At around 7:00 PM today, after 2 weeks of protests against the Syrian presence in Lebanon, pro-Syrian Prime Minister Omar Karami resigned along with his entire cabinet… but before that and defying the government ban on demonstrations, people marched to the Martyr’s Square, next to the Parliament where the vote of confidence was taking place.
At 9:30 AM we decided to go from Sin El Fil to the Martyr’s Square on foot as roadblocks were creating some traffic and keeping the demonstrators away from Downtown Beirut. Groups of flags-waving protesters were taking the bridge leading to Ashrafieh so we joined them and marched all the way across Bourj Hammoud, passing through a roadblock set up by the army. The protesters were cheerful, chanting "Syria out!" and "Freedom, sovereignty, independence", despite the light rain and the exhausting walk. When we reached Tabaris, we were forced by the army soldiers to turn right towards Gemayze to get to Martyr’s Square from the sea-side entrance where we were again stopped by another troop of soldiers who let people pass in small groups. I guess they were given the orders to act as if they were stopping the demonstrators but in fact were not doing so, fortunately for us. In the square, the sight was astonishing: It was full of young people in a sea of waving red and white Lebanese flags and we could hear the patriotic songs of Majida el Roumi being played through speakers…I can go on and on describing the scene but since a picture is worth a thousand words, here’s a few shots I managed to take using my trusty camera-phone. Enjoy.