Lebanese anti-government protesters occupied the environment ministry in Beirut Tuesday, as nationwide protests Tuesday.
Around 30 protesters joined the sit-in protest, refusing to leave the ministry unless Environment Minister Mohammad Machnouk steps down.
Security forces quickly moved in to forcibly disperse the protesters, with activists accusing police of beating many of those engaged in the protest.
Protestors carry a Lebanese flag in front of riot police at one of the entrances to the environment ministry in downtown Beirut, Lebanon September 1, 2015. | Photo: Reuters
Activists say the sit-in was the first “surprise for the government, and vowed to deliver more unexpected acts of civil disobedience.
Lebanon is facing a wave of anti-government protests organized by the You Stink! movement.
What started as a protest earlier this month about the lack of garbage pick up in the capital Beirut has escalated into a protest against government corruption and mismanagement, including consistent water and power shortages in the country.
Over the weekend tens of thousands protested in central Beirut, and more demonstrations are planned if the government refuses to agree to the movement's demands.
Protesters gave the government an ultimatum this weekend, demanding the resignation of two government ministers – the interior minister responsible for alleged police brutality along with the minister of the environment in charge of garbage collection – within 72 hours or face an escalation of public protests. That ultimatum was set to expire Tuesday.
The demonstrators have also called on the government to hold snap parliamentary elections, putting extra pressure on lawmakers who have failed to agree on a new election date, leaving the country without a president for more than a year. Meanwhile, the lawmakers have extended their own terms until 2017.
The You Stink! movement blames the failure to resolve the garbage crisis on this government paralysis and corruption.
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