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Municipality Building Set on Fire in Uprising in Tripoli, Lebanon

Lebanon. An update about the ongoing revolt in Lebanon.

Originally published by Abolition Media Worldwide.

A municipality building was set ablaze by a group of militants in Tripoli, Lebanon after they set fire to several other buildings, including a courthouse.

Angry crowds gathered outside the homes of some of Lebanon’s top politicians in Tripoli on Thursday, torching rubbish and smashing surveillance cameras as rage grows over the government’s handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“We want to burn down all their houses the way they burned our hearts,” said an unemployed father of six.

“Let any politician dare to walk on the streets of Tripoli.”

Militants have clashed with security forces for four days, as an uprising has re-ignited in Lebanon, where a revolt against neoliberal austerity measures began in October 2019.

The pandemic has added to the misery of Lebanon’s worst financial downturn since the 1975-1990 civil war and stoked simmering anger against the corrupt political class.

On Monday that rage spilled onto the streets of Tripoli, Lebanon’s poorest city, where more than half the population lives below the poverty line and many rely on informal jobs, making them particularly vulnerable to lockdown measures.

On Thursday, a protester Omar Tayba died, after having been shot by security forces during the previous night’s clashes.

Revolutionaries showed no sign of backing down, instead staging angry rallies outside the homes of local politicians.

Rallies broke out again this week in Tripoli after authorities extended a total lockdown until February 8.

Thursday’s clashes between militants and security forces injured at least 102 people and hospitalised five, according to the Lebanese Red Cross.

Revolutionaries lobbed molotov cocktails at the municipality headquarters in the city, causing a large blaze to break out inside.

They also fired molotov cocktails and fire works at security forces stationed outside a government building.

Earlier in the day, militant set barricades and tipped over dumpsters to block the street.

“We target the homes of politicians because they are the reason for the situation,” said one protester.

“Our leaders have been the same for 30 years. They ruined the futures of our youth and led our country to ruin.”

Militants started a fire outside the house of politician Samir al-Jisr.

On Wednesday night, revolutionaries lobbed stones, fireworks and molotov cocktails at security forces who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, in clashes which left 200 people wounded.

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