Demonstrators are set to gather in Beirut on Monday, August 31, and Tuesday, September 1. On August 31, supporters of the ruling Free Patriotic Movement party will reportedly gather at 16:00 (local time) in front of the Charles al Helou bus station before marching to the Port of Beirut. On 1 September, an anti-government demonstration is set to be held at Martyr's Square from 16:00.
A heightened security presence and localized disruptions are expected in the vicinity of any demonstration. Clashes between demonstrators and security forces cannot be ruled out.
An explosion that occurred in the Port of Beirut on August 4 killed at least 157 people, injured 5000 others, and caused billions of Lebanese Pounds in damages. The blast is believed to have been caused by 2750 tonnes of ammonium nitrate, which had been unsafely stored in the area. A state of emergency was initially declared on August 5, and 20 officials responsible for the operation of the port have so far been placed under arrest.
Allegations of mismanagement regarding the substance's storage come during sustained unrest since October 2019 over corruption and economic hardship within the country whereby protesters have called for reforms to the governance of Lebanon.
Those in Beirut, and across Lebanon, are advised to monitor developments, avoid all protests as a precaution, and adhere to all instructions issued by local authorities.
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