The demonstrations unleashed long-simmering anger at a ruling class that has divided up power among themselves and amassed wealth for decades but has done little to fix a crumbling economy and dilapidated infrastructure.
Tackling corruption head-on will be hard, considering that the steady ossification of Lebanon's political balance since the country's civil war ended in 1990 has paved the way for graft.
The protesters want more than the resignation of top officials - they want them to return plundered funds and stand trial. "They are in the hands of the people".
"If they are convinced, so be it, if they are not the roads will remain closed", the source said.
Another target was Nabih Berri, the 81-year-old Shiite speaker of parliament who has held the job for a quarter of a century and embodies Lebanon's political status quo.
In Tripoli, a predominantly Sunni city, some protesters chanted against and tore posters of Saad Hariri, the Sunni PM.
A reiteration of this slogan has also been used to convey that the leader of powerful Shiite movement Hezbollah, Hassan Nasrallah, is not excluded from the lot. Exchanging kisses on the cheek with one of the demonstrators, a grinning soldier whispered: "Be safe ... raise your voice and shout on our behalf".
The protesters have been blocking highways as part of the countrywide demonstrations which have united Lebanese from across the sectariain spectrum and have not been led by any of the parties that have long dominated politics.
Lebanon's teetering government approved an economic rescue plan on Monday but the last-ditch move was met with deep distrust from a swelling protest movement seeking the removal of the entire political class.
"Lies, lies, lies", said another protester who declined to give his name. "There are no good schools, no electricity and no water".
The banking sector was criticized by numerous protesters, who blamed it for charging the state high interest rates as it carries much of the $85 billion public debt that stands at 150% of the gross domestic product. People are fed up with massive corruption, cronyism, a sectarian-based political system, unemployment, especially among the youth, rises in the cost of living and failing public services, among others. The BBC reports that the "biggest protests to sweep the country in over a decade" began on Thursday after a series of controversial new taxes were proposed by the government.
Later on Monday, the Lebanese presidency approved the Hariri's initiative to tackle the ongoing crisis. The IMF has said that reforms are needed to arrest the country's ballooning deficit and public debt which it forecasted to reach 155% of GDP by the year-end. Those include no new taxes and no deductions from retirement salaries, plus an end to overspending. On Saturday, four government ministers from the Christian Lebanese Forces party, including the labour minister, social affairs minister and deputy prime minister, resigned. Some reports say there are concerns by the government that people might rush to local lenders to withdraw their money, worsenening the economic crisis.
On Monday morning, President Michel Aoun chaired a cabinet meeting to discuss the reforms package at the Baabda palace.
Protesters unanimously have called for early parliamentary elections, with Hariri saying that he supported the demonstrators' request.
The crisis has caused the unofficial exchange rate to rise to 1,600 Lebanese lira to one USA dollar, nearly 100 lira over the officially pegged exchange rate of LL 1,507.5.