AP Explains: Lebanon's protests could head into dark turn
Added 11-13-19 02:03:02pm EST - “For nearly a month, the popular protests engulfing Lebanon have been startlingly peaceful. But the shooting death of a 38-year-old father by a soldier, the first such fatality in the unrest, points to the dangerous, dark turn the…” - Washingtontimes.com
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BEIRUT (AP) - For nearly a month, the popular protests engulfing Lebanon have been startlingly peaceful. But the shooting death of a 38-year-old father by a soldier, the first such fatality in the unrest, points to the dangerous, dark turn the country could be heading into.
The protests exploded into the streets on Oct. 17 in response to new proposed taxes and quickly evolved into an unprecedented nationwide uprising against the country’s entire political leadership. Protesters demand all those politicians go, blaming them for decades of systematic corruption that has left the Mediterranean country on the brink of economic and financial disaster.
The protests, along with road closures and a civil disobedience campaign, have paralyzed the cash-strapped country for weeks.
But the crisis has hit an impasse: The leadership insists it must stay in control, protesters say they won’t leave the streets. The possibility of violent confrontations is growing by the day as sectarian tensions and old political rivalries resurface. A dire financial situation has made the mix even more combustible.
The protest movement continues to be leaderless, although the demonstrations that began as a spontaneous movement have with time become more organized and structured. Some political parties have sought to co-opt the protests and are now playing a significant role in the planning - an ironic turn, since these party’s leaders are themselves a target of the protesters.
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