Despite a “general mobilization” announced by the authorities to face the COVID-19 disease, Lebanon’s anti-government protests regained momentum on Tuesday as Parliament convened to discuss a number of laws.
Protestors rallied across the country through convoys, adhering to social distancing measures.
Some demonstrators gathered around the UNESCO Palace in Beirut, where deputies held a parliament session, amid heavy security measures.
They called for the recovery of looted funds, the independence of the judiciary, an economic plan, and holding the corrupt accountable.
They also protested against rampant corruption and the devaluation of the Lebanese currency.
“Our revolution will continue until we achieve our demands,” they shouted.
Some of them considered dying from COVID-19 similar to dying from hunger.
“The virus will not stop us from continuing our protests,” they said.
Lebanon has been facing its worst economic crisis in decades, with unemployment figures soaring and the local currency losing more than half of its value against the dollar. Protests broke out nationwide in October against government corruption, further deepening the economic slump.
Over the past months, the protests lost some of their momentum and were subsequently interrupted by the outbreak of the pandemic. Activists, however, said they were resuming the movement but would protest in their cars, in line with safety measures.
Outside Beirut, there were convoys in the north, south and the east, with protesters wearing masks and respecting an Interior Ministry decision that only allows vehicles with license plates ending in an even digit, including zero, to circulate on roads Tuesdays.
The Lebanese Health Ministry reported on Tuesday that no new coronavirus cases have been recorded in the past 24 hours, leaving Lebanon's tally at 677.