Protestors in Lebanon broke into the Ministry of Environment in Beirut on Tuesday to stage a sit-in outside the office of the minister and demanded his resignation over the trash crisis in the country that is getting out of hand.
The group of approximately 30 people from the You Stink movement sat with legs crossed on the ministry floor, shouting slogans and clapping.
The minister Mohammed Machnouk was in his office nearby.
The protestors shouted for the minister to get out. Police attempted but failed to remove the protesters by using force.
Angry protests due to the failure of the government to deal with the ongoing garbage crisis have now evolved into serious anti-government protestors that have not been seen in years in the country.
Protesters are seeking to challenge the complete political class, which has dominated Lebanon since 1990 when the civil war came to an end.
These protests have brought in more supporters from throughout Lebanon’s religious and political divides, reflecting the expanding frustration with a corrupt and aging political class that cannot provide even basic services.
Many protesters gathered near the Ministry of Environment building to support those inside the ministry.
Riot police kept protesters from going into the building to join the other protesters.
Police allowed the protesters 30 minutes to exit the building, but they refused and remained inside following the passing of that deadline.
Following a large scale protest on Saturday in downtown Beirut protesters issued a number of demands that included the resignation of the minister and threatening to escalate action if he did not resign.
The minister refused to resign as he only resigned from a committee that has been assigned to resolve the crisis with trash.
For weeks, garbage has piled up since the city’s biggest landfill was closed without finding a new replacement.
Thus far, the only response by the government has been one promise from the parliament speaker for talks between high level politicians soon.