Hundreds of retired military personnel clashed with security forces as they attempted to break into the Lebanese Parliament in Beirut on Monday, during a rally over the rising costs of living.
The scuffles broke out as lawmakers were in session to vote on a contentious new budget. The veteran servicemen were demanding a rise in their monthly retirement pay amid a national economic crisis.
“The House of Representatives is the people’s assembly. We have the right to enter whenever we want and deliver the message we want. I think that the message has got through, and let’s see the response in the coming days,” said retired Brigadier General and former politician Chamel Roukoz.
“We, as retirees demand our right and equality with the public sector,” said a retired soldier who had joined the protest. “We want our rights only due to the high cost of living, the dollar has risen and the Lebanese pound is in bad condition, and we are still getting paid with the Lebanese pound, so how do we live?”
The retirees were able to break through one security barrier before they were eventually pushed back from the area by parliamentary guards. They were forced to continue their protest elsewhere.