- Created: Thursday, 15 February 2018 13:33
- Written by Toby Harbertson
A rally in Tunis to mark the seventh anniversary of the toppling of President Ali and the start of the Arab Spring: the issues that sparked the 2011 uprising have not been resolved.
Seven years after mass protests in Tunisia forced the resignation of President Ben Ali in January 2011, and set in motion the ‘Arab Spring’, thousands of Tunisians have come out on the streets once again demanding real change. Few, if any, of the issues which sparked the 2011 uprising have been addressed by the so-called ‘revolution’. Harsh austerity measures mandated by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to secure its financial support have galvanised large sections of the Tunisian working class into action against falling living standards, high unemployment, and government corruption. Urban student leaders have formed the ‘What are we waiting for?’ movement and faced arrest and state repression. 34 years earlier, in January 1984, massive bread riots in response to IMF conditions were put down by force, killing 100 protesters. This time the movement has to address the real economic roots of their grievances – the capitalist system. Toby Harbertson reports.