Marking the anniversary of Lebanon’s massive popular uprising against the corrupt political class, Lebanese Cardinal Bechara Rai encouraged the country’s young people to continue their protest movement.
More than a million Lebanese of all religions, sounding their cries in unison, took to the streets on 17th October, 2019. The protests, which continued for months, diminished during the coronavirus pandemic lockdowns.
“We note with immense sorrow that the political class still ignores, and even despises the demands of the demonstrators and the people,” Cardinal Rai, patriarch of Maronite Catholics, said in his homily on Sunday from Bkerke, the patriarchate north of Beirut.
Cardinal Rai said of the country’s officials: “Nothing moves them. Neither the revolution, nor the explosion at the port, nor the destruction of the capital, nor the economic and financial collapse, nor the pandemic, nor poverty, nor the death of innocent people.”
Lebanon was traumatised by a massive double explosion on 4th August at the Beirut port; it was considered one of the world’s most powerful non-nuclear explosions. The disaster, blamed on 2,750 metric tons of ammonium nitrate stored for years in a port warehouse, killed more than 190 people, injured more than 6,500 and left more than 300,000 people homeless.
Photo: Protesters hold torches during a demonstration in Beirut on Saturday, marking the anniversary of Lebanon’s massive popular uprising against the corrupt political class. (CNS photo/Emma Freiha, Reuters)