Naharnet

Activists, Police Clash Near Energy Ministry

Activists from “We Want Accountability” movement and security forces clashed on Tuesday near the Energy Ministry after the protesters blocked one of the facility's entrances.

Ministry employees told them that the ministry is a red line, refusing to remain trapped in their offices in Beirut's Corniche al-Nahr area.

But the demonstrators stressed they want accountability, saying their intention is not to ransack the ministry.

The clash caused the glass door of the entrance to be broken.

“We are not here to break anything,” said one of the protesters, adding that a policeman broke the glass after he tried to block the entrance.

“We will hold more protests but we will not say where,” he told MTV.

“I am here today to tell Lebanese officials that we will hold them accountable,” said another protester.

“We can no longer pay two bills,” she said.

The movement later said in a statement at the protest site that “we are still living in the darkness of the Middle Ages despite millions spent on the electricity sector.”

“The authorities are stealing public money without being held accountable,” it added.

The activists vowed an open-ended confrontation with the authorities to stop squandering in the electricity sector.

They also stressed that they refuse to negotiate with any of the relevant parties and vowed to take a similar actions on October 3 near Electricite du Liban (EDL).

Lebanon suffers from severe power cuts and the people purchase electricity from private individuals or firms having generators.

After the Naameh landfill closed in July, trash piled up in the streets of Beirut and Mount Lebanon leading to mass demonstrations against the country's entire political class and its failure to provide basic services.

The protests have been organized by the “You Stink” movement, “We Want Accountability” and other civil society activists.

G.K.

D.A.


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