Renewed violence in Beirut as #YouStink rallies continue

Published August 25th, 2015 - 06:28 GMT

Police used batons to beat back protesters who crossed a barbed wire barrier near the Grand Serail Tuesday, wounding at least two people, hours after authorities removed a giant concrete wall that had been erected one day earlier at the same location.

Television footage showed dozens of police pushing back protesters in a fresh outbreak of violence at Riad al-Solh Square following weekend clashes that left hundreds wounded.

One man was bleeding from his head after being struck with a police baton, and a woman was wailing after she said police struck her arm.

"Remove your dogs, o Machnouk," the protesters chanted, calling on Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk to hold back police.

A protest organizer told The Daily Star the violence started when a man threw a metal object at police. Other witnesses said protesters had crossed a barbed wire barrier.

Hundreds had gathered in Riad al-Solh earlier in the day to denounce the weekend violence and demand officials be held accountable.

Riad al-Solh Square, located outside the Grand Serail, has been the site of daily protests since Saturday, when thousands rallied against the government's response to the waste crisis in a demonstration organized by the "You Stink" group.

On Tuesday, a group that spawned from the protest movement, which calls itself “Demanding Accountability,” descended onto the square, hours after the removal of concrete wall was removed upon Prime Minister Tammam Salam’s order.

Protesters called for holding politicians accountable for ordering police to attack protesters, and for engaging in “corrupt deals” in the waste management issue.

The Cabinet rejected during its session Tuesday the results of the call for tenders that Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk had announced Monday, saying the prices were too high.

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