The “Tunisian Revolution” has lost a good deal of its gloss. The rhetoric remains “radical”, the reality much less so. That it was a genuine national uprising engaging virtually the entire population is beyond doubt – and as such, nothing short of a regional inspiration. That it can be characterized as “a revolution” is open to question. What has changed?
Sixty years ago on this date, December 5, 1952, Farhat Hached, legitimately considered the key founder and father of the independent Tunisian trade union movement was assassinated by agents of French colonialism. But the movement that he was so instrumental in creating and shaping, the Union General des Travailleurs Tunisien
As Ennahdha in Tunisia cozies up to its Salafist brethren to neutralize the Tunisian Arab Spring from turning into anything that might substantially shift the country’s neo-liberal economy policies and its strategic alliance with the United States, Washington calmly looks on with virtually no critical comments from the State
The new alliance builds on similar relations the United States has with Turkey. It shows a modicum of realism, a willingness to deal with a Middle East country more on its own terms, rather on terms dictated by Washington and as such, also is an admission of declining U.S. influence as Washington can no longer dictate Middle East policy […]
Just six years ago… The year was 2005 – not all that long ago – that Zine Ben Ali won… Lire la suite
It’s semi official. Zine Ben Ali, Tunisia and his corrupt, oppressive regime are now history. There are numerous reports, including one from Le Monde that Ben Ali is gone and turned the governing of the country over to the Tunisian army. He did this after several press conferences these past days spoken in a language I am told he has not used for 23 years – the Tunisian Arabic dialect – offering the people of his country much of what it is that he has taken away these past decades: economic opportunity and democracy. Too little too late, his concessions were laughed at and did nothing to dampen the opposition.
This has become the theme of the nationwide protests in Tunisia which continue unabated. “Enough” refers to the high levels of unemployment in the country, the pervasive corruption, especially of the two ruling families and the decades of seething repression which has kept Zine Ben Ali in power now for 23 years.
It is more than two weeks since a distraught and unemployed young university graduate, Mohammed Bouazizi, sat down in front of the town hall in the central Tunisian town of Sidi Bouzid, poured gasoline on himself and lit a match. Bouazizi’s act of self-immolation and protest against Tunisia’s high unemployment, rampant corruption and decades of repression by the government of Zine Ben Ali triggered a protest movement, first in the country’s center and south, but now virtually everywhere, including the capital, Tunis.