Arrests of left activists go unabated in Morocco - Mood of the masses is changing

The increasing use of repressive measures in Morocco reflects the weakness, not the strength of the present regime. We can expect more of this in the next periods as the protests spread. The families of the arrested workers and youth thank everyone for their support and renew their appeal for more solidarity actions.

Ten activists have been arrested by the police after having participated in a peaceful sit-in in front of the Palace of Justice in the city of Beni Mellal, Morocco. This protest was organised by the solidarity committee set up after the arrests and condemnation of the Mayday 2007 activists. It took place on June 5. A few hours later the police surprised everybody with a sweep and arrest of members of the human rights organisation (AMDH), local activists of the CDT and UMT unions, of the left parties (PADS and VD), of the unemployed youth organisation ANDCM and also of ATTAC. The people arrested are: Abdelkbir RABAAOUI, Abass ABBASSI, Mohamed FADEL, Abdelaziz TIMOR, Brahim AHANSAL, Smaïn AMRAR, Mohamed BOUGRINE, Abderrahmane AAJI, Mohamed YOUSFI, Nabil CHERQUI.

A national coordination committee of left parties, human rights groups, unions and the families of the political prisoners was set up. It is called the INSAD (Instance Nationale de Solidarité avec les Détenus du Premier Mai 2007). On June 15 it organised a sit-in in front of the national parliament in Rabat. This action again was also brutally repressed by a baton charge of the police (see here for photos and extra information). Many of them had to be carried to hospital because of their injuries. Now some have launched a hunger strike to protest against the new wave of repression in the country.

Regime gets nervous

The use of the brutal hand of the state against solidarity actions is a clear act of intimidation with the aim of discouraging other people from joining the protest. These are not isolated incidents. They reflect the real nature of the dictatorial regime of Mohamed VI. The new royal dictator, far from representing a break with the policies of his father Hassan II, in reality stands for the continuation of the totalitarian state. After a period of inevitable illusions and hope in the new king, the regime is now clearly running out of steam. Disenchantment is now also leading to active protests all over the country (see photos of protests against the demolition of houses here). The mood of the masses is changing rapidly. From passively waiting for "something to happen" a layer of the masses at least is ready to take action to change their lives for the better.

Demonstration against marginalisation, against the privatisation of the health sector and against unemployment in Sidi Ifni in August 2005.

Anti-riot equipment delivered by Spanish government

The regime feels besieged - and rightly so. Far from being a show of confidence, the successive waves of arrests and imprisonment of left activists reflect a mood of nervousness on the part of the state apparatus. The newspaper Alayam revealed at the beginning of the year that the Moroccan government has bought special anti-riot equipment for its police from the Spanish government of the social democrat Zapatero. Morocco appears also to be at the top of the list of countries buying this kind of equipment from Spain. Undoubtedly more arrests, more repression, more prison sentences will follow. That is why the international solidarity movement should not stop to react against this repression. First of all the working class organisations and left groups worldwide should be informed about the repression. Then resolutions of protest should be sent to the respective embassies of the Kingdom of Morocco (see here for a full list) with copies to and In Defence of Marxism.

Families thank the international campaign

In a letter sent to us, the families of the political prisoners express their gratitude to all the comrades who have reacted to our appeal.

"Following the campaign of solidarity with the prisoners of the 1st of May launched by different democratic and human rights organisations in Morocco and elsewhere, we the families of the detainees, want to express our thanks for the great support and solidarity with our children. We, the families of the detainees, renew our appeal to all the human rights organisations, activists, trade unionists and all the components of civil society in the whole world to intensify the campaign of solidarity with the imprisoned youth and to demand their freedom."

Don't underestimate the effect of your solidarity. All your messages, even the smallest are real morale boosters for the families and the prisoners. And they are a permanent irritation for the regime.

Stop all attacks against the freedom of speech, demonstration and organisation in Morocco!

Free the May Day 2007 prisoners and all political prisoners immediately!

More information on the website of the left formation ‘Voie Démocratique":

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