الجمعة، كانون الأول 6، 2019

One month of protests

16 تشرين الثاني
, 2019
, 7:21ص
One month of protests

Sahar Houri – The Daily Star

Oct. 17, Day 1: The Lebanese government announces it will impose a $0.20 tax per day on online calls, in addition to a gradual increase in value added tax. Thousands take to the streets, blocking roads with burning tires. The government backtracks on taxes. Police use water cannon and rubber bullets to disperse protesters. Two Syrian workers trapped in a shop die during riots in Beirut. Dozens of injuries reported.

Day 2: Prime Minister Saad Hariri gives political parties 72 hours to push ahead with economic reforms, as thousands of Lebanese are in the streets demanding the overthrow of his government. Banks close their doors. Rioters destroy shops in Beirut’s Downtown and clashes between protesters and riot police break out. Police fire tear gas and rubber bullets to disperse protesters. Former lawmaker Misbah al-Ahdab’s bodyguards open fire on protesters in Tripoli’s Al-Nour Square. Reports of shots fired in Nabatieh.

Day 3: Tens of thousands in the streets after a night of violence. Hussein al-Attar is shot and dies on the airport road after trying to prevent someone from taking money to move people across a roadblock. Protesters set up tents in squares across country.

Day 4: Hundreds of thousands come together in unprecedented nationwide demonstrations against the ruling class. Lebanese diaspora also gathers across the world in support of the uprising.

Day 5: Cabinet approves an economic reform package along with the 2020 state budget with a 0.6 deficit-to-GDP ratio. Lebanese stick to the streets, demanding the government’s resignation and an overhaul of the decades-old sectarian political system. The Army stops alleged Hezbollah and Amal Movement supporters from sabotaging protests in Downtown Beirut.

Day 6: Activists and artists storm state-run Tele Liban, demanding it broadcast the protests. The highway extending along Lebanon’s coast remains blocked at multiple points.

Day 7: Protesters push back against state attempts to forcibly remove them from streets. Municipal police and Hezbollah supporters attack protesters in Nabatieh. Multiple wounded reported.

Day 8: President Michel Aoun addresses the nation for the first time since the uprising started, in a prerecorded speech. Hezbollah supporters attack protesters in Riad al-Solh Square.

Day 9: Hezbollah supporters attack protesters in Riad al-Solh Square. Sayyed Hasan Nasrallah supports Hariri’s Cabinet and calls on his party’s supporters to leave streets.

Day 10: Tens of thousands take to the streets as security forces fail to clear roadblocks.

Day 11: Lebanese attempt 170-kilometer human chain, standing hand in hand along the coast in a symbol of national unity. Members of the Lebanese diaspora protest in London, Sydney, Paris and the U.S.

Day 12: Protesters at the “Ring Bridge” bring furniture and inhabit overpass as rain lowers turnout.

Day 13: Hariri resigns, bringing down the government. Amal Movement and Hezbollah supporters attack protesters on the “Ring Bridge” and burn tents in Riad al-Solh Square and Martyrs’ Square. Security forces do little to stop them.

Day 14: Security forces struggle to keep roads open. Army forcibly opens northern highway, preventing television stations from filming.

Day 15: Aoun’s speech, marking the three-year halfway mark of his presidential term, brings people back to the streets.

 

Day 16: Banks open for the first time in almost two weeks.

Day 17: Life appears to get back to normal. Roads open, cars move freely.

Day 18: “Sunday of Unity” brings tens of thousands to the streets in a new wave of momentum. The Free Patriotic Movement holds rallies near Baabda Palace in support of Aoun and his son-in-law, FPM leader Gebran Bassil.

Day 19: Protesters push forward with roadblocks to urge the formation of technocratic government.

Day 20: Protesters storm Zaitunay Bay, where dozens of multimillion-dollar yachts are docked. The Army opens major roads as protesters shift to blocking state institutions.

Day 21: Police, protesters scuffle near the controversial Eden Bay resort. One person is hurt.

Day 22: Political leaders’ portraits are taken down in Tripoli. Thousands of students move their classes to public spaces.

Day 23: Human Rights Watch criticizes Lebanese security forces’ failure to protect peaceful protesters. Students paralyze state institutions.

Day 24: Bikers break 20-year-old motorcycle ban in Sidon. Hundreds of people march to Downtown Beirut.

Day 25: Marches, workshops, discussion groups and concerts take over the capital. Gas stations close amid fuel shortages.

Day 26: Hundreds camp outside state-run Electricite du Liban. Thousands gather in the streets.

Day 27: “If they see no decent people in this state, let them emigrate,” Aoun tells protesters, reigniting the uprising as protesters return to roadblocks. Protester Alaa Abou Fakher is shot by an Army Intelligence member in Khaldeh and dies in front of his wife and child.

Day 28: Armed men allegedly linked to the FPM attack protesters in Jal al-Dib, with one opening fire. A protester in Baabda is arrested and allegedly beaten by security forces.

Day 29: Alaa Abou Fakher is laid to rest. The Army opens most roads, arrests and beats protesters.

Day 30: Protesters gather outside police stations, demanding the release of friends and family. The Army says out of 20 people it arrested, nine were released, seven were held and four were referred to the judiciary.

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