Tunisia 2016

  • Posted on: 21 January 2016
  • By: Anonymous (not verified)

A massive movement, involving burning of police posts, etc, is erupting in Tunisia at this very moment with very little publicity, as far as I can see: at the moment I can only find this radical site that 's reporting it.

21/1/16

Tunisia: protesters try to storm government buildings in several towns on 3rd day of widespread rioting against unemployment

“…youths chanted “Jobs or Another Revolution,” according to state media and local residents. President Beji Caid Essebsi’s government announced on Wednesday it would seek to hire more than 6,000 young unemployed people from Kasserine, and start construction projects….Unemployment rose to 15.3 percent in 2015 compared with 12 percent in 2010″

More here: “It’s as if we were back in 2010-2011,” Al Shuruk newspaper wrote …Tensions remain high in Kasserine, where security forces have used tear gas and water cannon against crowds of hundreds of demonstrators, and the protests have since Tuesday spread to nearby towns. As on the previous days, protesters on Thursday set up roadblocks with burning tyres and pelted security forces with stones,…In Feriana, 30km away, a policeman was killed on Wednesday during an operation to disperse demonstrators…he died when his vehicle was overturned….As the protests spread, protesters on Thursday cut off roads in Sidi Bouzid and clashed with police, while similar demonstrations were reported in the central towns of Jendouba, Gafsa and Kebili”

and here: “Tunisian police firing tear gas clashed on Thursday with hundreds of protesters who set fire to police posts and tried to storm local government buildings in towns across the country in the largest protests since the 2011 “Arab Spring” uprising….Protesters set fire to a police station in the town of Guebeli in southern Tunisia and officers abandoned another post in Kef in the northwest…Later on Thursday night, the protests spread to the capital where rioters burned a small police post in the poor Tunis district of Cite El Intilaka and residents set alight tyres in the streets of Cite Ettadhamen district”

20/1/16:

Tunisia: cop killed as movement against unemployment continues into 2nd day (video) “Large crowds burned tyres and chanted “Work, Freedom, Dignity during the violent protests”

An oxymoronic slogan; freedom and dignity certainly go together – but work…? In a world where proletarians are increasingly surplus to the requirements of surplus value, unemployment is bound to rise, but work is not the answer to unemployment, but merely the other side of the coin, the threat making those who have work grateful for their relatively better situation and more submissive than when unemployment is low.

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Comments

thanks for putting this together

yes, thank you. would appreciate more updates as things develop -- specifically any writings from anarchists in Tunisia.

Darth nader wrote something on their blog about it today

Thanks for this -- will add it to dialectical-delinquents site.

But what on earth is a 'police post'?

I think it's a mistranslation for "police station" in French. French being the second language in Tunisia, it's quite obvious.

French friends think " postes de police" is an old name for police station ; "commissariat" is the usual word nowadays.

Police post is not police station: "commissariat" is a police station in French. I think it means just a small sub-station, but I'm not absolutely sure.

Some more updates and perspective:

Today is the third day of a nation-wide curfew, put in place after youth in Tunis joined with demonstrators in the rest of the country by mobilizing in the capital. The government is blaming it on outside (as in, outside the country) agitators, namely on ISIS cells based in Libya - however, ISIS in north africa has never attempted any social actions of the kinds being seen, where the destruction and looting that is being condemned by liberals from all sides of the mediteranean is being done by groups of hundreds of people who build barricades to support each other. The connection between the economic demands of the mainstream protest and the violence of the casseurs is obvious - people are broke, hungry, and have no prospects, there is no faith left in this government (or sometimes any government) to create a better situation, and so the first step in getting it for themselves is simply to reach out and take it!

Hundreds of people have been arrested during each of the last three days. A quick count based on arrests reported by chem FM radio station would have the number of arrested at almost 500. Many of the youth accused of building burning barricades are said to be known to police and intelligence services, and are thefore labelled delinquents - but when we remember that the police and intelligence are still the repressive aparatus of the ben ali years operating with a new elected overseer, then we get a better sense of what kinds of people are on their lists: the revolutionaries, the people who from at least the wave of strikes in 2008 the intelligence state focussed on identifying and destroying. People have been tagging (the arabic word for) "totalitarian" on the walls of military buildings and calling for the collapse of the state.

And let's not forget that the government who asks for time is the same government so dedicated to infighting (they lost their majority after mass resignations of MPs following the appointment of the prime minister's son to a high post) that they have no capacity to act, even as far as state's ever have the ability to improve conditions. People are asking, did the revolution really end? But they miss the point - all political parties simply compete with each other to be the one who ends the revolution, who creates a capitalist stability, while the youth and those committed to destroying the world that oppresses them struggle to remain a force in the streets and in their own lives.

The same commentators will say that ISIS strategy has been to weaken the Tunisian economy and delay reforms by attacking the important tourism sector, and this is true. They would say that :legitimate" demonstrators who try to overthrow the government are playing into the hands of the terrorists. Although it's always possible that a crumbling state will make space for multiple authoritarian armed groups, as in Syria or Libya, let's not confuse the actions of the people against their oppressors with the violence the oppressors bring - the Syrian people did not create the Islamic State by attacking Assad any more than the Tunisians can now be blamed for whatever some group of opportunistic fascists might or might not do. The real lesson to be gained from this observation is to be ready to attack them, to deny them the space to organize, and avoid the 'coalition against the state for now' that let groups like Nusra become leaders in Syria.

Good lord, yes. If only all the comments on this site were so useful.

"avoid the 'coalition against the state for now' that let groups like Nusra become leaders in Syria."

...and that served Ukrainian nationalists so well, no?

If you're an anarchist and you couldn't figure that out after the lessons of the spanish civil war, you're an idiot. Yet it seems to be a constantly recurring theme of anarchist involvement in social movements, from anti-globalization movement to occupy wall st.

I mean... Even if it's obvious, it's not always clear what the options are. In the streets during these big upheavals, anarchists are a tiny minority and we're competing for influence with all sorts of nationalist groups. The fact that we're all in the streets means there is at least some tiny amount of common goal, so in practice, we often end up focusing on spreading our tactics in furtherance of that goal rather than what feels more like messy infighting.

And trying to spread anarchy in the realm of power. Anarchy is simply not to be found in the noisy realm of power and politics be it in the streets or in more formal political-economic settings.

No one asked you, dearest broken record. Your "indoor anarchism" may be appropriate to your particular psychological condition, but it doesn't suffice for the rest of us.

And are along for the ride of continuing power and politics by other means.

As always ziggy, we're actual other people that you know nothing about, out there in the world. We are NOT your own feelings of impotence, projected at the straw man "leftards" through your shit-coloured glasses.

Being in the streets together doesn't imply any common goal, more just the same grievance. An anarchist who goes to a labor rally wants to to see the economy destroyed, the union wants to see it restored & strengthened. An anarchist at some "anti police brutality" demo wants to see the end of policing, most of the time the liberals organizing wish to see BETTER policing. There is a common grievance, the effects of capitalism, or the instance of police brutality, but completely divergent goals.

the straw man points that way

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