The secondhand market in Tripoli: 

The municipality 'cleans' the city of its poor

Starting Saturday June 29, and over several consecutive days, the secondhand market in Tripoli witnessed a full removal process, as part of the campaign to remove public property violations in Tripoli. This removal wasn’t limited to the market but extended to various areas in the city. The vegetable and secondhand clothing market, both part of the cultural heritage and urban development project and a vital source of affordable goods for the low-income population representing a lively public space created by the community, suffered significant losses, impacting both the vendors and their impoverished customers.

In recent years, the market has faced other crises, including a fire in 2019 and another fire in October 2023, the cause of which remains unknown but is suspected to be intentional. The municipality’s recent actions, justified by claims of public space violations, seem to target the city’s poor. Many of the stalls deemed illegal were actually registered and paying rent to the municipality. The widespread campaign led by the municipality aims to secure funding for renovating the cultural heritage area, allegedly to beautify it and boost tourism. However, this effort appears to be more about eradicating the visible signs of poverty rather than addressing the underlying economic issues, highlighting a focus on aesthetics and security at the expense of the needs and rights of the local community.

Public Property Lebanon North Lebanon Governorate Tripoli District