Latest Protests Fail to Attract Large Crowds


Only a small number of people turned out Saturday at demonstrations around Lebanon called by the "You Stink" group to protest what they call a corrupt and inept political class.

The collective had called Friday for demonstrations in the coastal city of Tyre and in Zrariyeh, both in southern Lebanon.

On Saturday around 300 people turned out in Tyre, an Agence France Presse correspondent said.

"We elected them MPs, and they have become wolves who are never satisfied," banners read.

"Thieves, thieves," people chanted.

Activists had also urged supporters to protest in the eastern city of Chtaura, the historic town of Beiteddine and Nabatiyeh and Marjayoun in the south.

But only a dozen or so turned out in Marjayoun, as was the case in the central town of Baakline.

The protest movement began in July when a landfill closed and pungent garbage started piling up in Beirut and its outskirts, but it has evolved into a broad-based organization against government impotence and corruption.

Demonstrations organized by "You Stink" have escalated over the past two weeks, peaking last Saturday when tens of thousands flooded Martyrs Square in a rare display of non-partisan mobilization.

Contrary to the traditional practice of people demonstrating at the call of one political party or religious group, "You Stink" has cut across party and confessional lines.

In Tyre, a bastion of Hizbullah and Amal movements, demonstrators dipped their hands in red paint and then imprinted them on a large white sheet.

Organizers said this was to symbolize that they would not withdraw from the streets "until they obtain their rights, even if it costs them their lives."

Parliament Speaker Nabih Berri, who belongs to Amal, has called for a dialogue of political leaders on Wednesday.

Samir Geagea, leader of the Christian Lebanese Forces party, has said he will not participate.

Meanwhile, "You Stink" has called for another massive demonstration the same day.

Comments 4
Missing lqu7 06 September 2015, 10:02

YouStink is starting to stink big time.

Missing imagine_1979 06 September 2015, 10:13

Those guys gathered as much as the orange tribe and friends....
Those guys are asking for our rights and end of corruption....
In fact u and ur coment stink...
We'll see u next week :)

Missing imagine_1979 06 September 2015, 10:15

And btw, asking for a minister to resign if he fails his duty should be a normal standard, not orange yellow blue green... Just the way things should go on in a normal country, no?...

Missing callaeci 06 September 2015, 16:25

They got mired in rhetoric, grandstanding, personal interests and ideology instead of building on the one or two key issues that sparked the imagination of the regular people.