Protests in Lebanon

version created by CPD Policy Blog

Lebanon is a country in the Middle East.
The people in Lebanon are unhappy with their current government.
Lebanon has major crises in many areas.
The country needs a strong and wise government.
Only an honest guidance can find solutions to the problems.
A broad protest movement appeared. Its goal is political change.
Religious conflicts are common in Lebanon.
There are 18 religious groups in the small country.
But even religion has not divided the protesters in their common goal.

Lebanon’s economy

Since the protests started the economy is even more unstable.
Lebanon has a problem with corruption. Already for a long time.
This led to poor economic performance.
Also, Lebanon’s currency is weak. People are now afraid to lose their savings.
The economy is dependent on Lebanese who work abroad.
Because these people are sending back money to their families.
Unfortunately, these payments are also getting smaller.

Lebanon’s political system

The political system was built after the civil war 30 years ago.
At that time, political representatives were chosen based on their religious beliefs.
About ten religions are represented in the Parliament.
The system is easy to violate and abuse.
Some civil war warlords are still holding on to their positions of power.
They are not held responsible for their crimes.

Development of the protests

Protests started in October 2019. In the beginning they were peaceful.
They got more intense when the government demanded higher taxes.
People blocked roads and destroyed shop windows.
The police used teargas to fight against the protesters.
Finally, Prime Minister Hariri resigned.
People celebrated on the streets by this small success.
And it motivated them even more.
Now protest spread from the streets to state institutions.
So far one protester died because of an army bullet.
The responsible soldier was arrested directly and brought to justice.
In comprehension to other mass protests, the Lebanon protests are still viewed as peaceful.
Which is also their strongest power.

What to expect next in Lebanon

A big challenge will be to find new political leaders.
Leaders that are accepted by the ruling parties and by the protesters.
Furthermore, the situation must stay peaceful.
Violent acts can lead to counter violence.
And this is a threat to the protesters’ aim of justice.
A positive result of the protests is the new unity of society.
This gives hope for a more powerful civil society.