Lebanese protesters clashed with police over the weekend, fed up with the government’s inability to collect trash over the past few weeks. But the protests turned to mocking when security forces erected a concrete wall around government buildings in Beirut.
We have our very own Berlin Wall now.
— Anis Tabet (@AnisTabet23) August 24, 2015
Organizers of the “You Stink” campaign called off large-scale protests after police fired rubber bullets and doused demonstrators with water hoses. The movement is now calling for the removal of government officials because of a gridlocked political system.
In addition to the trash pickup problem, the government is dealing with a dilapidated water and electricity system and a growing population of Syrian refugees. The power-sharing government has been operating without a president for 15 months, and the parliament has lengthened its term twice without elections.
Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk toured the streets in Beirut, defended the actions of police and rejected calls for his resignation. Cabinet officials are holding an emergency meeting on Tuesday over the protests.