The unique thing that separates the #YouStink movement from previous political movements in Lebanon is that it transcends all denominations, gathering young people from all backgrounds to fight the spread of both literal and figurative garbage. Before, any popular mobilization was subject to sectarian concerns – past demonstrations held by the March 14 political camp, for instance, often had a Sunni tint, whereas those organized by the opposing March 8 camp were mostly dominated by Shiites.None of this is surprising, as the Lebanese political system is based on sectarian quotas in the state institutions and on the distribution of powers among the different denominations. The strength of the #YouStink movement is that it is actually fighting the rampant sectarianism that has been responsible for the dysfunction of the Lebanese government, which has become exacerbated due the current wars raging in the Arab regions.
However, despite the many achievements of the movement, the weekly calls for protests are no longer mobilizing thousands. People first sympathized with the movement’s aim to remove garbage from the streets, but the acts of violence and vandalism some of the protesters have engaged in have served to discredit the movement. The movement also failed to celebrate when the government gave in to some of the their demands. Instead of showing that the protests were fruitful, organizers simply raised their demands, giving the impression that the protests have become futile. However, despite these shortcomings, Lebanon is in dire need of a civil movement. While #YouStink definitely has an element of anarchy, the overall message is one of progress and action.