They have all needed data on every single person in US.
        I have even seen the stories on DNA banks of US citizens.
        So that they can track absolutely everything .

        • roland

          Most people are not aware how closely they’re being monitored. As to the DNA banks imagine what they can do to you if they have a sample of your DNA if you cross them or pose a threat to them all they have to do is sprinkle some of it over a dead body and your in the slammer for the rest of your life that’s you taken care of

      • d’Artagnan

        African “Americans” and Hispanics are now the most amenable groups to recruit and support for internal dissent along with alt-right extremists who for all practical purposes are like the US hybrid evangelical version of Salafists and angry that the US is not racist enough yet as they push for a .monochrome “Christian” state in the wilderness of Montana.

        • roland

          The American government (terrorists) has all those groups you mentioned under control they use them to their own advantage they probably have big plans to properly exploit the divisions that exist

      • roland

        The terrorists already control America the regime change happened when they blew Kennedy’s head off and they’ve been causing merry hell there ever since

        • d’Artagnan

          The list of political assassinations in US is quite exhaustive, Bobby Kennedy, Malcolm x, Martin Luther King and so on.

    • Free man

      So the Americans are responsible for the demonstrations in Iran, Iraq and now Lebanon. Do you think the corrupt governments in these countries have no responsibility for the anger of their citizens?
      Why deal with the real problems if the Americans can be blamed?

      • Z.P.

        Yes the region is not prosperous as it used to be!
        And the ONLY BLAME is to be put on American PLAGUE for that!

        For all the wars and bad economic situation in the region there ONLY 2 CRIMINAL TERRORIST STATES RESPONSIBLE IsraHELL and U.S.!!!

        And than that same EVIL comes after that to those same countries to ferment upheaval by PAYING local TRAITORS !!

        GO FUCK YOU SELF US PIG!!!

        • Free man

          Always blame someone else for your trouble.
          LOL.

          • Z.P.

            GO FUCK YOU SELF US Azeri PIG!!!

          • d’Artagnan

            Isn’t that what you are doing with your limited intelligence and unlimited distortion of history?

          • Free man

            More slander and not a single fact.

          • Jimmy Jim

            HUSH KIKER lol

          • Jimmy Jim

            BURN THE KIKES & SAVE THE PLANET!

          • Jimmy Jim

            BLAME THE KIKES & THEN BURN EM!

          • Free man

            “BLAME THE KIKES & THEN BURN EM!” – This is exactly the mentality I oppose.
            What a fool you are JJ.

      • roland

        the way this is all unfolding it certainly looks like western intelligence has played a part in this look at trump standing over the Iraqi prime minister threating to send protesters to overthrow him if he goes ahead with an oil deal with China then lo and behold protesters start appearing and the Iraqi pm resigns also while there is curruption in Lebanon those in the west shouldn’t wag their finger at the lebenese for being currupted western governments take curruption to another level

        • Free man

          I ask again – Do you think the corrupt governments in these countries have no responsibility for the anger of their citizens?

          • roland

            Yes they do have a lot of responsibility but would things be playing out this way without western meddling?

          • Free man

            “would things be playing out this way without western meddling?” – NO.

          • Z.P.

            So why don’t you shut the fuck up than when even idiot like you knows that it is staged?!

            Sit there in you shitty US and shut up if you have nothing intelligent to say!

          • Free man

            You’re a funny guy.
            You slander and curse and still think you write something intelligent.
            Learn to listen to other opinions without feeling so threatening .

          • Z.P.

            Why would I “feel threatened” ?!?
            Threatened with what?!
            I am disgusted with your anti Iran anti Russian trolling and now even pro US trolling!
            Sick and tired convincing people like you into any facts!
            US will never back off unless defeated so plenty Americans will have to die before you learn the lesson.
            You do not command around globe any longer!

          • Free man

            So you also lie.
            When did I write against Russia?
            If I write that states should take responsibility for their own destiny and not blame the US for all their troubles, does that mean I support Blindly the US?
            You obviously feel threatened if you slander and curse instead of writing facts.

          • Z.P.

            The fact that you use every opportunity to slander Russia or Putin and present
            them in bad light on any opportunity you get.
            Differs you from the banal bot in measured subtlety of your attacks and makes you even more dangerous.

            You are BIASED against Russia and of course you do not agree!
            Why would you agree since you believe to be fair?!

          • Free man

            “The fact that you use every opportunity to slander Russia or Putin and present
            them in bad light on any opportunity you get.” – You keep lying.
            In the past, you yourself agreed to my positive posts about Russia and Putin.

          • d’Artagnan

            He is not biased, just a very inferior uneducated propagandist with a propensity for attention seeking. Best is to ignore these liars.

          • d’Artagnan

            At least he is not cloaking his one dimensional comments with outright lies and revisionist western view of history.

          • Z.P.

            true !
            very good observation
            there are even multi layered players here
            from outright bots and shameless liars to just ordinary brainwashed or confused or people with wrong convictions including those with crafty guys with hidden agenda capable to instigate others to adequate reactions and when you confront them they deny their hidden agenda they deny anything and everything

          • d’Artagnan

            I try to be respectful and give anyone the benefit of the doubt, but some of these paid hirelings just tell blatant t lies. No wonder even Putin is getting tired of their lies and distortions as they demean Russian contribution in defeating Nazism and Fascism.

            ‘We’ll shut your filthy mouth’: Putin says Russia will combat the rewriting of WWII history with new free-to-all archive center. Russia assails the west for distorting history with sheer fabrications.

          • Z.P.

            Yeah!
            Isn’t that impressive?! USSR has lost 27 million people much more than US and “Allays” has lost in Europe combined !!!
            Yet they deny them even fact fighting NAZI’s let alone having right to claim of being major contributor to the victory.
            And not only that!!
            They white wash Hitler (presenting NAZI’s as fighters against “possible” USSR aggression) and present Stalin as the main reason why war have started in the first place!
            As answer to that:
            if I was Putin would conclude than that only USSR has fought NAZI’s and that only they have won against the NAZIS (that is anyways much closer to the truth than Western version of truth today)

          • d’Artagnan

            Western meddling and regime change efforts are quite selective, why does the US not support civil societies against corrupt governments in India, Pakistan, Egypt and worst of the lot, Saudi Arabia? I would like you hear your opinion.

          • Free man

            I’m not here to defend the US. I’m just surprised that people like you are in a hurry to blame others for their troubles. Always passing responsibility for their destiny to an outside party.

          • d’Artagnan

            There is no “people like you” here, I try to base comments on facts and not hyperbole or hidden agendas. You are obviously incapable of carrying on a truthful adult discussion based on historical facts and have a one dimensional US propaganda perspective, just an inferior version of hasbara. You have been exposed as as vacuous charlatan.

          • Free man

            “You have been exposed as a vacuous charlatan.” – LOL.
            Please write one thing I wrote that was factually incorrect.
            I understand why I’m shocking you. People like you always know who is to blame for everything.

          • Jimmy Jim

            haha KIKE LIAR!

          • Helen4Yemen

            Let’s start by freeing Palestine from the clutches of foreign white European Jewry and see where that takes us.

          • roland

            What about freeing us in the western world from foreign white European Jewry (and their illuminati co conspiritors) in some ways we have been damaged by those bastards even more so than those in the middle east just look at the how they’ve successfully dumbed us down and destroyed the family structure as well as completely controlling our economies our media and governments they have even taken our weapons from us through false flag terrorist attacks and mass shootings so we in a nutshell are unarmed ignorant zombies sleepwalking into a nightmare scenario at least when they tried to destroy Syria they had a means to defend themselves .

          • roland

            Another question to ask is why don’t they address the corruption in their own countries first

          • d’Artagnan

            This person is quite uneducated and shallow without any meaningful perspective. Not worth wasting time.

      • d’Artagnan

        If memory serves me right, it was the US that invaded and destroyed Iraq, and Trump openly boasted about “kicking their ass and grabbing their gas”. US has invaded Lebanon on numerous occasions since 1958 and was finally turfed out by Hezbollah who inflicted severe casualties in the marine barracks attacks. US continued animosity towards Iran requires no further elaboration. It is always good to jog the memory in the interest of veracity.

        • Free man

          I agree that the Americans made a lot of mistakes in the Middle East. And it would be better for them to interfere less. But Americans cannot be blamed for all the troubles of the world. The main responsible for the situation of Iranian, Iraqi and Lebanese citizens are their governments.

          • d’Artagnan

            That is a valid statement. Corruption and lack of a clear national state civil society is lacking in most nations, notably Africa and Near East. This political and ideological vacuum has its roots in imperialism, poor governance and the tribal nature of some of these societies.

          • roland

            I don’t know about that Gaddafi’s libya was in Africa very tribal but was considered a wealthy country and it was because he kept the oil and mineral wealth in the country despite extreme pressure from western governments who have been raping and pillaging Africa for a long time

          • roland

            A lot of the trouble is caused by the economic situation which seems to be manufactured by western governments sanctions and unfair trading practices and the manipulation of oil price.

          • Helen4Yemen

            At the heart of what ails the Middle East are the Europeans who arrived in Palestine claiming to be the Chosen people and took it by force and still holding it by force. Their presence in the region is to make sure the Arab countries remain divided. These Europeans must go home for the Arab countries to find healing.

          • Free man

            I guess you forgot to take the psychiatric pills again.

      • Helen4Yemen

        Do you suffer from amnesia? Who do you think was out there in Iraq doing Shock&Awe?

    • Davki

      Sorry, Z.P. but that’s another irretrievably stupid remark. Yes, we all know there are colour revolutions… this certainly isn’t one. Have you ever been to Lebanon? Do you know anything about the actual politics there? This is due to the abominable situation there. A people that doesn’t stand up against the sort of corruption we see in Lebanon wouldn’t deserve better. In fact, most of the fat cats are in bed with the US, they’re the ones they want out. If this was a ‘colour revolution’ the protests would be directed more against Hezbollah, which they aren’t. You got it completely wrong. So, quit repeating stereotyped talking points if you don’t understand the situation and motivations.

      • Z.P.

        “this certainly isn’t one. ”
        Since when you are supreme authority on the subject?!?
        It is not that you are extremely arrogant but also insolent.
        Why didn’t you ask me 1st. about the tangible proof and ask the link, instead you attack, insult and impose your non existing authority?!

        So, you call Nasrallah “stupid” also?!
        It is YOU who claim that it was not against Hezbollah yet their LEADER CONTRADICTS YOU claiming that this is foreign influence in Lebanon!
        That foreign influence it is not to help Hezbollah for sure!
        And Nasrallah knows little bit more on Lebanon than nobody like you (sorry)
        LINK is underneath ;
        “Is There a Color Revolution in the Making in Lebanon?”
        “Some protests have been financed by embassies and suspicious sides. Certain elements are seeking to stir political tensions in Lebanon in a bid to create political vacuum in the country,” Nasrallah
        https://www.globalresearch.ca/color-revolution-lebanon/5693606

        That doesn’t mean that I label every protester as foreign instrument or their motives as not legitimate or that I pretend to be knowledgeable on the Lebanon.
        But FIFTH column exists in all countries and West is using them all the time.
        I do not pretend to be knowledgeable as you PRETEND to be for sure!
        I relay often on the sources and articles because I have limited knowledge like most of the normal people.
        All I know is that US and IsraHELL want chaos in countries like Syria, Iraq , Iran and Lebanon! I know that much about politics and that is already plenty!

        Another LINK:
        “Lebanon: A Colour Revolution Or A Regional Anti-Shi’ism Project?”
        QUOTE:
        Finally, given the current instability in Iraq and Iran, the crisis in Lebanon looks like part of a strategic operation to destabilize the Middle East’s “Shi’ite Crescent” from within.
        https://orientalreview.org/2019/11/27/lebanon-a-colour-revolution-or-a-regional-anti-shiism-project/

        So I will NOT “quit repeating stereotyped talking points” if there are some indications that foreign influence (like French and US fr. example) is trying to stir up the trouble in Lebanon or elsewhere!
        And I certainly will not ask your permission for that!
        And for start LEARN CIVIL conversation or I will simply block you !!
        Or even better do not talk to me at all !!

  • d’Artagnan

    The US and France are engaged in a massive effort to destabilize Lebanon and they see a window of opportunity after the assassination of General Soleimani. The main focus is to curtail the political and military prowess of Hezbollah and the Shia majority. However, like their failed attempts in Iran and Iraq, this one billion dollar project funded by Saudis is unlikely to succeed and will have less than heuristic consequences due to the sheer magnitude of demographics and recent history.

    • Helen4Yemen

      Amazing how you left out the #1 enemy in our region, the foreign Jews
      who seized Palestine by force and still holding it by force.

  • Omega

    There are different reasons for the current situation in Lebanon:

    • The French National Pact of 1943 which divided Lebanon’s power between its main groups (Maronites, Shia, Sunni, Druze and Orthodox). This put the country in forever regional and international influence.

    • The kleptocratic politicians.

    • The Ponzi-like baking system that has only benefited the kleptocrats.

    • The US Treasury cutting the flow of US dollars in Lebanon. This was more specifically aimed to hurting Hezbollah’s flow of foreign money (donations from Shia communities mostly in Africa). It had the effect of destabilizing the (stable-until-now) banking system.

    • It is also said that there is a central “office” where some of the protestors (the violent ones) get orders from.

    All in all, it is safe to say that regional/international powers have taken advantage and exploit the country’s weakness/flaws to reach their own goals; mainly the weakening of Hezbollah.

    I would further add that the Aoun-Hezbollah alliance seeking China’s investments in Lebanon (rejected by the likes of UK/US/KSA/Israel backed politicians in Lebanon; namely Hariri) in order to rebuild the country’s infrastructure and integrate it in the BRI is another point of serious consideration.

    • Gabriel Hollows

      This mess will only end up delivering Lebanon to Iran and Hezbollah. The zionists are shooting themselves in the foot, by making coopoeration with the West unfeasable, they will now seek alternative in the East, just like Russia did.

  • Helen4Yemen
  • Davki

    “better economic situation and an end to corruption” add to that elections, the abolishment of sectarianism in politics… there are lots of very concrete and clear aims and goals. Do better research next time.

  • cechas vodobenikov

    Lebanon suffers from efforts by the USA to destabilize the region— their historic strategy of dividing ethnic/religious interests…the empire is teetering