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A global youth uprising

From Tunisia With Love

As Peace News goes to press, the leaderless people’s uprising in Tunisia is about to sweep away its second government in as many weeks, as part of a global youth revolt that stretches all the way to the student occupations in Britain.

The “jasmine revolution” in Tunisia was sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, on 17 December in the seaside town of Sidi Bouzid. Mohamed set himself on fire in protest at harassment and corruption by council officers, and the confiscation of goods and scales from his unlicensed vegetable street stall. By the time of his death on 4 January, the uprising he triggered had spread across Tunisia, with fearless mass demonstrations confronting the dictatorship of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The sudden revolt in Tunisia has inspired a regional uprising, that includes the protests over living conditions in neighbouring Algeria (including another fatal self-immolation by Mohsen Bouterfif, 27, in front of the town hall in Boukhadra); similar protests in Jordan, Yemen and Egypt (restaurateur Abdou Abdel-Moneim Hamada Jaafar Khalifa, 47, set himself on fire in front of the Egyptian parliament). In Mauritania, on 17 January, Yacoub Ould Abdel Aziz, 43, set fire to himself in front of the senate in Nouakchott, in protest against the “elected” dictatorship of general Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz. One of the most forceful statements of youthful revolt has come from Palestine’s Gaza strip. The first “Gaza Youth Breaks Out” (GYBO) manifesto, released in December, began: “Fuck Israel. Fuck Hamas. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNRWA. Fuck USA! … We want to scream... scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in.”

As Peace News goes to press, the leaderless people’s uprising in Tunisia is about to sweep away its second government in as many weeks, as part of a global youth revolt that stretches all the way to the student occupations in Britain.
The “jasmine revolution” in Tunisia was sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, on 17 December in the seaside town of Sidi Bouzid. Mohamed set himself on fire in protest at harassment and corruption by council officers, and the confiscation of goods and scales from his unlicensed vegetable street stall. By the time of his death on 4 January, the uprising he triggered had spread across Tunisia, with fearless mass demonstrations confronting the dictatorship of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. The sudden revolt in Tunisia has inspired a regional uprising, that includes the protests over living conditions in neighbouring Algeria (including another fatal self-immolation by Mohsen Bouterfif, 27, in front of the town hall in Boukhadra); similar protests in Jordan, Yemen and Egypt (restaurateur Abdou Abdel-Moneim Hamada Jaafar Khalifa, 47, set himself on fire in front of the Egyptian parliament). In Mauritania, on 17 January, Yacoub Ould Abdel Aziz, 43, set fire to himself in front of the senate in Nouakchott, in protest against the “elected” dictatorship of general Mohamed Ould Abdelaziz.

One of the most forceful statements of youthful revolt has come from Palestine’s Gaza strip. The first “Gaza Youth Breaks Out” (GYBO) manifesto, released in December, began: “Fuck Israel. Fuck Hamas. Fuck Fatah. Fuck UN. Fuck UNRWA. Fuck USA! … We want to scream... scream with all the power in our souls in order to release this immense frustration that consumes us because of this fucking situation we live in.”

In their second manifesto, GYBO called on Palestinians and their leaders to “unite and organise in an efficient movement of nonviolent protests, boycott.” The student protests in Britain and throughout Europe are part of this larger uprising.

For solidarity contacts see
www.tunisiasolidarity.wordpress.com

Topics: People Power