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Thread: Tunisian protests continue-Egyptian,Algerian,Yemeni, Syrian and Jordanian protests -Rebirth of Arab Activism

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    Default Tunisian protests continue-Egyptian,Algerian,Yemeni, Syrian and Jordanian protests -Rebirth of Arab Activism

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth...958792947.html

    IMF austerity measures in the middle east in the 1980s resulted in an upsurge of protests and resistance. The world recession and commodity price increases have led to a return to street demonstrations, and in particular in Tunisia. The IMF recipe has created a divided and corrupt society with layer of privilege but with most young people lacking any kind of a constructive future.

    A young Tunisian graduate in a dire situation set fire to himself, in the same week as a man in Romania threw himself from the balcony into a session of Parliament. The full aljazeera article is well worth reading.

    Mohamed Bou'aziz, the young Tunisian who set fire to himself on December 17, is emerging as a symbol of the wider plight of the millions of young Arabs who are struggling to improve their living conditions.
    Like many across the Arab world, Bou'aziz, who is now being treated for severe burns, discovered that a university degree was insufficient to secure decent employment. He turned to selling fruit for a living, but when the security forces confiscated his vending cart he torched himself - igniting a series of protests across Tunisia.
    The roots of this Tunisian 'uprising' are to be found in a lethal combination of poverty, unemployment and political repression: three characteristics of most Arab societies.


    Official figures place unemployment in the Arab world at 15 per cent but many economists believe the real rate is far higher than government supplied statistics suggest.
    A joint study by the Arab League and the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) indicates that in most Arab countries young people constitute 50 per cent of the unemployed - the highest rate in the world.
    According to the same report, rates of poverty remain high - "reaching up to 40 per cent on average, which means that nearly 140 million Arabs continue to live under the upper poverty line". Worse still, the study noted that the region has seen no decrease in rates of poverty in the past 20 years.
    Last edited by C. Flower; 01-08-2011 at 02:46 PM.

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    A man reported to have been shot dead and calls for a general strike on Monday -

    #tunisia: calls for general strike on monday #sidibouzid

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    http://english.aljazeera.net/indepth...811755739.html

    This is a thoughtful article on how the economy and government, following IMF/Washington Consensus prescriptions, have failed the youth, many of whom have nothing to lose. It's stronger on description than on solutions.

    A youth empowered by education but disempowered by marginalization can be the spark that ignites social upheaval and social tension.
    In Tunisia, marginalization is today being translated into irrational and tragic suicides. But tomorrow these can be the triggers of a different type of suicides.
    Does Minister Jouini want to be held responsible ?
    Suicide bombers are only a different form of individual self destruction. Twelve + days of mass protests suggest that there's potential for more coherent mass action.

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    After era in which pan-arab nationalism and socialism was pushed back from view by supposed radical islamism, I find it a avery encouraging start to the year to see the Tunisians en masse out on the streets for straightforward goals of social equality.
    AlgerianDude on twitter has provided these links for update on the situation there.

    @_politicalworld

    (french) http://nawaat.org/portail/

    (english) http://globalvoicesonline.org/2011/01/01/tu

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    "We are not afraid any more" - a good report with videos, on how lawyers, students and union members have organised the protests. They are up against a regime that's been in place for 23 years, combining a Washington consensus management of the economy with minimal food - dole systems for the poor.

    Lawyers have been protesting at the courts and have been truncheoned.

    http://globalvoicesonline.org/2010/1...fraid-anymore/


    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lZsCk6RdBCI&feature=related"]YouTube - Tunisie : Les Tunisiens en a ras-le-bol du régime Ben Ali[/ame]
    Last edited by C. Flower; 02-01-2011 at 12:38 PM.

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    There are a lot of protests continuing in Tunisia, and now also support demonstrations in Paris





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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    There's a lot of twitter activity about jailed bloggers, sit ins and protests, but very little hard news.

    Tunisian bloggers are sleeping in jail tonight. It is sad beyond words. #candle @slim404 was to intervene on #netshow tomorrow.

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    There are nationwide protests in Algeria - also over food prices, unemployment and housing.

    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-QrZ3b_h3Mo"]YouTube - Second Wave Of Rioting Rocks Algeria[/ame]

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    I see you are talking to yourself there Cactus. Good work. Good on the Algerians and Tunisians, rising up against years of oppression. Who is benefiting from all their resources I wonder. At least they have the lawyers on their side, lucky them. Notice in first video most of them are young, not even born when the IMF came in. I think gas masks will be in great demand shortly. Can you get them on eBAY in wonder.
    Last edited by wickedfairy; 08-01-2011 at 04:17 PM.
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt." -- John Adams

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    Quote Originally Posted by wickedfairy View Post
    I see you are talking to yourself there Cactus. Good work. Good on the Algerians and Tunisians, rising up against years of oppression. Who is benefiting from all their resources I wonder. At least they have the lawyers on their side, lucky them. Notice in first video most of them are young, not even born when the IMF came in. I think gas masks will be in great demand shortly. Can you get them on eBAY in wonder.
    At least 14 people have been killed, according to aljazeera, shot by the police. There's a press blackout - youtube and twitter are filling in.

    200 unemployed Saudi new graduates are protesting at the moment in Riad. They want teaching jobs. Unemployment is at 10.9%, as it is in the EU. This doesn't count unemployed females.

    Rising food prices have been the main sparking point of the protests but after years of lack of accountability, government offices are now being burnt down.

    I don't know the answer to your question about who is getting the benefit from their oil and other resources.
    [ame="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l-WiBIBybKU"]YouTube - Tunisia's press blackout[/ame]
    Last edited by C. Flower; 09-01-2011 at 04:43 PM.

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    mmm wonder how much the IMF are getting off them every year? Will do a bit of digging on that.
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt." -- John Adams

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    Tunisia: IMF "Economic Medicine" has resulted in Mass Poverty and Unemployment
    Protest by Suicide as a Symbol of Resistance

    by Prof. Basel Saleh

    The miserable economic conditions in the interior of the country, lack of employment opportunities and political freedoms pushed Bouazizi, like thousands of other young men and women in the Maghreb countries, to the margins of society. Tunisia’s national unemployment rate, which understates the true unemployment situation, stands at 14%.[4] However, the youth unemployment rate (those between15-24 year-old) is at 31%. The income share of the top 10% is approximately 32%, and the top 20% of the population controls 47% of Tunisia’s income. Tunisia’s inequality is so severe that the bottom 60% of the population earns only 30% (the top 40% take home 70% of the income).[5] Still, the IMF describes the government management of the economy and the uneven economic growth which benefited mainly northern and coastal cities while marginalizing the interior of the country as a “prudent macroeconomic management.”[6]

    The fate of the protests is unclear at this point. The Ben Ali government is frantic to control the situation by sending police and security enforcements in the cities affected by the protests. The protesters have been peaceful and have not resorted to any violence or destruction of property. Some protesters simply held a loaf of bread and others are simply holding signs that call for jobs and dignity. In the meantime, the IMF is continuing to push Tunisia to more austere economic policies on the expenditure side, recommending that the government ends its support for food and fuel products and reform its social security system, a code word for privatizing the pension system in Tunisia which benefits the masses of poor Tunisians.[18]The greatest hypocrisy in all of this is that the IMF recommends these policies in the name of greater employment and growth which is the IMF’s cut-and-paste recipe for all nations it studies.







    http://www.globalresearch.ca/index.p...t=va&aid=22587
    Last edited by wickedfairy; 09-01-2011 at 10:39 PM.
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt." -- John Adams

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    poor Algerians dealing with corruption within their own country and IMF "advice" too, sound familar?


    http://www.crisisgroup.org/en/region...-violence.aspx
    "There are two ways to conquer and enslave a nation. One is by sword. The other is by debt." -- John Adams

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    The Irish Times reported on this today -

    http://www.irishtimes.com/newspaper/...reaking62.html


    Police fired into the air to disperse a crowd ransacking buildings in a Tunis suburb today, the first time Tunisia's capital has been hit by a wave of violent unrest that officials say has killed 23 civilians.
    A reporter in the working class Ettadamen neighbourhood said he saw hundreds of youths throwing stones at police and then smashing shops and setting fire to a bank.
    He said the crowd had blocked the roads with burning tyres, set fire to a bus and two cars and also set fire to a local government office.
    Police fired warning shots into the air and also fired teargas grenades to try to force people back from the building, the reporter said.
    "We are not afraid, we are not afraid, we are afraid only of God," the crowds chanted.
    Reports of the clashes emerged minutes after Tunisia's government raised by another three the total death toll from the unrest, the worst in decades, but it dismissed estimates from human rights groups who put the count higher.
    Until Tuesday evening there had been no reports of major new clashes after the army was deployed in the most restive towns, schools and universities were shut indefinitely and police with loudhailers ordered people in at least one town not to gather in the streets.
    People taking part in the weeks of clashes say they want jobs and better living conditions, but the authorities said the protests were hijacked by a minority of violent extremists. They said the victims were killed when police fired in self-defence.
    Tunisia has been bracing for international reaction to its handling of the protests. However former colonial ally France, which still carries influence in the north African country, responded without apportioning blame for the deaths.
    Tunisian communications minister Samir Labidi told a news conference that the death toll from clashes in the past few days was 21 -- or three more than previously announced.
    Another two people were killed in clashes earlier in the unrest, which has now been continuing for almost a month. A further two committed suicide in acts of protest.
    There are claims that the protests have been "infiltrated by religious and left extremists".

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    Default Re: Tunisian protests continue for 12 days - Algerian protests - Rebirth of Arab Activism

    Par for the course I'm afaraid.

    I worked in Tunisia several times in the 80s and 90s and also in other African countries.

    First on Tunisia, the French ordained effective dictator Burgiba ruled the country as personal fiefdom with French investments even while he was in a coma for about a year!! In fact, before he was officially declared dead the islamists had moved into take over the politics - typically it was easy to get a lunch during Rhamadan in the early 80s by the 90s you couldn't, except in your hotel, in a closed room....
    The IMF were there from the beginning, but in effect they did what the French wanted. The IMF's recipe was agreed by all the big boys, create market economies and ensure the former occupying power's investments were protected.

    In general terms, as has been alluded to, the IMF has ruined any economy in Africa deserving of the name (there weren't many, there are less now). The best example I saw (I think I've mentioned it before) was Malawi where the IMF insisted that the grain reserve be sold to create investment money and the following year Malawi was required to appeal to the FAO for emergency aid 'cos the rains failed.

    Back to Tunisia, the base problem is that the regime hasn't been able to control education as much as it would like and the disenfranchised grads are pissed off. The other 'mistake' (which has happened elsewhere) was to enable mobile phone networks and consequently vids appear on YouTube.....The network has been closed these last few days.

    Le Monde has good coverage.

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