Thousands of people began gathering Saturday amid tight security in downtown Beirut, ahead of a major rally to protest government corruption and the country’s dysfunctional political system. At least two or three armored personnel carriers were deployed around the prime minister’s office. A man over a megaphone chanted, “Declare
it a revolution!” Saturday’s protest is expected to be the largest of the demonstrations that began last week over garbage piling up in the streets of Beirut, following the closure of a main landfill. But the government’s failure to resolve the crisis has evolved into wider protests against a political class that has dominated Lebanon since the end of the country’s civil war in 1990.