Uprising day 14: Army, protesters open major roads
The Lebanese Army forcibly opened the highway north of Beirut Wednesday, almost an hour after its call on protesters to voluntarily open the roads.
Soldiers pushed away around 50 protesters blocking the highway at Jal al-Dib and took down the tents they had set up in the area. The force of over 100 soldiers also tried to push parked cars out of the way before their owners moved them in fear of the soldiers.
Army Intelligence denied local TV channels LBCI and Al Jadeed from filming as they removed the protesters from the highway.
Meanwhile, a similar force from the Internal Security Forces negotiated with protesters to open the Ring Bridge, which connects east and west Beirut.
The protesters agreed to open the roads and voluntarily removed tents they set up on the highway. About a dozen then sat back on the road, refusing to leave as their friends tried to persuade them.
In an earlier statement, the Army stressed the people’s right to “peaceful protests and freedom of expression ... in public squares only.”
“After the dangerous exacerbation of rows between people due to roadblocks across Lebanese areas and the latest political developments, the Army command calls on all protesters to open remaining blocked roads,” the statement said.