Lebanon’s Government Scrambles to Respond to Mass Protests

Lebanese demonstrators carry placards as they take part in a rally in the capital Beirut's downtown district on October 20, 2019. - Thousands continued to rally despite calls for calm from politicians and dozens of arrests. The demonstrators are demanding a sweeping overhaul of Lebanon's political system, citing grievances ranging …
ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty

BEIRUT (AP) — Protesters have closed major roads around Lebanon ahead of an emergency Cabinet meeting to discuss a rescue plan for the country’s crumbling economy.

On Monday morning, demonstrators placed barriers on major intersections in Beirut as well as other cities and towns marking the fifth day of protests triggered by proposed new taxes.

Hundreds of thousands participated in Sunday’s mass protests that were the largest since 2005.

A Lebanese demonstrator carries a placard as she takes part in a rally in Beirut’s downtown district on October 20, 2019. – Thousands continued to rally despite calls for calm from politicians and dozens of arrests. Demonstrators want a sweeping overhaul of Lebanon’s political system, citing grievances ranging from austerity measures to poor infrastructure. (ANWAR AMRO/AFP via Getty Images)

Prime Minister Saad Hariri will put forward a reform plan during the morning government meeting at the presidential palace in Beirut’s southeastern suburb of Baabda.

Many protesters say they don’t trust any plan by the current government. They’ve called on the 30-member Cabinet to resign and be replaced by a smaller one made up of technocrats instead of members of political factions.

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