A Fight in Tunisia

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al-Qa'bong
A Fight in Tunisia

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al-Qa'bong

Lame thread title aside, there appears to be a mass insurrection afoot in North Africa in a place we rarely hear from.

Quote:

Police have opened fire on protesters outside the interior ministry in the Tunisian capital, Tunis, activists say.

The protesters are seeking the immediate resignation of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the president, and are refusing to disperse until he steps down. 

In a sign of a deepening political stand-off in the North African nation, thousands of protesters converged in front of the interior ministry building on Friday, chanting slogans such as "Ben Ali, leave!" and "Ben Ali, thank you but that's enough!".

The fresh protests came a day after Ben Ali offered sweeping concessions in an attempt to end the wave of dissent over unemployment and high prices sweeping across the country.

"Thank you, but that's enough?"  Geez, Canadians are going to lose their standing as the world's politest people if word of this sort of behaviour becomes well known.

al-Jazeera

sanizadeh

 

The Tunisians overthrow their dictator. This should shake all the other dictators in the arab world.

Tunisian leader quits after protests.

Quote:

TUNIS (Reuters) - A surge of anger in the streets over police repression and poverty swept Tunisia's veteran leader from power on Friday, sending a chill through unpopular authoritarian governments across the Arab world.

President Zine al-Abedine Ben Ali stepped aside after more than two decades in power and looked to have flown out of the country. His exact whereabouts were unclear.

Ben Ali's prime minister told Tunisians he would steer the state until early elections. The streets of the capital were calm amid heavy security, but some analysts questioned whether the change of face at the top would satisfy the protesters.

After days of violence that spread from provincial towns to Tunis, leaving dozens dead as security forces struggled to contain angry young demonstrators, the government declared a state of emergency and imposed a dusk-to-dawn curfew.

The violence and rapid turn of events sent shockwaves across the Arab world, where similar authoritarian rulers are deeply entrenched, but face mounting pressures from growing young populations, economic hardship and the appeal of militant Islam.

 

al-Qa'bong

This is encouraging.  Next stop, Riyadh.

rowena flowers

Tunisian protesters using the web to organize and spread the word has been fascinating -- here's a good sum-up:

http://thelede.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/tunisians-document-protests-...

NDPP

Tunesian President Flees as Army Takes Control

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/160164.html

Tunisian Protesters Say PM Must Go Too

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/160193.html

messge to America: 'Game Over'

Egyptian Call For Tunisia Style Demos

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/160201.html

"Ben Ali, tell Mubarak a plane is waiting for him too!"

Social Conflict in Maghreb: The International Implications

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/pers-j14.shtml

"Continuing protests in Tunisia and Algeria threaten to spread to the whole of the Maghreb region and beyond that, to engulf the Middle East, where the same conditions of poverty and insecurity exist. Rising food prices are daily exacerbating social tensions caused by growing inequality and mass unemployment, especially among the young. The global financial crisis has set light to a tinderbox in North Africa and the Middle East..

This has provoked growing unease among the international ruling elite. Speaking in Doha, US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton told an audience of government officials adn business men. 'In too many places, in too many ways, the region's foundations are sinking into the sand.'

She warned that the populations of the region had 'grown tired of corrupt institutions and a stagnant political order..."

If things are going to stay the same things will have to change..

al-Qa'bong

Quote:
Once Obama has made sure that the dictator is down, he said that he salutes the "courage" of the Tunisian people and called for free elections. Wait: does that mean that he now calls for free elections in the other dictatorships that he sponsors, like Morocco, Libya, Egypt, Jordan, Qatar, Bahrain, Saudi Arabia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Oman, UAE, and Yemen?  Or he only wants free elections 1) in countries that are not aligned with the US: 2) in dictatorships that are sponsored by the US ONCE THE DICTATOR IS DOWN.

Obama and Tunisia

 

Quote:

The historical significance of what happened in Tunisia is huge.  This is the first time an Arab dictator is overthrown by a popular uprising.  It is too early to speculate whether this will or can spread, but I think one lesson is too obvious: the Arab people have realized that overthrowing a regime is much much easer than they had thought.   If the Iranian Revolution had an impact on Arab politics, this will certainly has an impact.

 

 

This is big: very big

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Congrats to the people of Tunisia. 

The army should just turn power over to them, this time.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

sanizadeh wrote:

 

The Tunisians overthrow their dictator. This should shake all the other dictators in the arab world.

 

 

 

That should be "this should shake all the other dictators IN THE WORLD".  It's not like the Arab dictators are worse than all the other tyrants on the planet.

N.Beltov N.Beltov's picture

There's plenty of comments on this in the blogosphere full of racist anti-Arab overtones. For bigots everywhere, every political event is an opportunity to showcase their disgusting and odious views.

contrarianna

Ken Burch wrote:

sanizadeh wrote:

 

The Tunisians overthrow their dictator. This should shake all the other dictators in the arab world.

 

 

 

That should be "this should shake all the other dictators IN THE WORLD". ...

Not so much.
Revolutions and coups, for good or ill, are more likely to have regional influence.

contrarianna

Published on Saturday, January 15, 2011 by the Inter Press Service
Tunisia: People Power Succeeds Without Western Backing

by Emad Mekay

http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/01/15-0

Ghislaine

[url=http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/14/AR201101... Tunisia's Jasmine Revolution [/url]

 

Quote:

But capsize it did Friday, after a 29-day popular uprising against unemployment, police brutality and the regime's corruption. It was the worst unrest since Ben Ali took over.

Not once in my 43 years have I thought that I'd see an Arab leader toppled by his people. It is nothing short of poetic justice that it was neither Islamists nor invasion-in-the-name-of-democracy that sent the waters rushing onto Ben Ali's ship but, rather, the youth of his country.
No doubt, every Arab leader has watched Tunisia's revolt in fear while citizens across the Arab world watch in solidarity, elated at that rarity: open revolution.

"Goosebumps all over. I can't believe I lived through an Arab revolution!! Thank you, Tunisia!" tweeted Gigi Ibrahim, a young Egyptian woman whose handle is Gsquare86. "The power of the masses is capable of toppling any dictatorship. Today was Tunisia. Tomorrow is Egypt, Jordan. LONG LIVE REVOLUTION!"

 

 

al-Qa'bong

contrarianna wrote:
Tunisia: People Power Succeeds Without Western Backing

That should have read "People power succeeds despite western backing [of dictator's regime]."

Quote:
When 26-year-old Iranian demonstrator Neda Agha-Soltan died on video in the streets of Tehran during the wave of post-election protests that rocked Iran in 2009, France reacted with fury and was quick to denounce crackdowns by security forces on demonstrators.

And when Tunisia, a former French colony, began to violently repress protests against the reign of a long-ruling autocrat, France took a strong stance as well -- in tacit support of the oppressor.


TUNISIA: France's attitude toward crackdown raises eyebrows

sanizadeh

 

Tunisian-Canadians rally in support of uprising that drove Tunisian president from power

Quote:

MONTREAL - Canada's Tunisian communities have rallied in support of a populist uprising that drove the president of the North African country from power this week. President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali fled Tunisia on Friday after a month of violent protests over corruption, a lack of jobs and clampdowns on civil liberties.

More than 1,000 people marched through downtown Montreal Saturday afternoon in solidarity with protesters in Tunisia, where at least 65 people have been killed in recent weeks.

"My dream and my hope is to basically see Tunisia a real free democratic Arab country, proud with his democracy, and proud by his people," said Hichem Zibi, a 32-year-old from Tunisia who now lives in Montreal.

Lachine Scot

God bless Montreal and Tunisia :)

Fidel

A greasemonkey script for Firefox to [url=http://userscripts.org/scripts/show/94122]Remove Tunisian government phishing scripts[/url] Pass it on to all your Tunisian friends.

mahmud

Ken Burch wrote:

Congrats to the people of Tunisia. 

The army should just turn power over to them, this time.

 

 

Greetings to all from Mahmud in Tunisia.

I have been here for more than a month. What a delight to witness this historic event in my land of birth. The city of Sidi Bouzid, location of the first spark of this revolution is at 100 km. The only leader of this revolution are the people themselves. 

The Tunisian Army intervened only to protect the people from the police. General Ben Ammar, who heads the Tunisian Army refused to read any statements or declaration and refused to appear on TV. The Army is in charge of protecting people and vital infrastructure and resources from the militia of the former President, Ben Ali. The power is not in the hands of the Army.

 

 

 

NDPP

Mahmud: Greetings to you - yes good news. Post whenever you can.

Ghislaine

Wow - thank you so much for your post mahmud! It must be wonderful to be there right now

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

mahmud wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Congrats to the people of Tunisia. 

The army should just turn power over to them, this time.

Greetings to all from Mahmud in Tunisia.

I have been here for more than a month. What a delight to witness this historic event in my land of birth. The city of Sidi Bouzid, location of the first spark of this revolution is at 100 km. The only leader of this revolution are the people themselves. 

The Tunisian Army intervened only to protect the people from the police. General Ben Ammar, who heads the Tunisian Army refused to read any statements or declaration and refused to appear on TV. The Army is in charge of protecting people and vital infrastructure and resources from the militia of the former President, Ben Ali. The power is not in the hands of the Army.

This is very good news thank you.  History has shown it is always easier to remove the corrupt head than to change the body politic. Now if they can keep the foreign money and influence out of their electoral process they have a chance to emerge as a democracy.  

NDPP

Tonight We Are All Tunisians

http://www.counterpunch.org/ridley01142011.html

"Over the last few days we have seen some of the bravest people facing down some of the worst...

 

al-Qa'bong

"Tonight We Are All Tunisians"

 

As if.

NDPP

you don't think 'transforming nato from within' is comparable? 'Diplomacy and development'?

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

AlQ Any further comments so I can at least have a hint at what you mean.  Is it merely the tag line in the title and last line that annoys you or is it something more?

I thought the article was well written and although I wondered about the English journalist's appropriation of voice I then discovered that, "British journalist Yvonne Ridley is the European President of the International Muslim Women’s Union as well as being a patron of Cageprisoners." 

As well as the Gaza support work she is also involved with Cage Prisoners both of which seem to be good work.  I especially found this part enlightening.

Quote:

I knew it was coming. I saw the burning desire for freedom in the eyes of the courageous people of Ghafsa when the Viva Palestina Convoy entered the country in February 2009 on its way to Gaza.

Our convoy witnessed the menacing secret police intimidate the crowds to stop them from gathering to cheer us on.

This vast army of spies, thugs and enforcers even tried to stop us from praying in a local mosque.

That they stood their ground to cheer us on prompted me to leave my vehicle and hug all the women who had turned out. We exchanged cards and small gifts and then, to my horror, I discovered 24 hours later that every woman I had embraced in the streets of Gafsa had been taken away and questioned.

Human rights organizations have constantly condemened and exposed the brutality of the Ben Ali regime but that has not stopped America and European leaders from intervening or putting on pressure to stop the brutality.

Sadly, it serves western interests to have a people brutalized and subjugated.

NDPP

Tunisian Ruling Elite Promises National Government, Imposes Military Rule

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/tuni-j17.shtml

"Tunisia's ruling elite is seeking to secure its rule in the aftermath of the popular insurgency that forced President Zine El Abidene Ben Ali to hold out the promise of a national government while imposing de facto military rule. These manoevres prove that it is easier to get rid of a dictator than to dismantle a dictatorial regime. The army is in effective control of Tunisia. Though portrayed as an ally of the people against the pro-Ben Ali police and secret police apparatus, its guns and tanks are there to ensure that Tunisia's capitalist class is safeguarded against the threat from below.."

The Mass Uprising in Tunisia and the Perspective of Permanent Revolution

http://www.wsws.org/articles/2011/jan2011/pers-j17.shtml

"The events in Tunisia mark a turning point in world affairs. After decades of triumphant reaction and suppression of the class struggle, the crucial qualities of revolutionary programs and leadership remain unsolved. Without the development of a revolutionary leadership, another authoritarian regime will inevitably be installed to replace that of Ben Ali.."

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22828]Failure of the Globalization Model: The Arab Spring of Democracy[/url]

Quote:
The Tunisian phenomenon is not about the ousting of a president; it is about the collapse of the Western-colonial model of globalisation, write Abdul Ilah Albayaty, Hana Al Bayaty and Ian Douglas

The Tunisian uprising is nothing but the natural result of the failure of the globalisation model and the impasse affecting the entire world. Indeed, as soon as an economy opens up to foreign capital and one gives the local economy and services over to market forces, the state’s role is automatically undermined and remains only to protect the model itself. By consequence, whether in Tunisia or elsewhere in the developing world, it resulted in a contradiction between the people’s interests and the class created to protect foreign capital...

Good article.

NDPP

Tunisian Dictator's House in Montreal Targeted

http://www.thestar.com/news/world/article/923328--tunisian-s-dictator-s-...

"While revelations of greed and excess of Tunisia's former first family continue to disturb its citizens the world over, Nabil Hattali felt compelled to act. The 48 year old Tunisian Montrealer marched up to the soaring stone mansion at the end of an exclusive cul-de-sac and taped a homemade sign to the door:

'Property of the Tunisian people', it reads. 'I am Tunisian and I love my country,' Chatalli said, explaining his actions on Monday. 'Just because we are living abroad doesn't mean we can't do something.'"

NDPP

Secular Good, Muslim Bad: Unveiling Tunisia's Revolution

http://www.islamophobiatoday.com/2011/01/17/secular-good-muslim-bad-unve...

"I'm saying this because of the New York Times' 'deep concern' for Tunisia's 'secularity'. If instead it had been veiled women calling for democracy, would their protests have been any less meaningful?"

Fidel

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22834]... Forms Unity Government Dominated by Ruling Party[/url]

Klingons are back. Will Tunisians insist that no means no?

NDPP

Tunisian Opposition Factions to Unite

http://www.presstv.ir/detail/160953.html

"Rachid Ghannouchi, leader of Tunesia's main Islamist party Ennahea, says Tunisian opposition parties are in coordination with each other to address the expectations of the people in the country.."

The Fall of the West's Little Dictator

http://www.counterpunch.org/amin01192011.html

"the dictator has fallen but not the dictatorship"

Revolution in Tunisia...just the beginning

http://thecommune.co.uk/2011/01/19/revolution-in-tunisia-just-the-beginn...

"Often people only speak of a 'democratic revolution' in Tunisia, but we must question the class nature of the revolution. It started in Sidi Bouzid with a young unemployed man, dying of poverty, setting himself alight...No one knows the future, the international history of our class is rich in betrayed and lost revolutions, but already the revolution in Tunisia represents a historic event.."

Tunisian: Street Protests in Video

http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth/spotlight/tunisia/2011/01/201111810...

"following are a series of videos from the past ten days of protests in Tunisia..'

mahmud

Fidel wrote:

[url=http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.php?context=va&aid=22834]... Forms Unity Government Dominated by Ruling Party[/url]

Klingons are back. Will Tunisians insist that no means no?

 

Greetings from Tunisia. As I am writing the curfew is in effect -8pm through 5am. Some remnants of the ousted Western supported dictator Ben Ali are still attempting to terrorize the people, hence I can hear some exchange of fire. The good news is that 3 hour earlier the Transitional President  addressed Tunisians assuring them that their demands -democracy, pluralism, full civil and human rights and freedoms- will be guaranteed, that there is no going back after all that the people have accomplished and that the leaders of the militia that is terrorizing Tunisians have been apprehended. He also called on Tunisians to keep vigilant. There have been incidents where militia have been for instance driving ambulances with the Red Crescent insigna and shooting on people randomly....

Tunisians all agree that the Klingons days are counted. The only difference is that some argue that they must leave now but others prefer that they remain for the short time until free elections are held in order to manage sensitive files. The Transitional President and Pime Minister have already resigned -yesterday- as members of their Party: Rassemblement Constitutionnel Democratique. 

 

 

 

Noah_Scape

The "Arab Elite" 's message to the rest of the world has been that "the Arab masses are content", but it is obvious that it isn't true.

 The Arab nation's masses, perhaps a majority, are fed up with Arab Elite rule.  The kids are hankerin' for change.

  A majority of citizens of the Islamic world are sick and tired of the calls to prayer, and there are a significant portion of average Arabs who are "wanna be atheists, but are afraid to say so". I saw this in a blog from the Saud Kingdom!! The Arab Elite pretends there are no gay Arabs either.

  The masses generally don't like Islamic law, Sharia law, religious government {which may be blasphemous towards Muhammad and the Koran, but it is true}. I wouldn't suggest that this means they want western style democracy, and probably not western capitalsim, but they do want their government to do more of  "the will of the people".

   In response to the uprising, the Arab Elites offer cheaper food prices, but I doubt that will be enough to placate the restless masses. Go Tunisia Go!

 

And Q-bong, I think the title is very clever [but I am easily pleased by any music referance].

 

al-Qa'bong

Thanks, but I disagree with you about the "Arab masses" being finally ready for a change.  They've been ready for about 40 or so years.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

Tunisia's Islamists eye place in politics

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20110120/ap_on_re_af/af_tunisia_islam_opening_the_door

 

Quote:

Members of Ennahdha, Renaissance in English, say fears of radicalism have no merit.

"The Western media is frightening people, saying that 'the Islamists are rising.' But we are not to be feared," said party spokesman, Hamadi Jebali.

"We are not the Taliban or al-Qaida or Ahmadinejad," he said, referring to the Iranian president. "We will submit to the vote of the people when the time comes."

 This good...

Having them involved in politics is the best way to keep them in the halls of government where they are seen by all who vote and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

NDPP

Tunisia's Revolution and the Islamists

http://leninology.blogspot.com/2011/01/tunisias-revolution-and-islamists...

"The current revolt is not hegemonised by parties of the left or by the Islamists. At its heart is the trade union leadership, whose outlook is social democratic. But, like it or not, An Nahda leaders have been returning to Tunisia to participate..'

NDPP

Tunisia: As the ruling class manoeuvres at the top, elements of dual power develop from below

http://www.marxist.com/tunisia-dual-power-develops.htm

 

NDPP

Press TV: Tunisia Revolution (Part 1 Vid)

http://www.youtube.com/presstvglobalnews#p/u/10/riUUlgaU2qQ

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

Fuck off you Islamaphobe.  this statement is disgusting.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

Fuck off you Islamaphobe.  this statement is disgusting.

 

Oh bullshit, that's a fragment of a sentence you've decided to isolate to fit your agenda. There's nothing islamfobic about that sentence unless you want to make it that. 

 

If you got a beef with me personally PM me and take this BS off the message board.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

Quote:

Having them involved in politics is the best way to keep them in the halls of government where they are seen by all who vote and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

You obviously just don't get it.

Bec.De.Corbin Bec.De.Corbin's picture

kropotkin1951 wrote:

Quote:

Having them involved in politics is the best way to keep them in the halls of government where they are seen by all who vote and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

You obviously just don't get it.

You're the grammer police?Tongue outWink

 

Come on we're all grown up here. Pretty much everyone here can figure out from the article I posted whom I was talking about there in my comment (except obviously you).

You did read the article right? If everyone, Islamist included, gets to participate in the new political process in Tunisia then nobody needs to feel so isolated they resort to underground violence.

That's a good thing, right?

 

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

It is not grammar it is the Us versus Them tone of your post. I am also pleased to know that you have the ability to channel what "pretty much everyone here can figure out."  I stand in awe of your unique gift.

Catchfire Catchfire's picture

Quote:
Having them involved in politics is the best way to keep them in the halls of government where they are seen by all who vote and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

Hi BDM, the above post is indeed problematic for the reasons kropotkin mentioned. It also channels Islamophobic stereotypes (mosque basements as sites of radical fundamentalist terrorism, etc.). Please be more mindful in the future.

kropotkin, if you could be less cavalier in your extra-curricular policing, I'd be much obliged. I appreciate your pointing out this kind of language, but please be less antagonistic.

NDPP

Tunisia and US Smugness - by Sam Hamod

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/article27316.htm

"The financial elite in America - same as dictators elsewhere. The parallels between Tunisia and America are not that far off, it's only a matter of degree and size - but we have our won dictators who are in charge and they are called the Democratic and Republican parties.."

NDPP

Ben Ali's Family Allowed in Canada

http://www.ottawasun.com/news/canada/2011/01/23/17004671.html

"The federal government has confirmed that members of ousted Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali's family are in Canada, and that they have every right to be here. 'There are I gather, a couple members of his family who are already Canadian permanent residents, which gives them a legal right to be here,' Jason Kenney, minister of culture and immigration, said Sunday.

Kenney said that to his knowledge only members of the Ben Ali family who posess permanent residence status are in Canada. QMI Agency learned that Ben Ali's wife, brother, and two children, along with the children's governess, landed at the Montreal - Trudeau airport Friday.."

al-Qa'bong

Jason Kenney supports an Arab?

This makes no sense, unless...

Quote:

You won't read this in the Western press. Tunisian demonstrators were chanting about the Bin Ali gang: "Departure, Departure, O Gang of Israel."

CMOT Dibbler

The Angry Arab says that this is the first time an arab dictatorship has been overthrown by a popular uprising, but surely their was people power in evidence when Nasser overthrew the king of Egypt.  Was the army completely without popular support when it kicked out Farook?  

sanizadeh

Bec.De.Corbin wrote:

 This good...

Having them involved in politics is the best way to keep them in the halls of government where they are seen by all who vote and out of the basments of mosques where all they can do is plot with those that agree with them.

Works as long as the free elections remain in place after you bring the Islamist parties into the government.

We Iranians made that mistake 32 years ago and still haven't managed to get them out of power.

Hope Tunisians have better luck.

sanizadeh

CMOT Dibbler wrote:

The Angry Arab says that this is the first time an arab dictatorship has been overthrown by a popular uprising, but surely their was people power in evidence when Nasser overthrew the king of Egypt.  Was the army completely without popular support when it kicked out Farook?  

I think he meant a civilian uprising. Nasser/Najib overthrow of Farouk was a military coup.

kropotkin1951 kropotkin1951's picture

sanizadeh wrote:

Works as long as the free elections remain in place after you bring the Islamist parties into the government.

We Iranians made that mistake 32 years ago and still haven't managed to get them out of power.

Hope Tunisians have better luck.

[/quote

They have a chance if they refuse to accept a trojan horse from the West.  The Ayatollah was the darling of the West and was hailed as the saviour of the country.  The West sat on its hands and watched the fundamentalists murder all the commies and socialists that had participated in the uprising and then sent in the Ayatollah.  Their Plan B resulted in a continuation of the dictatorships only unlike the Shah the Ayatollah was no ones pawn. 

Quote:

12 Bahman: Thirty years ago today, Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini returned to Iran from exile. 140 international reporters accompanied him on the Air France flight from Paris. “The Mayflower,” one Israeli scholar called it. Earlier today, Iranians marked that day in history at Mehrabad International Airport with Tehran's Philharmonic Orchestra. Photos by TehranBureau.com

http://www.demotix.com/news/14579/fajr-ayatollahs-return

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