Socialist Worker

Lebanon: general strike paralyses the country

by Bassem Chit in Beirut
Issue No. 2035

Workers in Beirut set fire to rubbish bins as a general strike against the US-backed government paralysed the country this week. There are pickets and barricades across most major roads.

The opposition – led by Hizbollah and the Free Patriotic Movement – has called the strike in an attempt to bring down the government of Fouad Siniora.

Among supporters of the opposition there is a frustration that the mass demonstrations that brought two million on to the streets before Christmas were not enough to topple the government, and that more radical action is necessary.

The movement has grown after the government announced a raft of cuts in social welfare, a hike in taxes and a new programme of privatisation to pay Lebanon's spiralling debt.

The Lebanese Communist Party and other left wing organisations have called for demonstrations on Wednesday in support of the opposition.

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Sat 27 Jan 2007, 00:00 GMT
Issue No. 2035
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