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Sunday, August 30

YouStink gives government 72 hours to meet their demands: Latest on Lebanon crisis

Aug. 30, 2015 | 10:35 AM (Last Updated: August 30, 2015 | 11:04 AM)
[times are local]
19 arrested in Beirut protest: 'You Stink' campaign
The Daily Star (Lebanon)

BEIRUT: The civil society group 'You Stink' said 19 people were arrested by police in Downtown Beirut’s Riad al-Solh Square late Saturday night.

You Stink said on its official Facebook page the detainees were from various Lebanese regions who represent different political groups.

The Internal Security Forces had acknowledged making “several arrests” after protesters succeeded shortly before midnight in crossing the first barbed wire fence erected in front of the government headquarters known as the Grand Serail in Downtown Beirut.

The massive rally organized by You Stink Saturday was mostly peaceful until a group of young men began to throw bottles and set off firecrackers near the Serail around 8:30 p.m. after organizers had said protesters were free to go home.

They set trash on fire next to the barbed wire and pulled it down in an attempt to get closer to the Serail.

You Stink, which distanced itself from any protesters clashing with security forces, had vowed to escalate its campaign next week if the state failed to meet the group’s demands within 72 hours.

"On Tuesday our demonstrations will not only be held in Beirut but in different areas across Lebanon," a You Stink member told thousands of demonstrators who flooded into Martyrs' Square in Downtown Beirut Saturday to join the anti-corruption rally.

"Our battle is long and will continue until the executive and legislative authorities return to citizens... and the election of a new head state... but we will be victorious," she added, reading from a statement.

You Stink Sunday warned political leaders that “your hour has come” in a new hashtag added to their current one: “we will carry on.”

Thousands of citizens waving the Lebanese flag and holding banners to denounce corruption and the politicians' failure to manage the state converged Saturday on Martyrs' Square in Downtown Beirut.

Protesters shouted slogans against politicians and denounced Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk as well as Environment Minister Nouhad Machnouk for failing to deal with a protracted trash crisis that saw garbage spilling out of dumpsters in Beirut and Mount Lebanon.

The campaign has demanded that authorities transfer the responsibility for waste management to the municipalities and follow through with Thursday's Cabinet decision to hand over owed funds to them.

In an updated post on Facebook, You Stink said that while they believe in the need to elect a president as soon as possible, it also sees that the main priority is for the election of a new Parliament that would represent the people so that a Lebanon's new president would not be elected by an illegitimate legislative body.



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