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The social and democratic revolution is on the march!

Monday 17 January 2011, by Fathi Chamkhi

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The Tunisian popular masses have just made erupted onto the political scene in a spectacular fashion! They have succeeded, after 29 days of a social and democratic revolution, in driving out the dictator Ben Ali! This is a great victory!

It is a great day for us all, which we share with all those who are fighting against the world capitalist order! Above all, we have re-conquered our dignity and our pride, which for a long time had been ridiculed and dragged through the mud by the dictatorship. Now, we have a new Tunisia to build: free, democratic and social.

But right now the counter- revolution is on the march! Ben Ali has fallen from power but his regime, although destabilized and weakened, is trying to maintain itself in place. The Destourian party/state is still there, and so are its liberal capitalist economic and social policies.

This regime, which is presented as an example of a “star pupil” by the international financial institutions, this regime which bled the Tunisian popular masses for 23 years, for the benefit o f an international capital that is greedy for profits, while enriching a minority of families, grouped around the government and organized in gangster clans, must go. That is what we want!

We refuse the attempt that is under way aimed at confiscating our revolution. This operation is being presented under the formula of a “government of national unity”, with which this illegitimate regime is trying to hang on to power.

At the same time, the defeated regime has unleashed its over-armed militias, including the personal guard of Ben Ali, which are sowing terror in the big cities of the country, in particular in Tunis and its suburbs. Groups coming from the disinherited and famished masses are also taking advantage of the current chaos to help themselves in the supermarkets: in particular Carrefour and Geant. Bands of looters are positioning themselves along the principal roads of the country, making it dangerous to travel! Basic products are starting to be in short supply or are non-existent: bread, milk, medicine…

The regime, which has demobilized the police force in the cities and the National Guard in the countryside, is letting all this happen, taking advantage of the chaos to impose its own solutions. The introduction of the curfew and the deployment of the army – which lacks manpower and which has never had to face this kind of situation before - do nothing but worsen the fear, since it is during the night that the armed militias act!
Everywhere, citizens are trying to organize their own defence, often in coordination with the army. Thousands of “popular citizens’ defence committees” are being set up to defend the population.

Only the establishment of a provisional government, without any representative of the Destourian regime, which will have the responsibility of preparing free and democratic elections, regulated by a new electoral code, for a constituent assembly, will be able to allow Tunisians take control of their destiny again, and to establish, in their country, an order that is just and beneficial to the mass of the population.

If the people aspire one day to live, destiny can only yield to their will!

Tunis, January 15, 2011