Author Topic: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters  (Read 12120 times)

deBeauxOs

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Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« on: January 11, 2011, 04:47:18 PM »
Radio-Canada is providing excellent coverage on the issues that have caused unemployed youth to protest, the Anglo media not so much.
 
News item from NPR:
Quote
Tunisian police violently broke up a demonstration Tuesday by actors, musicians and other artists in support of youths who have rioted for weeks over the country's high unemployment.
The government says 20 people have died since the start of rioting in mid-December, including four on Monday, while the opposition puts the figure at more than twice that.
Youths have attacked government buildings and set cars on fire in nearly three weeks of rioting in this North African country on the Mediterranean Sea, a tourist haven where such unrest is unusual and the government tolerates little dissent. Police have fired on protesters with bullets.
The unrest began after a 26-year-old man with a university degree set himself on fire when police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he was selling without a permit. The man later died, and his desperate act touched a nerve with educated, unemployed youth nationwide.

More current news here.

skdadl

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2011, 01:36:38 PM »
Amazing and wonderful -- they're having a revolution in Tunisia.

The news is all over the place. I've been following this mainly on Twitter, which has been fascinating because it is the revolution that has been tweeted. WL also played a part. I linked to EW only because that's likely to be substantial, but there will be much more to say.

Holly Stick

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« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 01:58:33 PM by Holly Stick »
Economics is a human creation, borders are human creations and nature doesn’t give a damn about these things. - David Suzuki

skdadl

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2011, 02:10:51 PM »
The hashtag that people tweeting from Tunis or RTing those who are there are using is #sidibouzid. That's the raw stuff, now overwhelming, but building slowly over the last couple of weeks.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 02:35:18 PM by skdadl »

lagatta

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2011, 04:51:10 PM »
Ha! I got it the old way, by the time-honoured "téléphone arabe" (which is the equivalent of the grapevine, but I think it arrived in French from the fact that news could spread so quickly in the Maghrebi colonies, where the "natives" obviously didn't have phones yet). Heard the news at a Tunisian shop at Jean-Talon Market, where I was buying cumin, harissa and semolina to make bread/pizza.

Over 60 people, according to Radio-Canada, attended a planning meeting at Alternatives to prepare for tomorrow's demonstration. Many peeps from the Maghreb here, from Tunisia but also from Algeria and Morocco.

I can't find out where Ben Ali has fled. France says he's not there (though Baby Doc and lots of other ex-Dictators wound up on the Côte d'Azur). Malta? Italy? I could sure see Berlusconi and Ben Ali thick as thieves - not even sure it is a metaphor in their case. Think they have the same hair dye supplier...

Libération has a feed on Tunisian events www.liberation.fr http://www.liberation.fr/monde/01012313676-manifestation-en-cours-a-tunis skdadl there is tweet stuff in there too, as well as links.

scroll down and there is a great "classic" cartoon - "Carthago delenda est" (Carthage must be destroyed) from the classic rivalry between Rome and its neighbour to the south.

I'll post this now, but will no doubt have more news.

Edited to add: Radio-Canada said Ben Ali is headed towards one of the Emirates. France didn't want him. I don't think Berlusconi would have minded such congenial company, but there are EU obligations...

« Last Edit: January 14, 2011, 05:07:32 PM by lagatta »
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

lagatta

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2011, 09:45:52 PM »
Oh dear, poor Ben Ali family has wound up in Saudi Arabia of all places. T-shirt:

"I wanted to enjoy golden exile on the Côte d'Azur, and here I am in this fundamentalist shithole".

All sorts of ironies, as Ben Ali was a most secular dictator (though not of any originally progressive or pan-Arabist ideology as in Iraq or Syria).

It seems to be a change; the "West" utterly ditching their faithful servant without any qualms.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2011, 10:34:51 PM »
Lagatta I am completely ignorant of the U.S. meddling here. Are you saying Washington backed Tunisia dictatorship despite this pro-democracy uprising?
And is this PM democratic, will the people back him?
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

lagatta

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2011, 11:02:36 PM »
Toe, where did I specifically mention the US? I said "the West". Sure, if the US had taken a radically different tack from the old imperialist masters in France, I'd have mentioned that, but it is not the case, except for inter-imperialist rivalry and the usual nasty and stoopid US cultural imperialism as in dumbing down everything. In terms of refuge, I was thinking more France, Italy, Malta. Ben Ali definitely had the blessing of France, Italy and US.

No reason to think the PM is any more democratic than the old Prez. However I haven't followed Tunisian politics closely for several years now (probably a good decade).
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Toedancer

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2011, 11:23:41 PM »
No reason to think the PM is any more democratic than the old Prez. However I haven't followed Tunisian politics closely for several years now (probably a good decade).

From what I can see Algeria is next. The idjit old autocrats didn't think of the youth.
"Democracy is not the law of the majority, it's the protection of the minority." -Albert Camus 1913-1960

deBeauxOs

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Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 11:57:26 PM »
Ha! I got it the old way, by the time-honoured "téléphone arabe" ...
  :))
 
The French reportages focus mainly on the nepotism and corruption that the dictator allowed to run rampant in all economic and political facets of Tunisia's government.  Whence the volatile - and justified - anger of those with no future work prospects.

lagatta

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #10 on: January 15, 2011, 12:15:44 AM »
Well, remains to see what is forthcoming. But yes, Tunisia events are definitely influencing Algeria next door.

Turning in. Cat annoyed that I'm still up. He is right.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Croghan27

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #11 on: January 15, 2011, 07:23:54 AM »
No reason to think the PM is any more democratic than the old Prez. However I haven't followed Tunisian politics closely for several years now (probably a good decade).

From what I can see Algeria is next. The idjit old autocrats didn't think of the youth.

I recently (NY Times I guess) of how the military 'saved' the country from fundamentalist forces that wanted to impose Sharia law in 1992.
 
Eh?  :confused As I remember it the ISF (Islamic Salvation Front) may have been a fundamentalist group, but they were also a democratic organization and there was no evidence of any attempt to impose religious based laws. It later became obvious even if they had been as radical as claimed, they still would have been better than the murders and torturers that seized power and overturned the (democratic) election.
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

skdadl

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #12 on: January 15, 2011, 08:50:52 AM »
I don't think the PM matters any more. The Speaker takes over as interim president and there must be elections in 60 days, so ... We'll see. Things are still very unstable, and I'm sure both the military and the U.S. are mucking around.

The government's clumsy attempts to shut down Twitter (and blogs and FB) definitely were one of the last straws. I have no idea how the workarounds get done, but it was great to watch it happening.

The next government that needs to go is Egypt, although there I think the U.S. -- and Israel -- would intervene much more aggressively -- that's a serious alliance for the U.S. and Israel. The cables make it clear that the U.S. knew Ben Ali's government and family were impossibly corrupt, although they were just kind of waiting for him to age out. They didn't have as strong a reason to defend him, though, as they do with Mubarak. There's a substantial opposition in Egypt, so along with that comes vast oppression. As far as I know, there isn't much of an opposition in KSA, although who knows? One day they may surprise us. Jordan always a bit wobbly. Syria oppressive, but fairly united against the U.S.

lagatta

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #13 on: January 15, 2011, 09:10:39 AM »
The Guardian has a report on how people are feeling in Tunisia now. http://www.guardian.co.uk/world/2011/jan/14/tunisia-protests-tunis-ben-ali

Yes, the Ben Ali family were kleptocrats, on top of the repressive nature of the régime.

"The protests, borne of the fury of underemployed youth, the surge in food prices and a well-hidden but visceral revulsion at the ruling family, have provided a rare moment of comeuppance to shock dictators in their opulence everywhere. Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali's vast portraits, which adorned facades up and down the capital, with his black dyed hair and wrinkles carefully airbrushed, were ripped from buildings".

I'm amused by the fact that on the same page of the Guardian online, we find a pic of ole' Silvio B, who is about the same age as his southern neighbour Ben Ali...

Here is a long, detailed account (in French) of the predations and control of the Ben Ali family: http://www.europe-solidaire.org/spip.php?article19782

I'm eating a Tunisian casse-croûte (sandwich including tuna - hopefully the dolphin-friendly label tells the truth - a couple of slices of boiled egg, green olives, and of course HARISSA, on a crusty bread roll - that is a common street food in that country and sold by Tunisian kiosques in France.
" Eure \'Ordnung\' ist auf Sand gebaut. Die Revolution wird sich morgen schon \'rasselnd wieder in die Höhe richten\' und zu eurem Schrecken mit Posaunenklang verkünden: \'Ich war, ich bin, ich werde sein!\' "
Rosa Luxemburg

Croghan27

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Re: Tunisian govt violent attacks against protesters
« Reply #14 on: January 15, 2011, 09:37:33 AM »
No doubt very OT .... but I knew a fellow in Toronto from Tunisia. He was Jewish. They, Tunisian Jews, have their own Synagogue in Toronto - two of them - I used to drive him to meet his rabbi waaaaay up in North York.
 
I have lost it now but he up wrote a paper for me in Arabic, Yiddish and Hebrew that I had posted on my wall or a while. My name was in all three scripts.
 
The text was that sexist that good taste prevents me from reproducing it here.  :nono
"It is also a good rule not to put overmuch confidence in the observational results that are put forward until they are confirmed by theory." -- Arthur Stanley Eddington

 

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