Thousands of citizens waving the Lebanese flag and holding banners to denounce corruption and the politicians’ failure to manage the state converged Saturday on Martyrs’ Square in Downtown Beirut.
Thousands of citizens waving the Lebanese flag and holding banners to denounce corruption and the politicians' failure to manage the state converged Saturday on Martyrs' Square in Downtown Beirut.
Citizens had marched from the Interior Ministry in Sanayeh at 5:00 p.m. to Martyrs Square to take part in a mass rally organized by the 'You Stink' campaign and other civil community organizations.
Shortly after the march began, the Internal Security Forces posted on its official Twitter page that it "completely respects the citizens' freedom of expression and peaceful protesting rights." ISF members marched in front of protesters as they made their way through the streets towards the square.
Protesters that joined the march were chanting against corruption and politicians.
People, including children and the elderly, started arriving in the early afternoon to the square to protest against the country's political class for mismanaging the economy and failing to provide basic services such as electricity, water and trash collection.
Buses and minivans were seen transporting people from the southern city of Sidon, the northern city of Tripoli and from Baalbek and Hermel in east Lebanon to join the rally.
"Game over," a banner held by one protester read.
Some demonstrators held banners that read "We have no electricity, no water... remove the garbage" and waved Lebanese flags.
Others held a large banner saying: "We want to hold you accountable."
The rally also saw the participation of several syndicates, most prominently the Union Coordination Committee, which has been demanding that the state endorse a new pay scale for public employees for years.
Demonstrators, angered by the government’s failure to provide basic services, have held protests for the past week in Downtown Beirut.
Rallies last weekend, which managed to draw thousands to the city's center, saw clashes between security forces and protesters.
The You Stink movement held a press conference Friday ahead of Saturday's rally to announce their political manifesto.