Updated: Oct 12, 2020
By mid-January 2020, hundreds of people had been wounded in Beirut after security forces used tear gas and water cannon to disperse crowds of anti-government protesters trying to reach Martyrs' Square. This has gone off and on for four months, and with an increasingly violent character far from the festive character that characterized these pioneer efforts at demanding regime change through the will of the people in the street, demanding a thoroughgoing restructuring of politics and the economic lives of the people along non-sectarian, authentically democratic lines, particularly with respect to the financial system.
Banks are being targeted and the ire is fortified by the fact that people in Lebanon are not even able to withdraw their own money from the bank except in small, daily allotments. While for several months these protests were largely peaceful and free of police brutality, that has changed in Beirut. Now, 4 months on and with protesters growing more desperate and daring, the police have been resorting to more brutal measures. Protesters block roads, police shoot tear gas canisters and spray water cannon. A few police officers and hundreds of protesters have been wounded in the clashes. The revolution has returned to Lebanon.