Members of the Lebanese diaspora have called for several protests across the United States on Saturday, October 19, and on Sunday, October 20, in solidarity with the ongoing opposition demonstrations in Lebanon. Participants plan to gather at several locations, most notably:
- At 11:00 (local time) on Saturday at the Lebanese Consulate in Los Angeles (California state)
- At 16:00 on Saturday at the Lebanese Consulate in Washington DC
- At 16:00 on Saturday at Copley Square in Boston (Massachusetts state)
- At 16:00 on Saturday at the intersection of Embarcadero and Folsom Streets in San Francisco (California state)
- At 17:30 on Saturday in front of the Starbucks on Post Oak Boulevard in Houston (Texas state)
- At 16:00 on Sunday at Ford Field Park in Dearborn (Michigan state)
Similar demonstrations may take place in other major urban areas across the country. A heightened security presence and localized transportation disruptions are expected near all protest sites.
On October 16, the Lebanese government approved tax hikes on tobacco products as part of its 2020 federal budget. Information Minister Jama Jarrah announced a 20 percent daily tax for individuals calling via the WhatsApp mobile phone messenger application on October 17. However, the announcement sparked spontaneous nationwide protests on October 17, forcing the government to revoke the tax proposal. Prime Minister Said Hariri subsequently declared a 72-hour deadline for political parties to solve the country's ongoing economic crisis.
Individuals in the US are advised to monitor developments to the situation, avoid all protests and demonstrations as a precaution, anticipate localized transportation disruptions and adhere to instructions issued by local authorities.
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