Lebanon’s protest movement marks the first anniversary, but the demands remain unfulfilled

Tens of thousands of people took to the streets of Lebanon on Saturday to mark the first anniversary of a non-sectarian protest movement that began on October 17, 2019. Protesters are calling for real change, an end to the sectarian political system and an improvement in basic services such as water and electricity. Although it has shaken the political elite, the movement has not yet reached its goal of radical reform, activists told FRANCE 24.

A year later, the political movement has left a positive impact on young people, activists said.

“It changed the story of the country, specifically that everything is now on the table. The political class has been called out for their corruption, and now the younger generation has become active and interested, which allows us to start a real responsibility, ”Samer Makarem told FRANCE 24’s team in Lebanon.

Three prime ministers have resigned since the movement began, but the country’s barons, many of them warlords from the 1975-90 civil war, remain in power despite international and national pressure for change.

But many others gave up hope as no concrete change has been made so far.

Protesters plan to march from the largest Beirut protest camp towards the port – the site of a devastating August 4 explosion for which the alleged corruption and incompetence of the hereditary elite has been blamed.

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