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After the elections, the mobilisations continue

Wednesday 28 December 2011, by Abdessalem Hidouri

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The Tunisian elections of October 23, 2011 are far from having closed the chapter opened in January 2011. Faced with the contination of neoliberal social and economic policies as well as the attacks agains women’s rights, mobilisations have resumed with still more vigour.

After the elections for the Constituent Assembly and its first sitting, on November 22, rallies took place in Tunis before the Bardo, the place where the Assembly meets. The demonstrators were protesting against the policy of the Triple Alliance, bringing together the Islamists of Ennahda, the CPR led by Marzouki and the social democratic Ettakatol party led by Ben Jaafar.

Their slogans were axised on the defence of human rights and liberties, threatened by the fundamentalists. Serious events have taken place in the universitites and public areas, where the Salafists have forced women to wear the "hijab" and the "niquab", and prevented men and women mixing. These acts reveal the project of the current reactionary right. These slogans and demands are advanced by all the progressive forces, which are in the minority in the Assembly, and in particular the modernist pole organised around Ettajid (the former Communist Party, now aligned on centre left positions).

Other slogans reflect social demands such as work, liberty, social justice and dignity, as well as the demands for prosecution of the snipers who killed the martyrs, a purge of the media and the legal system, and equitable development between regions. In short, these slogans affirm the necessity of continuing the revolutionary process.

The results of the elections of October 23 do not in fact reflect the reality of the popular will, above all of the poor, the unemployed, the marginalised and the oppressed, who were at the origin of the revolution and fought for work, liberty and dignity.

From the Bardo to the regions of the interior, the sit-ins continue, as well as demonstrations for the right to work and liberty, against the capitalist and fundamentalist forces, the continuation Ben Ali system as well as any foreign interference, in particular from Qatar.

Since the overthrow of the dictator, nothing has changed concerning the exploitation, oppression, pauperisation and marginalisation of a great part of the population. To fight against this involves a break with those who practice opportunism towards the forces of the right, and have turned their back on the demands of the masses, contributing thus to the current political confusion.

It is time for the continuation of the revolutionary struggle so as to fulfil the task of the revolution, and notably the dismantling of the political system set up by Ben Ali.

* Abdessalem Hidouri is active in the Tunisian LGO (Left Workers’ League) organisation. He was one of the coordinators of Casbah 1 and 2.