Anti-trash group postpones demonstrations in Lebanon after protester dies

Published August 24th, 2015 - 06:35 GMT

The online group calling itself "You Stink” announced the postponement of another demonstration that it had called for in downtown Beirut on Monday as a protester, who had been severely injured during Sunday's demonstration, passed away.

"You Stink” said it will announce the reasons of its decision during a press conference that its officials are scheduled to hold on Monday afternoon.

On Sunday, "You Stink" and other protest organizers pulled their supporters out of Riad al-Solh Square and moved to the Martyrs' Square after men they described as political thugs began fighting with police.

The thugs tried to tear down a barbed wire fence separating the crowds from the Grand Serail and threw molotov cocktails on security forces.

The violence sparked battles, which left scores injured.

But one of the protesters, who was seriously injured in the head, died despite undergoing a surgical operation.

The “You Stink” campaign, which began receiving the backing of Lebanese from across Lebanon, first launched its campaign against the government after the closure of the Naameh landfill caused trash to pile up on the streets.

The government has so far failed to reach a decision on waste management because of political disputes among cabinet members.

Environment Minister Mohammed al-Mashnouq has said that the announcement of tenders for waste management in Beirut and Mount Lebanon was moved up to Monday afternoon instead of Tuesday.

The announcement will not resolve the garbage crisis anytime soon. The winning firms need at least six months to start operating.

According to As Safir daily published Monday, Speaker Nabih Berri has urged Prime Minister Tammam Salam to mull ways to reopen the Naameh landfill in coordination with Progressive Socialist Party chief MP Walid Jumblat pending a solution to the crisis.

But it was not clear if residents living nearby, who say daily life is unbearable and allege gases produced by the site cause health problems, would accept such a decision.


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