Protesters were seen attacking bank branches and smashing the windows of one prominent cell phone company.
Some threw Molotov cocktails and rocks at police, who attempted to disperse protesters with tear gas. As clashes continued, security forces deployed water cannons and rubber bullets.
The banking system has all but collapsed and Lebanese citizens have a monthly withdrawal limit worth around $200. The nation’s currency has lost 60% of its value in the months of tumult, as prices soar and people are left unable to pay their regular bills.
Lebanon’s President, Michel Aoun, called on the country’s army and security forces to impose order.
Some protesters who spoke to CNN said they’ve decided to use new tactic that includes employing more violence in order to spur quicker change, as the situation has mostly stalled since Hariri’s resignation.
Hariri, who has been ruling a caretaker government since his resignation, issued a statement calling events in downtown Beirut an “unacceptable scene that threatens civil peace.”
Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch both issued statements accusing police of using excessive force.
“Acts by a minority of protesters who vandalized banks or threw stones is never a justification for such excessive use of force and sweeping arrests by law enforcement,” said Lynn Maalouf, Amnesty International’s Middle East director of research.
CNN’s Mitchell McCluskey, Christian Streib and Angela Dewan contributed to this report