An unidentified man in black cap beats a protester in Downtown Beirut. (The Daily Star/Hasan Shaaban)
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Outraged by an unprecedented trash crisis which began in July, a number of civil society groups and activists under the umbrella of the You Stink movement held a series of anti-government protests, which culminated in a massive demonstration in Downtown Beirut on Aug. 29 .The movement has appeared to lose momentum since then, and the protests that followed the approval of the plan have attracted significantly fewer demonstrators.In a news conference Thursday, You Stink called a new protest for Sunday, demanding the dismissal of Interior Minister Nouhad Machnouk amid allegations of continued police brutality against protesters.Sami Nader, a professor of economics and international relations at Universite St. Joseph, agreed with Yahya. He explained that You Stink needed to lobby for a new cause that can get people to take to the streets again. Another concern is the violence that has accompanied recent You Stink protests.They had gathered to prevent politicians from making their way into Parliament to attend a national dialogue session called by Speaker Nabih Berri.Later in the day, demonstrators were assaulted by men who said they were enraged by comments some of the protesters had made about Berri. Nader and Yahya stressed that violence would negatively impact the cause of anti-government protesters.
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