Whilst the world’s media is mostly, and conveniently, silent about this, concentrating on the very dubious vaccination programmes going on all over the place, what seems like the beginnings of a national uprising against misery is hitting the streets of Tunisia.
“Tunisia’s Ennahda Movement [mildly Islamic “opposition” party] on Tuesday called on the country’s premier to launch investigations into the riots and alleged vandalism on public and private property across the country. In a statement, the party expressed its strong disapproval of hate speech and incitement by unnamed political parties which it described as “speeches outside of national contexts.” Ennahda called on the Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi to “tell the people the truth about last night’s protests, carry out the necessary investigations, protect public and private property and apply the law.” It also strongly condemned “the attacks on private and public property, the looting and sabotage of administrative and commercial institutions,” calling on protesters not to deviate from their demands and to refrain from sabotaging and harming the country, according to the statement.”
“The whole system must go … We will return to the streets and we will regain our rights and our dignity that a corrupt elite seized after the revolution,” said Maher Abid, an unemployed protester. Shortly before last week’s 10th anniversary of the revolution, Prime Minister Hichem Mechichi’s government ordered a four-day lockdown and a tighter night-time curfew against the coronavirus pandemic, as well as a ban on protests. However, in cities across the North African country youths have thrown stones and petrol bombs, burnt tyres and looted shops while police have deployed tear gas and batons, arresting hundreds. In a televised speech on Tuesday, Mechichi said he understood popular anger over the economic situation and the frustration of young people, but that violence was not acceptable. “Your voice is heard and your anger is legitimate… Do not allow saboteurs among you,” he said, addressing protesters…Protesters … chanted “the people want the fall of the regime”, as well as demands for jobs. Tunisia was suffering economically even before the COVID-19 crisis, with high unemployment and declining state services. Earlier, the powerful labour union and other rights groups voiced support for peaceful protests against “policies of marginalisation, impoverishment and starvation”, accusing the state of squandering the revolution’s hopes.”
More here. “In 2020 alone, the Tunisian Forum for Economic and Social Rights (FTDES) recorded 6,500 protests, all of which were motivated by economic, social and environmental demands.” And here“Earlier in the day, protesters rallied in Tunis, reviving the chant that rang a decade ago in a revolution that ushered in democracy: “The people want the fall of the regime.”
“Street clashes between riot police and youths rocked Tunisia for the fourth night in mostly working class neighbourhoods, with calls on social media for more rallies on Tuesday. More than 600 people had been arrested by Monday over the disturbances in which teenagers and adolescents have hurled rocks and Molotov cocktails at police who have fired volleys of tear gas at them. The social unrest comes at a time of economic crisis, worsened by the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the tourism-reliant North African country, which has deepened poverty and driven up inflation and unemployment. In the latest unrest until the early hours of Tuesday, hundreds of youths in the capital battled police in several districts including the vast Ettadhamen city on the outskirts of Tunis. In Sfax, the second largest city, protesters blockaded roads with burning tyres, an AFP correspondent reported. “
“Arab media broadcast amateur video of crowds of young men setting fires and looting banks and private businesses in a second day of violence in a number of Tunisian cities. “
Sample quotes: “Protesters did not formulate clear demands during protests, which authorities described as riots…In the capital Tunis, a dilapidated neighborhood was the scene of clashes between mainly teenage protesters and the police, who used water cannons and tear gas to disperse the crowd after having had stones thrown at them. According to several witnesses, demonstrators looted shops in several cities. “…”the majority of “casseurs” arrested were between 12 and 15-years-old”…”There were reports that a police station in Souk Lahad belonging to the National Guard was set on fire. The information was denied by a security source “…”A decade on from a revolution against poverty, corruption and injustice, Tunisia has progressed towards democracy but its economic problems have worsened, with the country on the verge of bankruptcy and public services in a dire situation. Gross domestic product (GDP) shrank by 9 percent last year, consumer prices have spiralled upwards and one-third of young people are unemployed.”
See also this
“During the clashes, the youths attempted to ransack the Ettadhamen post office, before being dispersed. As for the ATM at this office, it was destroyed and looted. The security forces, attacked with stones, responded with tear gas“
More here in English.
… Clashes in 2 areas of Tunis following Covid rules-inspired cop repression of football fans celebrating victory…Video here
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