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 21 september 2011

Sit in violently broken up in Al Hoceima, Morocco

Source: February 20th Movement in Al Hoceima

A sit in held by unemployed youngster in the big city north of Morocco, Al Hoceima. The sit in escalated while the young activists held a sit in in front of the Regional Prosecutors office. They held a sit in in protest of the lacking equality of education in the region, or sometimes none at all.

On the video one can see the police forces breaking up the group of people.


maandag 12 september 2011

Interview (English) with one of the leading figures of February 20th Movement.

Translated from French by:
Mariam EL Maslouhi

Rabat -  One of the Founding members of the Movement February 20th Osama El Khlifi was one of  the first to call for demonstrations for political and social reforms in Morocco. While demonstrations were again held on Sunday 11th September across the country. He reviews six months of activism, and announces that he will not participate in parliamentary elections scheduled in November 2011, despite proposals from political parties. 

The Movement was born on February 20th, now a little over six months ago. 
What did the movement accomplish since then?

Osama El Khlifi: We have accomplished many positive things. Politicians woke up in Morocco. A new constitution was adopted. Although we believe that the Constitution was not adopted democratically, one must admit that this change took place due to the  February 20 movement.
There was also some progress on the social plan: the rise in salaries, more unemployed graduates have obtained a job.

Ousama El Khlifi in Rabat at one of the feb20 protests
But although some progress has been made, they do not actually reflect the basic demands of the Movement which are:

 - a true constitutional monarchy with a king who reigns but does not govern,
 - the fight against corruption,
 - the release of all political prisoners,
 - a true marital status,
 - freedom of expression,
 - individual freedoms. 

Even if the regime did not respond to the demands of the movement, and even though we made some mistakes, the results are positive.

What mistakes do you think the movement made? We have contacted the wrong people. We went out every Sunday on the street. If you go out into the street every Sunday, you have no time to talk with people. Plus people can not show up every Sunday. The number of protesters has dropped.

We have also allowed political parties to join the commissions of the Movement. We know that the Moroccans do not trust political parties. The Moroccans have had negative experiences with political parties. The people loved the movement because it is young and independent. After the integration of political parties, there was a decline in the number of demonstrators.

How do you see the future of the Movement? We will continue to go out into the street because the street is a strategic choice of the Movement. Because this way you can put pressure on the regime to get an answer to our demands. 

The Movement remained open to everyone. So, any newcomer has as much to say as you, a founding member, at general meetings. Do you need to refocus the movement around its founding members?
We are Democrats. If we had a leader who managed everything, it would be a bureaucracy. This "openness" is both positive and negative. It is positive because it's a way of showing that we want a real democracy in Morocco.

But it is also negative because people of different political parties joined to proclaim their own demands (propaganda). We trusted them too much. That was our mistake. 

What are you going to change? You can not recreate the core of the Movement and I am against this. But we will push at general meetings to put the movement back on track.

The presence of many Islamist militants of the association Al Adl Wal Ihsan (Justice and Charity) seems to be a problem ...Although I am leftist, I have no problem with the Islamists. As a democrat, I can not attack them. But the way they work has created problems for the February 20th Movement. They are not clear.
When we speak of parliamentary monarchy, they talk about things that have nothing to do with our demands: the Caliphate, for example.
I met the leaders of Al Adl Wal Ihsan before the February 20th. But we had agreed on the fact that they would support the Movement and that they would participate in the events and agree with the demands of the Movement.In addition, they are not for individual freedoms, equality between men and women. It bothers me that men and women do not protest side by side. We will address this problem in the upcoming general meetings.

"The absence of ideology is our strength" 

Do you think the Movement can last without ideology? This lack of ideology is our strength. We are a mix of leftists, liberals, Islamists.This is not a weakness.

Some of your comrades in the Movement have recently issued a statement that criticized your output in the media..This press release doesn't bother me. In the statement it says I am not the spokesman of the Movement. I never said I was the spokesman of the Movement.
I am one the founders of the Movement, I am the first to have called for demonstrations, but I am not the leader of the Movement, nor the spokesman. 

Is there any tensions with your comrades in the Movement?
Yes, there is but I am human and I make mistakes. My comrades have the right to criticize me. Although sometimes they exaggerate a bit. This is normal in politics.You can not work without making mistakes.
Sometimes some of my statements were taken out of context. I am a figure of the movement so the press focuses on me. I'm only 24 years and I do not have much political experience so I am still learning. 

Ousama El Khlifi hospitalized after being attacked by police
You have been through a lot these couple of months. You have been attacked by the police several times and you were hospitalized. Is this not a high price you have to pay?No. When we first called for protests, I knew it was risky, I could be arrested or even killed. I do not mind.

This summer, rumors have circulated regarding your participation in parliamentary elections in November 2011. Will you run for office? The USFP asked me to introduce myself as the top. Other parts of the system too. I decided, after discussing this with my friends in the Movement, that I won't participate.
Because in the preparation of these elections, we see that the elections are not fair and corruption will still occur, there is no renewal of policy.
Before February 20, during my first interview, I said I was going to be an activist of the Movement February 20th. I want nothing else. I do not want to be a leader. I just want to defend the Movement. When the regime will respond, I will leave the political arena.

vrijdag 9 september 2011

The Gulf Cooperation Council will discuss the accession of Morocco

While the February 20th protest movement is getting ready for big protest on Sunday (11th September) on the same day the GCC (Gulf Cooperation Council will discuss the accession of Jordan and Morocco. 
On Sunday the ministers of foreign affairs  of the six member states (Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar) will gather to look for ways to 'strengthen the relationship and cooperation between the Gulf states, Jordan and Morocco. 
Also the foreign ministers of Jordan and Morocco are invited to come to Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
The Gulf states are looking for ways to minimize the spreading of the Arab Spring and are trying to do this to include the two oil-less Kingdoms. There is a growing unrest in Jordan and Morocco and it is just a matter of time until the situations there escalate. The Gulf States are looking for ways to suppress the protests and keep them as close allies. An example of this suppression is Bahrain, Saudi Arabia send troops to Bahrain to help and suppress the protesters and helped the ruling monarch to keep in his control.  

dinsdag 6 september 2011

Big protest scheduled by 20 February movement on September 11th in Morocco

Movement of 20 February  has called for demonstrations on Sunday, September 11tn in Rabat, the capital of the kingdom, during a press conference.

"We are calling for a protest on Sunday September 11th in the neighborhood of Yacoub El Mansour in Rabat to mark our come back the to social and political arena," said Omar Radi, the section of Rabat.

"We are determined to establish a real dialogue with the people in neighborhoods, unions and universities, not only in Rabat but in all of Morocco" he added.

 Omar Radi also said that "peaceful demonstrations are likely to be planned in other cities in Morocco to support the manifestation in Rabat.Another official of the 20 February movement section in Rabat said during the press conference that the manifestation is "independent and open to all political parties, as long as they do not call for violence."

Born in the wake of the Arab revolt, the movement includes the group Islamist "Justice and Charity" (Al Adl w Ihsaan), a political party in Morocco that is illegal but tolerated, the "cyber-activists" independent and far-left activists 

Despite a relative economic growth, Morocco faces serious problems such as unemployment, illiteracy, corruption, and great social inequalities.

Video announcing the manifestation September 11th
From the Mamfakinch website

Source: Lakome.com

donderdag 1 september 2011

Poems for the Arabspring

In honor of the #Arabspring

His waiting would go hand in hand with his writing
Letters enlightened by his dreams
Words filled with patience
Chapters heavy with metaphors
Books stressing his questions

All he could do was write
In his waiting, in his endless song
In his noteless life
Beachless shore, yes..
He would write

He would write that writing is like waiting..
That while we wait, we write
And he would write very cautiously that writing is like waiting
And all that while we wait… 
We all write

In this circle, trapped in his words of routine....
He could not breathe
He wrote that while we write we wait for the words to become sentences.. 
He wrote that we can not write if we don t wait 

Like a guardian, a captain
A soldier..
Those who write best, 
Recruited his patience once more

With a pen half full.. 

No breeze, with the sun as his witness,
With the turtles as his allies in stand fastness

They would say he was older than the turtles,
confused like the waves, 
a Spartan filled with desire
like a virgin mad with lust desperately looking  for anything to write upon,

When there was no star left to write upon,
He would write in the sand..
He would cover the beaches, the desert..
The trees, flowers,
After that the animals..

He blessed his own body with his writing,
He was still waiting so he had to write…

He would find her..
Her body…
With permission to write..
All he could write was his name