Saturday, December 02, 2006

Massive protest swamps Beirut

Well, the protest went pretty much as planned in Lebanon.
In a massive show of force, Lebanon’s protestors loyal to Hezbollah and its political allies poured into the streets of downtown Beirut by the hundreds of thousands, dwarfing last weeks show of support for the government and delivering a sweeping rebuke to Lebanon’s political establishment.

The streets, squares and bridges of several neighborhoods were a sea of red and white Lebanese flags as supporters of the Shi’ite groups Hezbollah and Amal, as well as the Christian groups Marida and the Free Patriotic Movement, took to the streets in an attempt to topple the U.S.-backed government.

“The real problem with this government is that they did not stand with us during the war,” said Muhammad Obaid, 40, a Hezbollah supporter, echoing a common complaint of the opposition, which is also called the March 8 coalition.

But so far (as of 20 minutes ago) the protest hasn't toppled the government.
Supporters of Lebanon's Hezbollah-led opposition camped out in central Beirut on Saturday on the second day of protests to demand the resignation of the U.S.-backed government.

Protesters pitched tents near central Beirut's Martyrs' Square and on streets leading to the government's headquarters, where hundreds of thousands of opposition supporters rallied on Friday to demand the government quit.

Hezbollah, a Shi'ite Muslim group backed by Syria and Shi'ite Iran, wants to topple what it calls a U.S. government in Lebanon. The anti-Syrian politicians who dominate cabinet say the opposition are attempting a coup.

(read more)


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