Lebanese protesters have built gallows in Beirut to hang cardboard cutouts of Prime Minister Hassan Diab, Hezbollah leader Hassan Nasrallah, and other politicians they blame for the recent port blast and crisis in the country.
The anger of people spilled into the streets on Saturday, with some 10,000 gathering at Martyrs’ Square in the center of the capital. They chanted anti-government slogans and staged a performance, which apparently served as a warning to those in power. Many in Lebanon blame the negligence of the authorities for a massive ammonium nitrate explosion on Tuesday that killed more than 150 people and delivered vast damage to the city.
The demonstrators built gallows and used nooses to hang the cardboard cutouts of the country’s top political figures. Among others, their ‘victims’ were Lebanese PM Hassan Diab, President Michel Aoun, and the leader of the country’s influential political and military movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah.
However, the protest wasn’t only limited to symbolic violence. The demonstrators tried storming the parliament, but were met with tear gas, rubber bullets, and reportedly live fire. Almost 240 people were wounded and a police officer was killed during clashes. The crowd later managed to get access to the Foreign Ministry, Ministry of Economy and Trade, the Ministry of Environment, as well as the Water and Energy Ministry, causing havoc inside these government buildings.
The military was deployed in Beirut in the evening to restore order, while Diab called for early parliamentary elections. Even before the Beirut tragedy, protests were frequent in Lebanon as people have been angry over the dire economic condition of the country.
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