Thousands of Lebanese protesters are back on the streets of Beirut today calling for a solution to the country's mounting garbage problem.
Eight months ago, Tol3et Re7atkom (You Stink), a secular movement which has been demanding a “sustainable solution to Lebanon's waste disposal problem”, started protests that were attended by thousands of people across the country. On July 17, the country's largest landfill was closed and trash started overflowing across Beirut as officials continued to mishandle the refuse problem. Rubbish and summer did not go hand in hand, and as the waste bags continued to pile up along the streets of Beirut, the appalling stench poisoned the air, rubbing Lebanese people in the nose.
On their Facebook page, the group posted this parody video poking fun at Lebanon's tourism drive, showing the country's stunning nature against a backdrop of rubbish. Global Voices contributor Joey Ayoub tweets the video:
— Joey Ayoub جووي أيوب (@joeyayoub) March 12, 2016
In a comment on the video, the You Stink movement comments:
The big scandal video.. A harsh parody of the Lebanese Ministry of Tourism recent online campaign “rise above lebanon”. A video showing the brutal reality those corrupt who are in power don't want us to see.. “The last warning” Saturday 12th of March, at 4pm Sassine Square, You_stink and you are killing us..
And it was a final warning. Thousands of Lebanese from all walks of life joined protesters to make their voices heard, not only protesting against the way the government has (not) dealt with the rubbish problem but also against the government's corruption. Global Voices contributor Mohamad Najem shares this video from today's protest:
— Mohamad محمد (@monajem) March 12, 2016
Rima Moussaoui shares this photograph:
— Rima Moussaoui (@rima_moussaoui) March 12, 2016
And Bassem Mroue says the protest is continuing until nightfall:
— Bassem Mroue (@bmroue) March 12, 2016
Habib Battah shares this photograph by Nabih Bulos which shows that the protesters mean business:
— Habib Battah (@habib_b) March 12, 2016
Bulos adds that the protesters are calling for a general strike starting Monday:
— Nabih (@nabihbulos) March 12, 2016
Stay tuned for more coverage from Lebanon as this story evolves.