Students in Lebanon shunned classes leading anti-government demonstrations across the country on Wednesday, refusing to return to class before the demands of a nearly three-week-old protest movement are met.
Dozens gathered in front of the education ministry, in the nation’s capital Beirut, brandishing Lebanese flags and chanting slogans demanding the removal of a political class seen as incompetent and corrupt.
“What will I do with a school leaver’s certificate if I don’t have a country,” one pupil told Lebanese television.
In the largest pupil-led protest, crowds streamed into a central square in the southern city of Sidon, demanding better public education and more job opportunities for school leavers.
demonstrators, who have kept up their protests since October 17, were not blocking key roads on Wednesday morning.
Banks were open and classes resumed at most schools after a two-week gap.
But demonstrators gathered around key state institutions for a second day in a row, in what appears to be a new tactic replacing road closures.
The most significant in the capital was around the Palace of Justice, where hundreds demanded an independent judiciary and an end to political interference, an AFP correspondent reported.
“We don’t want judges who receive orders,” read one placard held aloft by the crowd.