Lebanese protesters celebrate Hariri resignation, but want more


Protesters celebrate the resignation of Prime Minister Saad Hariri in Beirut PHOTO/Patrick Baz/AFP

Cries of celebration went up across Lebanon on Tuesday as protesters demanding the fall of the government celebrated Prime Minister Saad Hariri’s resignation – though most said this was merely an initial victory in a long-term battle.

“It’s a good first step but we’re still going to stay in the streets,” Pierre Mouzannar, a 21-year old filmmaker told Al Jazeera in central Beirut. “Hariri is part of the problem but he’s not all of the problem … I don’t think anyone thinks we’re done.”

For many demonstrators in the capital, the news of Hariri’s resignation was an important boost in their nearly two-week protest movement following a day of street brawls instigated by supporters of Hezbollah and the Amal Movement party.

Hundreds of men, most wearing black, beat protesters and destroyed protest encampments in central Beirut before Hariri’s televised address, eventually retreating after security forces fired tear gas and rubber bullets.

“Hariri isn’t the one who’s sending his people to beat us up and destroy what we have. Those people are still in Parliament and we need to finish what we’ve started there,” Mouzannar said, sitting next to a tent being reconstructed by protesters. READ MORE

On a nearby road leading to Riad al-Solh square, Saba, a 21-year old event planner, was painting Lebanese flags on the faces of passersby. “He should have resigned earlier, but better late than never – and we got what we wanted,” she said.

Al Jazeera for more

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