Friday, 14 January 2011

Tunisia - Down with the Ben Ali Regime!

The situation in Tunisia is rapidly escalating and spreading throughout the whole of North Africa. The Socialist Party (part of the CWI), stands shoulder to shoulder with the workers and youth fighting to overthrow corrupt and brutal regimes. I think the most powerful symbol has been the placards reading 'We are not afraid anymore' - different from the slogans of the student movement in Britain, but nonetheless the sentiment is the same. There is a direct correlation and influence, an infectious rebellion that is spreading all over the world.

Stop the repression! For international solidarity!
Translated version of an article first published on Gauche R√©volutionnaire’s website (CWI in France)

The unprecedented revolt which began a month ago in Tunisia continues. It started from an ‘everyday’ event, but one which exposes the real state of Tunisian society: a young fruit seller’s stall was confiscated by the police because he had no merchant’s licence. That was basically throwing him on the street, by depriving him of the only way of helping his family, while it obviously meant that the confiscated products ended up in the hands of the police. In a country where justice hardly exists for the poor, the young merchant, who could not bear the idea of becoming a burden for his family, set himself on fire in the public place, in desperate protest. Sometimes, an act like this can trigger a mass movement. Beginning in Sidi Bouzid and other cities of the disadvantaged central and western regions, the revolt spread to the whole country: against this intolerable situation, against the arrogance and corruption of those in power, against a life of misery and the absence of a decent future.
The movement, often initiated by young unemployed graduates -37% of graduates are unemployed 3.5 years after having finished their studies- is now involving all the youth as well as a significant portion of the population, including cities in the North and the seaside tourist areas. Also, the Tunisian revolt is increasingly resonating, in a way or another, in many neighbouring countries. (see our previous article on Algeria: http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/4760)

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