Over mij

My love for justice, democracy and poetry made me who I am. Follow me on Twitter all about #feb20 #morocco http://twitter.com/#!/mariammaslouhi

woensdag 25 mei 2011

Doctors, professors, medical students held sit in at Ministry of Health in Rabat

Today (May 25th) over 8000 doctors held a sit in in front of the Ministry of Health in Rabat.  They were all dressed in white blouses and wore a black armband around their left arm. The doctors were joined by medical students and hundreds of citizens who sympathize with their cause.
From the beginning the group was surrounded by police forces. When the group began a peaceful march to the parliament the police prevented the demonstrators from moving forward and attacked the first line of marchers.
The rumor is that the health minister would meet with representatives of the protesters, but after the police assault, they refused to meet the minister and demand a public apology before any negotiations.
Teachers and researchers of medicine did also strike today in solidarity with the doctors gathered outside the Ministry of Health.
Some pictures of the protest today:

dinsdag 24 mei 2011

Magical Morocco and the Arab spring

The Moroccan police violently cracked down the Sunday May 22nd protests that took place despite the ban on the demonstration. In Rabat, the demonstrators tried to gather in the square outside the parliament. The Moroccan regime - fearful of a Tahrir-scenario - did everything to avoid that.
By: Yassine ChannoufTransl by: Mariam El Maslouhi
That Morocco is associated with blackmagic in the other Arab countries is no secret. But now there are  really strange things happening in that kingdom. On April 26th five members of the February 20th movement  died in Guercif while they were on their way to attend a meeting of the revolutionary movement in Rabat. An accident?
And On April 28th 'stangers' blew up a cafe in Marrakech on one of the most touristic places of Morocco.  16 killed, almost all of them Western tourists. "The work of the Secret Service!" Whisper many Moroccans. The question is: what interest to they have in an "terrorists" attack on Morocco?
The only ones interested in a destabilized Morocco is the Moroccan state itself and foreign counter-revolutionary elements. They could blame the February 20th movement because it would have destabilized the country with their demonstrations.

On Sunday, May 15, Oussama El Khlifi was brutally attacked by 'strangers'. He was left unconscious on the floor and pictures of his bloody face went around the world. El Khlifi is one of the faces of the February 20th movement. He frequently acted as a voice for the democratic revolution in Morocco.
Another magical phenomenon is the invitation by the six Gulf monarchies to Morocco to become a member of the GCC (Gulf Coorperation Council), a club of corrupt pro-US monarchies who are obsessed with the Iranian threat. These kings and emirs suffering from chronic amnesia because they seem to have forgotten how they supported the war of Saddam Hussein against Iran  financially and diplomatically for eight long years.
Two months ago the same Gulf countries aborted the revolution in Bahrain and occupied the island.
It is strange that Morocco is invited by a select club ultra rich monarchies that is thousands of miles from Rabat. Morocco is was honored, but it shows how well the relationship with the Gulf countries actually is. The fact that Qatar, where the headquarters of the Arabic channel Al Jazeera is based, is one of the GCC countries, will undoubtedly affect the coverage of Al-Jazeera.

Towards a Moroccan Tahrir Square

At previous events in Morocco the security forces were absent. This was to show how much Morocco is different from other Arab countries and that the Moroccan regime is anything but oppressive. This did not work. The previous demonstrations were banned and everytime people were injured. But this time the police came and tried violently, in all major cities, 
to prevent the protesters from gathering.

In Rabat, the democratic demonstrators tried several times to reach the square outside the parliamentThe neighborhoods were surrounded and the police used violence against the demonstrators to prevent the creating of another 'Tahrir Square'.

Hunted demonstrators took refuge in the building of the UMT, the leading Moroccan trade union. They tried their utmost best to bring people together to create a sit-in, but the siege of the police was too tight, an eyewitness told us. The police tried to invade the building, but that failed.

And other demonstrations were disbanded following the traditional script. About a quarter to six PM local time, the demonstrators attacked security forces in the Sebata district of Casablanca. And in Tangier the security forces occupied the square to prevent the planned march that would take off from that 
Mkaada square.

In other cities such as Tetouan, Fez, Oujda, Mohamadiyya and Agadir demonstrations were violently suppressed.

Bans on demonstrations

That the Moroccan government harshly tackled these demonstrations was no surprise. Prime Minister Abbas el Fessi had not given permission for these demonstrations. Before the  February 20th the same el Fessi claimed that Morocco was a democracy. He added that even the right to demonstrate was one of the achievements of a democracy.
The patience of the Makhzen (the Moroccan elite) is wearing thin. They hoped that with a passive, almost indifferent attitude, the February 20th motion would die a quiet death. This did not happen and the message of the revolutionary youth is becoming increasingly popular.

Then they tried to show us how merciful the Moroccan monarch is. He would reform the constitution and ordered dozens of political prisoners to be freed including the known Salafist preacher Mohamed al-Fizazi. He was one of the thousands of Moroccans who were arrested after the attacks in Casablanca in 2003 and was sentenced to life imprisonment.

After his release he immediately thanked the king. Not much later he advised the Moroccans to stand behind Benkirane - yea, yea, all of a sudden democracy is not something for infidels! -. Benkirane is the demagogic leader of the pro-monarchy tolerated Islamist party in Morocco, the PDJ.
The largest Islamic party, Adl wal Ihsan, is against the monarchy and is therefore suppressed. Other Islamist prisoners could upload a video on YouTube that made it clear that they still existed. Unlike al-Fizazi they had no kind words for Mohamed VI. Is it surprising that they are not released?

Which direction?

It is clear that the Moroccan revolution is growing. The holiday season is approaching, and with the exception of Lebanon, summer tourism is to no other Arab country as important as to Morocco. The Moroccan government is terrified millions of Moroccans - who often hold a Western passport - could interfere in the revolution.

That's why the February 20th movement has to be silenced at all costs and the reforms made by the king must be completed as soon as possible. In any case, the protests on Sunday the 22th of May eliminated the  cliché that Morocco is a unique country.

The response of the February 20th movement will now be crucial. Will they allow themselfs to be intimidated by the many police and secret services? Or will they continue to fight for a democratic Morocco? It seems that the movement is going for the second option. According to the democratic movement, repression is oil on the fire.

"Despite the harassment citizens are opening their doors for fleeing demonstrators. The police, however,  passed by the to ask them not to come out during the demonstration" one eyewitness told us.
The February 20th movement hopes the recent events will get even more movements and parties on their side and are planning more demonstrations.

Link of original article in Dutch:

zondag 15 mei 2011

Leading figure of #morocco protests Oussama El Khlifi severely beaten by police!

Osama El Khlifi, savagely attacked by police during the march in El Massira Temara.He is in serious condition (unable to speak), and was taken to hospital SidiEl Hassan, Temara.