'You Stink' Campaigners Back to the Streets of Beirut

Anti-trash activists blocked on Tuesday several roads in Beirut to protest the authorities' failure to find a permanent solution to the waste crisis.

The demonstration was planned to coincide with a cabinet session which Prime Minister Tammam Salam adjourned to pave way for more consultations.

Tuesday's protest by "You Stink" activists at Riad al-Solh square near the Grand Serail was not the first. The same demonstrators held a sit-in in the area over the weekend to protest the mountains of garbage that had piled up in Beirut and its suburbs.

The protesters then blocked the road near Mohammed al-Amin mosque where the environment ministry is located, calling for the resignation of Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq.

They later moved to Beirut's Hamra thoroughfare chanting slogans calling on the authorities to resolve the waste problem.

At one point, the demonstrators surrounded the vehicle of Social Affairs Minister Rashid Derbas, who later severely criticized them, telling Voice of Lebanon radio (93.3) that the protesters were on the verge of "smashing the car's windows."

They also threw trash bags near the Central Bank that lies in Hamra.

Later in the day, the Internal Security Forces Intelligence Branch arrested the activist Tareq Mallah after Derbas filed a lawsuit against him and other protesters, accusing them of attacking his car.

LBCI TV said the activists tracked dump trucks on Monday night and found out that the trash was being thrown in Beirut River and a parking lot in Sin el-Fil.

The Facebook page of "You Stink" has so far garnered over 6,700 likes.

Trash collection resumed on Monday evening after the waste management ministerial committee headed by Salam managed to agree on a preliminary solution to the garbage crisis.

The solution involves the “immediate resumption” of waste collection in Beirut, a “balanced distribution” of Beirut and Mount Lebanon's garbage to new locations and financial “incentives” to municipalities, Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq said following the committee's emergency meeting at the Grand Serail.

The trash crisis erupted on July 17 when the Naameh landfill south of Beirut was closed.



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