Protesters' Incredible Act Across Entire Country

In an incredible show of unity, tens of thousands of Lebanese protestors have held hands and linked arms from highways to hillsides spanning the length of the country.

The 170-kilometre long human chain ran straight through the main protest hub in the capital of Beirut on the 11th day of anti-government demonstrations.

Many held flags, others played music from loudspeakers as they rallied together from the north to the south.

It was part of a wave of protests that have crippled the country, blocking arterial routes and forcing banks, schools and businesses to close their doors for days on end.

Lebanese protesters form a human chain along the coast from north to south as a symbol of unity, during an anti-government protest. Image: Nabil Mounzer via AAP

Many of the activists are young men and women who are demanding the government, which has remained largely unchanged in 30 years, resign.

It's accused of incompetence, corruption, mismanagement of state finances and pushing the country towards an economic collapse not seen since the civil war which ended in 1990.

While Lebanon's government recently declared a state of "economic emergency" and flagged a package of economic changes in a bid to revive the economy, residents want more.

"All the Lebanese people are together on this day and you're going to see how united we are for this cause," a protester, who was part of the chain, told Al Jazeera.

"We want all of them to resign and end the corruption in this country. It's enough," said another.

Protesters carry placards, wave Lebanese flags, and shout anti-government slogans during a protest in martyr square in downtown Beirut, Lebanon, 27 October 2019. Image: Nabil Mounzer via AAP

The human chain came a day after protesters blocked roads and staged sit-ins, bringing much of the country to a standstill.

"The idea behind this human chain is to show an image of a Lebanon which, from north to south, rejects any sectarian affiliation," Julie Tegho Bou Nassif, 31, one of the organisers, told AFP news agency.

"There is no political demand today, we only want to send a message by simply holding hands under the Lebanese flag," she said.



WhatsApp Got To Do With It? Lebanon’s Mass Protests Reach Sydney

Hundreds have gathered in Sydney's CBD to show their support for anti-government protesters in Lebanon who have been demonstrating for three days over the rising cost of living and new tax plans.

Despite tensions with armed forces, the protests, while large, loud and disruptive, have been relatively incident-free.

On Saturday, however, things escalated with several people wounded as the army clashed with demonstrators near the northern city of Tripoli.

"We were sitting peacefully in the road, blocking it like is happening in all Lebanese areas, and then they started shooting," a female protester told local news channel LBCI, holding several empty bullet casings in her hand.

The chaos was all sparked by a government plan to tax WhatsApp calls, a plan that has since been scrapped.

It led to global action, with protests held in the U.S., Canada, Mexico, Spain and  Australia.

Hundreds gathered in Sydney's CBD on October 19 chanting and holding up flags, standing in solidarity with Lebanese demonstrators.

The crowd was even larger on Sunday as thousands gathered at the Opera House in solidarity with family and friends in Lebanon.

Almost 231,000 Australians (close to one percent of the population) claimed some Lebanese ancestry in the 2016 census.

Even Pope Francis offered his prayers on Sunday. He asked for the international community's support to keep the country a place of "peaceful coexistence".

“I send a special thought to the dear Lebanese people, in particular to young people, who in recent days have made their cry heard in the face of challenges and the social, moral, and economic problems of the country," he said, according to Vatican News.