Lebanon's demonstrators rebuild protest camp after destruction

Lebanon demonstrators clear-up mess from Hezbollah rampage, and rebuild Beirut protest camp
2 min read
29 October, 2019
Lebanese protesters have rebuilt their camp in Beirut's Martyr's Square after it was violently destroyed by rioters.
Lebanese protesters have been gathering around Martyrs Square monument in Lebanon's capital Beirut [AFP/Getty]

Lebanese protesters reinstated their protest camp in Beirut Martyrs' Square on Tuesday evening, hours after it was violently dismantled by Hezbollah supporters.

The reports came soon after Lebanon's Prime Minister Saad Hariri submitted his government's resignation, a key demand of protesters who want all members of the cabinet to step down.

An unprecedented protest movement has gripped Lebanon for almost two weeks, calling for an overhaul of a political class viewed as incompetent and corrupt.

Banks and schools have remained closed and the normally congested main arteries in Beirut blocked by protesters.

On Tuesday, dozens of rioters descended on to Riad al-Solh Square near the government headquarters, where they attacked protesters, torched tents, and tore down banners calling for "revolution", said an AFP correspondent in the area. 

The unprecedented attack by supporters of Shia movements Hezbollah and Amal on the main site of the capital's largely peaceful protest movement forced the army and riot police to deploy en masse to contain the violence.

Ambulance sirens rang out from all sides, as reports circulated of injuries, an AFP correspondent said.

Protesters have since worked to reestablish the camp following the violence.

"Tents back up in #Beirut Martyrs Sqaure after the destruction earlier today. #لبنان_يتنفض", journalist Timour Azhari tweeted.

Co-Founder and editor of Jadaliyya magazine Bassam Haddad shared a video on Twitter of protestors "turning wreckage into Art".

An hour before destroying the camp, the same counter-demonstrators had gathered on a nearby road where they attacked peaceful protesters who were blocking the key artery, another AFP reporter said.

The counter-protesters chanted slogans hailing Hezbollah chief Hassan Nasrallah and Amal head Nabih Berri - who are against the protesters' demands - as they pushed roadblocks aside and provoked protesters.

Read also: Lebanon's protesters find creative means to continue roadblocks for 12th day

Police intervened to contain the violence, sparking a series of scattered scuffles.

Demonstrators caught in the attack tried to jump over the rails of the highway while others ducked behind concrete blocks. 

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