“You Stink” co-founder Assaad Thebian declared Wednesday that Financial Prosecutor Ali Ibrahim had promised to announce the results of the “Sukleen” investigation within 10 days.
“Lebanese people will receive a present this holiday because Judge Ibrahim promised them the names of political figures involved in corruption,” he said, adding that the same people had prohibited the follow-up on the trash crisis issue.
Thebian went on to say that although activists have made some mistakes, this did not mean they could not learn from them and proceed with their goal of battling corruption. “The activists within the You Stink movement have never harmed the Lebanese people and have sacrificed their time and money to fight corruption,” he said, “unlike government officials, who have been stealing money for the past 40 years.”
The activists rallied outside the Beirut Justice Palace to protest the ongoing trash crisis, the first of a series of street actions planned for this week that aim to revive the anti-government protest movement and pressure financial prosecutors to investigate corruption cases. Demonstrators carried a banner that read: “Is it possible that you did not [find] any scandal?”
“Cancer [risk] has multiplied by 400 times in the air, the sea is full of garbage, rivers full of garbage, roads and bridges,” You Stink wrote on its official Facebook page. “Most importantly: Parliament and the government are full of garbage, dysfunction, torpedoing the homeland.”
You Stink called for a second protest Thursday outside the finance and telecommunications ministries to pressure them to release municipal funds to help decentralize the waste sector. A third protest is scheduled for 4 p.m. Saturday in Beirut’s Riad al-Solh Square, a traditional gathering spot for civil society campaigns.
You Stink led a series of anti-government demonstrations in August and September, fueled by anger over the garbage crisis. Some of the protests descended into violence, pitting demonstrators against police.
The last major protest was held on Oct. 8, but the turnout was significantly lower than previous ones, which had attracted thousands. The movement has since lost momentum.