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Lebanese Activists Warn Against Political Attempts to Exploit Their Movement

Lebanese protesters at Riad Solh, in downtown Beirut earlier today. Photograph shared by @_Richardhall on Twitter

Lebanese protesters at Riad Solh, in downtown Beirut earlier today. Photograph shared by @_Richardhall on Twitter

During their parliamentary sit-in, ‘Tol3et Re7etkom’ (‘You Stink’), a Lebanese grassroots movement initially created to fight the national garbage crisis, outlined their demands in a statement during the ongoing mass protests and warned against political attempts to exploit their movements to serve any party's agenda.

In a video shared on the movement's Facebook page on August 23, they denounced the brutal repression and “terrorism” that activists faced when they demonstrated peacefully yesterday. They demanded immediate accountability of those responsible for the violence, insisting that the peaceful demonstrations are targeting the political class as a whole, and that all should bear the responsibility, including Prime Minister Tammam Salam. They called for his immediate resignation and a second day of mass protests “against the terrorism of corrupt authorities” today.

Also Read: ‘You Stink’ Protesters Call for the Resignation of the Lebanese Government

In a separate statement circulated earlier in the day, the movement had also demanded the resignation of Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk as well as the whole government and highlighted the need to hold parliamentary elections. In the same document, they warned against any attempt for political parties to exploit the movement, noting that two government ministers who tried to enter the protest area were refused entry, but that those who resign are welcome.

On their website the group also shared a financial report accounting for their expenses so far, complete with a scan of all receipts. Supporters can make a contribution via their Indiegogo fundraising campaign.

Also read our coverage on Global Voices Checkdesk

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