Horn-blowing motorcades paraded through Beirut Friday as activists of the outlawed Lebanese Forces protested the government’s 7-year-old ban of the group and demanded the release of jailed LF leader Samir Geagea.
The ban was clamped in 1994 in the wake of a deadly bomb blast that killed 10 worshippers in the church of Notre Dame De la Délivrance in Zouk Mekael north of Beirut. A court has cleared Geagea from involvement. Flag-bedecked car convoys rolled through busy streets with chanting LF students waving portraits of Geagea and LF founder Bashir Gemayel, who was assassinated upon his election for Lebanon’s presidency in 1982.
The students first assembled at camps and then set out on the horn-honking parade with martial music and patriotic songs blaring from loudspeakers. They shouted demand for the cancellation of the ban.
Supporters of Michel Aoun as well as Phalangist and National Liberal students took part in the parades. Police made no moves to stop the protests.