By ROBERT MACKEY
Lebanese officials might still be struggling to solve the trash crisis engulfing Beirut, but they seemed to acknowledge on Tuesday that blocking themselves off from protesters enraged by the stench behind a high concrete wall was not helping.
The wall, a row of concrete slabs installed on Monday outside the office of Prime Minister Tammam Salam, was dismantled on Tuesday, but not before it was covered in antigovernment graffiti and ridiculed on social networks as an attempt to stifle dissent.
Removing the barrier after such a short time only served to set off more derisive laughter from Lebanese bloggers who detected echoes of both the fall of the Berlin Wall and the Miley Cyrus video for “Wrecking Ball.”
After the wall came down, activists from the You Stink protest movement, who have promised to continue street protests until the government acts to resolve the trash crisis, gathered again at the site.
Frustration over the government’s inability to provide basic services has led some to call for changes to Lebanon’s sectarian-based political system, whose gridlock creates problems like the garbage crisis.
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(via NY Times)