Hundreds of protesters hit the streets on Monday in Beirut city to protest the Lebanese government’s plans to cut public sector salaries and pensions in the next state budget.
Education sector staff, retired military officers as well as other current and former public employees have gathered in the hundreds in Riad al-Solh Square in downtown Beirut for a demonstration against the government.
Protesters tried to advance toward the Grand Serail where a Cabinet meeting is ongoing but were faced by riot police using a water cannon. One protester attempted to set himself on fire, according to unconfirmed local media reports.
Protesters had bypassed two barriers that were installed outside the Grand Serail, according to reports, and they were seen burning tires and attempting to push past the front lines of riot police.
The protest, which gathered hundreds of state workers, military veterans and teachers, coincided with Cabinet’s 16th session dedicated to discussing the budget being held at the Grand Serail.