All roads at Camille Chamoun Sports City blocked in response to the call for demonstrations by the General Confederation of Lebanese Workers
Banks, government offices and many businesses observed a general strike Thursday called for by Lebanon's main labor union body to protest the collapsing economy and standard of living.
The General Confederation of Lebanese Workers, the country’s labor force umbrella, called for a nationwide strike to protest the deteriorating economic conditions and to call for the swift formation of a rescue government to halt the economic collapse. Various labor unions, as well as companies and businesses in the private and public sectors, have said they will observe the strike.
Unlike protests over the last 18 months, most of the country's main political parties said they were joining the strike along several civil society groups. Even the association of banks -- who along with the political elite are the target of most of the popular wrath in previous strikes and protests -- joined the shutdown.
Several streets in major cities and a number of key highways across the country were blocked, as banks, several large companies and many shops remained close while most civilian government employees stayed away from work.
Protests in several areas were called for later in the day.
Lebanon's economic crisis, which the World Bank has labeled as one of the world's worst since the 1850s, has seen the local currency lose more than 90 percent of its value on the black market.
The crisis has eaten away at the value of salaries and slashed the budget for subsidies on essential goods. Power rationing has increased with many areas only seeing two hours a day of electricity. People line up at gas stations for up to two hours to get limited liters of petrol in their cars while supermarkets and pharmacies are running short of supplies.