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Conflict Incident Report

Arrests, Injuries as Police Fire Tear Gas, Water Cannons at Martyrs Square Protesters

Associated Timeline/Case: 
Waste Management Conflict (Starting January 25, 2014)
Date of incident: 
October 8, 2015
Death toll: 
Number of Injured: 
Actors/Parties Involved: 
Lebanese Civilians

Several protesters were arrested and many others were injured Thursday as security forces fired tear gas and water cannon to disperse civil society demonstrators who tried to enter into central Beirut's al-Nejmeh Square where the parliament is located.

The Red Cross announced transferring 35 people to hospitals after they suffered suffocation injuries due to tear gas inhalation. Lebanese Red Cross chief George Kettaneh told the National News Agency that medics transferred “39 non-serious cases” to various hospitals in Beirut in addition to the 65 who were treated at the site of protest near Martyrs’ Square.

Protest movement lawyer Mazen Hoteit said At least 25 protesters were arrested. TV networks identified two of them as Pierre Hashash and Waref Suleiman.

Meanwhile, the Internal Security Forces said several of its members were injured after protesters “hurled rocks and solid objects” at them.

It later said one of its officers was critically injured in the confrontations.

Protest organizers meanwhile stressed that demonstrators will not leave the street before the release of all detainees, as the You Stink campaign demanded "an emergency cabinet session to resolve the garbage crisis" and held Interior Minister Nouhad al-Mashnouq responsible for the "security escalation."
Demonstrators had started gathering at Martyrs Square at 6:00 pm for a central march aimed at reaching the adjacent al-Nejmeh Square.
“Protesters have decided to try entering al-Nejmeh Square from all entrances,” said protest organizer Asaad Zebian after scuffles erupted with security forces.
A statement recited by another protest organizer at the demo demanded “the sacking of the environment minister.”
“Remove the garbage that has been accumulating outside our homes,” the statement added, referring to the unprecedented garbage crisis that erupted after the July 17 closure of the Naameh landfill.

Primary category: 
Collective Action [inc. protests, solidarity movements...]
Secondary Category: 
Classification of conflict (primary): 
Policy conflicts
Conflicts associated with political decisions, government or state policies regarding matters of public concern, such as debates concerning law reforms, electoral laws, and protests of the government’s political decisions, among others.