Aug 19 2015 - 11:09

REPORT: Riot Police use water cannons to disperse 'You Stink' protesters outside Grand Serail as government fails to resolve garbage crisis

REPORT: Riot Police use water cannons to disperse 'You Stink' protesters outside Grand Serail as government fails to resolve garbage crisis Lebanon, news ,lbci ,أخبار water,Police,Riot,REPORT,
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Lebanon News

'You Stink' anti-corruption environmental activists staged on Wednesday a sit-in in Beirut’s Riad al-Solh Square, throwing waste bags and eggs at the Grand Serail to protest against procrastination in resolving the alarming garbage crisis.

Scuffles flared between activists and security forces who used water cannons to disperse them and thwart their attempts to storm into the Grand Serail. 

‘You Stink’ protesters also blocked the Banks Street in Riad al-Solh and vowed to remain until all activists are released and a solution is reached over the waste crisis.

Policemen arrested activists Asaad Zabyan, Wareth Sleiman, Lucien Bou Rjeily and Hasan Chamas during the sit-in. Zabyan was released afterwards but the three others remain under police custody.  

By Wednesday evening, scuffles re-erupted in Riad al-Solh and security forces detained two more activists, raising the number to five. Shortly afterwards, well-informed sources reported that four 'You Stink' activists, Wareth Sleiman, Lucien Bou Rjeily, Hasan Chamas, and Ihab Abou Moujahid were released. 

An ambulance also transported one protester who was severely injured after the Internal Security Forces attacked the activists with batons in a bid to disperse them.

This as the committee in charge of examining offers for tenders in the waste management dossier deferred its meeting until next Tuesday.

In a press conference held after the meeting, Environment Minister Mohammad Mashnouq failed to address the rally occurring outside the Grand Serail, adjacent to the Council for Development and Reconstruction where the meeting was being held.  

In turn, Interior Minister Nohad Mashnouq told LBCI that “the [waste] issue will be settled within days after the approval of offers,” adding “we didn’t decide on anything yet.” 

Lebanon has been grappling with a waste crisis following the July 17 closure of the Naameh landfill. The cabinet pledged last year that the said landfill would be shut down and an alternative site would be found, however failed to live up to its promises.        
The piles of garbage rotting in the summer heat triggered nationwide outrage and serious health warnings.    
To get rid of waste, frustrated residents set fire to dumpsters and trash containers, further polluting the hot and humid air.  
The mess is a stark reminder of the cabinet crisis afflicting Lebanon, where politicians divided by local and regional crises have even failed to agree on where to dump the capital city's rubbish.

To watch Nada Andraos's report about waste tender offers, please click here
To watch Nicole Hajal's report about the sit-in, please click on the video above.
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