Hundreds march in Beirut marking a year of protests
Gulf Today|October 18, 2020
Hundreds march in Beirut marking a year of protests
Demonstrators hold a candlelit vigil near ground zero at 6:07pm, the precise time of Aug.4 port explosion; Christian political party rejects Hariri nomination

Hundreds marched in Lebanon’s capital Beirut on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of a non-sectarian protest movement that has rocked the political elite but has yet to achieve its goal of sweeping reform.

Hundreds of brandishing placards and Lebanese flags gathered in Martyrs’ Square in the heart of Beirut in a scene reminiscent of last year’s rallies.

Passing through the Hamra district, they marched towards the port -- the site of Aug.4’s devastating explosion, which has been widely blamed on the corruption and incompetence of the hereditary elite.

The protesters held a candlelit vigil near ground zero at 6:07 pm (1507 GMT), the precise time when a huge stockpile of ammonium nitrate fertilizer exploded, killing more than 200 people and devastating swathes of the capital.

Activists have installed a metallic monument at the site to mark the anniversary of their Oct.17 “revolution.”

“For a year, we have been on the streets and nothing has changed,” said Abed Sabbagh, a protester in his seventies.

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October 18, 2020