You Stink’s loss of momentum

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.


2 thoughts on “You Stink’s loss of momentum

  1. I did not make the connection that you made between past political movements. It is a great observation! I agree that the violence has made the movement less successful, in my response to the readings I was curious why the activist’s allowed for violence, was there lack of communication or were people so angry they didn’t know what to do except for act violently? I think that if the movement wanted to keep violence separate from the movement they should have made it a main point. The overall message of #YouStink is amazing, and it is too bad violence interrupted it.


    • The violence has weakened the movement but the message was clear. In the article you linked, the author wrote how that these new demonstrations have shifted their message. Before, all protests were mainly political. Now, they are socio/economical. And when the majority of the citizens have a problem economically and are willing to protest that instead of rigid political sides, then something right must be going on even if there is much room left for improvement.


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