Honestly, I didn’t have much faith enough people would come down to the streets yesterday, but those fears were put to rest when I met up with the procession heading towards Riad El Solh square from Sassine.

The best way I could think of describing the mood was similar to the early ones in August 2015, when the dangers were only starting to emerge.

Families, friends, a lot of determination and an unwillingness to just sit at home and whine.

Of course, many did just sit at home and whine, which is completely fine as well and it’s everyone’s own decision to make. In this post, I’ll just clarify why I’ve decided to go down, and participate in Monday’s escalation, which in my honest opinion is long overdue.

Positives from Saturday

More people showed up than I expected, I was worried I might find a few dozen, but felt relieved when there were enough folks to fill Riad El Solh square. So, this shows that momentum still survives despite everything, and not just online.

Another thing is how frustrated the government was, spending 8 hours locked up, waiting to see what the protesters will demand before coming out with their own heinous “decisions” so boringly read by the information minister that they must’ve thought we’d get bored 2 minutes in and just switch the channel and say “khallas, they agreed on it, it’s over”.

It’s always good to know the corrupt oligarchs can still be affected by pressure from taxpayers, minor as it has been so far compared to the angst towards their malicious incompetence.

The Kataeb were there, at least many of their cadres. They carried the Lebanese flag only, and banners that condemned the garbage crisis.

I’m not sure if they were there in their official capacity, but it was great seeing an established political party on the side of the people for once, especially after being taxpayers’ eyes and ears inside the dark rooms in the Grand Serail where deals that undermine our health and taxes were brought to the light, helping spark the unrest.

The Decision Must Be A Joke

My theory is that the political elite in this country (mafia military leaders during the civil war) aren’t just evil in the movie villain sense, but just incredibly stupid and greedy. In a nutshell, here’s their “solution”

  1. Dumping garbage in mainly seaside dumps in stark violation of any logic and binding international treaties (the only places their resorts haven’t taken over public property)
  2. Using Sukleen to do that (the root cause of this problem and currently under criminal investigation for fraud and breach of contract with the same government running back to them)
  3. Using incinerators (that are highly lucrative for each fiefdom chief) as the “ultimate answer” a few years down the line (enough time to finish partitioning their piece of the revenue)

So, they basically just want to bury the trash mainly on the shore, exclusively with the same company that got us here in the first place and at a premium price which is being criminally investigated.

That though, is just “temporary” (supposedly for 4 years, and which often means forever in Lebanon) till their money-making, environmentally-devastating and completely unnecessary incinerators arrive and are set up.


It literally can’t get any worse (I hope). More than half a year of drowning in garbage, with increasingly humiliating and infuriating failures by Lebanon’s garbage government.

The risks to our health, economy, environment and all-round quality of life are no longer risks, they’re realities that have been happening for months now.

We get that massive protests unprecedented in Lebanon’s history that aren’t fueled by sectarianism or financed by political parties aren’t going to be enough to change this government’s mind (or lack-thereof).

All they care about is the money, which is why peaceful civil disobedience is long overdue.

On Monday, You Stink has asked taxpayers to help shut down the entrances to Beirut tomorrow morning for a few hours. (They managed that feat for a few minutes)

This will be followed by other escalations till the demands for a proper solution are approved and executed, taking taxpayer health and our environment as the top-priority, not just 8 hours (after almost 8 months) of discussing how to split the cheese amongst themselves (as Salam himself was reported of saying about yesterday’s meeting).

Will this fix everything? No.

Will it guarantee that the crisis gets solved after almost 8 months of hell? No.

But, this was the final warning, and tomorrow is your chance to do more than just rant on Facebook and give excuses about why you’d rather do absolutely nothing to help make the country you live in better.

Locations & Important Notes:

  • The action starts tomorrow morning at 6:30AM sharp and should wrap up by 10:00AM
  • The locations are as follows:
    • Dora roundabout (near CIT college)
    • City Center (Hazmieh)
    • Khakdeh (muthalath Khaldeh)
  • DO NOT burn sukleen cans or tires, those two things are some of the main reasons we’re in the streets protesting! Our health and our environment!
  • A few hours of skipped work or class is not a hefty price to pay for the years being shaved off your life expectancy from the current crisis

Stay safe, good luck. Tomorrow, taxpayers are going to shut the capital down for a few hours and make their voice and opinions heard and their rights respected. So, please, if you will not come down and help, stay at home tomorrow morning.

Here’s to hoping we won’t need to do stuff like this for much longer, and that things return to normal in our beloved Lebanon, better than normal even.

Note 1: The decision was to encourage parents to join the movement by asking their kids Not to go to school on Monday. Is that a civil disobedience step to stop paying indirect taxes?

Note 2: Unfortunately, half a dozen allies in that movement retracted from this decision on the basis that Not enough discussions were undertaken for a pragmatic move to put the proper pressure on the political system.