Morocco – A SOCIALIST revolutionary movement in Morocco’s volatile Rif region says it holds the tyrannical monarchical state responsible for the repressive backlash against a population fighting for dignity, freedom and social justice.
In a solidarity petition signed by representatives from various socialist movements around the world during the just-ended second annual Pan-Africanism Today conference in Tunis, Tunisia, Al Mounadil-a, said it considers the grassroots revolutionary movement of the Rif as a real example of a struggle that must be emulated by all regions in Morocco.
“Neither defamation nor repression will slow down the grassroots protest movement in the Rif,” the petition read. “Seven months have passed since the start of the grassroots protest movement in the Rif region of northern Morocco. This movement takes root in the popular mobilisation that took place in the region during the uprisings of February 20, 2011. It was revitalised by the crushing of the fisherman Mohsen Fikri in a dumpster truck in October 2016.”
Al Mounadil-a said it wants all those responsible for Mohsen’s death and five other Rifians killed in a banking agency during the events of February 20, 2011 to face justice.
It also called for the lifting of the military occupation of Al Hoceima Province, the halting of prosecutions of small farmers and that instead the State should provide health and education services, as well as build infrastructure in line with the development model the people of the Rif region want.
“The days’ events indicate that there has been a strengthening of the repressive arsenal in the Rif region, where a multitude of forces (police, gendarmerie and auxiliary forces) have been deployed,” the alert read in part. “Hundreds of tents have been erected in the public squares and in the public institutions which serve as encampments. This suggests a violent repression in such manner as those already perpetrated by the regime against the struggles of the Moroccan people, in particular against the historical resistance in the Rif.”
Al Moundail-a indicated that it supports the struggle of the Rifans and that it salutes their firmness and determination against all reactionary elements.
“We condemn the policy of intimidation and misinformation of the state and all those who help justify its lies. We hold the state responsible for any repressive intervention against the inhabitants if the Rif in struggle,” the protest movement stated further. “We call for the expansion of support and solidarity and the strengthening of the coordination committees to prevent the isolation of the movement by the state and we affirm that the satisfaction of the demands of the lower classes of Morocco for dignity, freedom and social justice is incompatible with tyranny and the system of corruption.”
The protest movement noted that the main task for the radical left and for all organisations such as unions, unemployed youths and associations which fight liberal policies was to support the grassroots protest movement in Morocco’s Rif region and work to extend it to the whole country.
“It is the regrouping of struggle forces and their solidarity and the expansion of international solidarity that will oblige the rulers to satisfy the demands of the population by allocating the necessary budgets,” the petition highlighted. “It is an historic opportunity given by the resistance of the Rifans, inspired by the historical leader Abdelkrim al-Khattabi, to Moroccan lower classes to obtain fundamental improvements to their social conditions and march on their path of their emancipation from political despotism and capitalist exploitation.”
Al Mounadil-a stated that the protest movement was inspired by the Moroccan state’s need to pay back a huge public debt by reinforcing an austerity on social budgets, opening up the country’s profitable sectors to foreign capital, more tax relief in favour of the rich, the generalisation of corruption, land-grabbing and the seizing of wealth by a minority.
“These policies dictated by foreign decision-making centres are legitimised by ‘representative’ institutions that have nothing democratic under a despotic regime, a facade government and a factitious parliamentary ‘majority’, all mobilised to silence the voice of the Rif’s population who clearly expressed their demands in the local committees of the protest movement,” the petition read. “They also mobilised the various government security, media organs to defeat this intense mobilisation, repression and arrest of activists, intimidation and defamation and trying to create imaginary and marginal conflicts between inhabitants of the region according to the principle of tyrants: divide and conquer.”
Al Mounadil-a charged that the Moroccan state wants to criminalise the protest movement, undermine its credibility and target its activists so that it does not serve as an example to other cities and regions of the country who live under the same conditions of marginalisation and impoverishment.