Beirut: Drivers of taxis and mini buses blocked all the main roads in Beirut and important transport corridors across Lebanon on Thursday, protesting the continuous surge in gas and food prices and the decline of national currency.
The demonstration was called by the Lebanese union of land transport workers. "We have to undertake such measures to be heard. The previous time we organised a preventive action and blocked [the roads] from 5 am - 10 am (03:00 - 08:00 GMT). Today, we have blocked all the roads since 04:00 am. Our demands are primarily related to the stabilisation of the dollar exchange rate and the regulation of food prices. Petrol prices have become unacceptable and continue to grow even now, as the demonstration is taking place," Ahmad Qubaisi, a union member from Nabatieh, told Sputnik.
In Beirut, the protesters blocked the central square, Hamra Street, and the Verdun district, as well as the highway leading to the airport near the embassy of Kuwait. Since 5:00 am, motorists have also blocked the major highway linking the capital with the south of the country in the Khalde region, and the roadway leading to the north in the Al-Daur region.
Qubaisi said it is important that the Lebanese support the strike, as living standards are getting worse for everybody.
"If they want to change something, they should incarcerate bankers and the head of the central bank. They should be forced to take measures, but at the moment the living conditions are only getting worse," he added.
The protest action will continue until 5 pm, with the head of the union expected to announce further actions. The strike in Beirut is currently peaceful, without any mass gatherings of people or the intervention of law enforcement forces.