After the exasperation, the anger. Under the hasthag # Hang Them, thousands of Lebanese poured into the streets of Beirut on August 8 to express their anger at the political class held responsible for the explosions that left more than 150 dead and 6,000 injured.
At the beginning of the afternoon, the demonstrators converged on the Place des Martyrs, the traditional epicenter of the demonstrations, with the slogan “Judgment Day”. Wooden guillotines were set up and some protesters waved ropes with a noose at the end. “The people want the fall of the regime”, they chanted, waving placards demanding the departure of the “assassins”.
Some demonstrators chanted “Vengeance, revenge, until the fall of the regime“, some wearing masks, others flags or portraits of victims of the explosion. In the afternoon, security forces attempted to prevent certain groups from advancing towards Parliament.
In streets adjacent to the rally, they fired tear gas and clashes with some demonstrators who threw stones at them. “After three days spent clearing the rubble and healing our wounds, it is time to let our explosion explode anger and punish them for killing people, “said a protester met by AFP.
“We must stand up against the whole system (…) the change must be commensurate with the scale of the disaster.
Some demonstrators threw projectiles at the police who were blocking access to a street leading to the Chamber of Deputies, a Reuters journalist noted. Ambulances rushed to the scene. A teenager became unwell after inhaling tear gas. Military patrols have also been deployed in the area.
At the end of the day, demonstrators managed to enter the interior of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The eruption, broadcast live on television, came as the attention of security forces focused on the gathering of thousands of protesters in the city center.
“We took the Ministry of Foreign Affairs as the headquarters of the Revolution,” said in a statement from the elegant steps of the ministry, the retired General Sami Rammah, in front of some 200 people who shouted “Revolution”.
The protesters unfurled two huge red banners at the entrance of the traditional villa which suffered damage from the explosion, one proclaiming “Beirut, capital of the revolution”, and the other “Beirut, city without weapons “. According to journalists there, the army dislodged them in the evening.
Banks have also been the target of protesters ’ire since October due to draconian restrictions on withdrawals and transfers abroad.