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Small crowd marks second anniversary of Lebanon’s protest movement

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BEIRUT, Lebanon — Lebanon marked the second anniversary of its defunct protest movement with a low-key demonstration in Beirut on Sunday, while many stayed away, thanks to grinding economic woes and deadly tensions over a port blast probe.

Dozens marched under rain clouds towards Martyrs’ Square in central Beirut.

Mass protests bringing together Lebanese from all backgrounds erupted on October 17, 2019, denouncing deteriorating living conditions, as well as alleged official graft and mismanagement, after the government announced a plan to tax phone calls made over the WhatsApp messaging service.

Cross-sectarian demonstrations swept the country, demanding the overthrow of political barons in power since at least the end of the 1975-1990 civil war.

Two years on, Lebanon is mired in a ballooning financial crisis compounded by the coronavirus pandemic, and battered by a devastating explosion at Beirut’s port on August 4........

© The Times of Israel

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