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Morocco

“We have a collective responsibility to strengthen and develop the February 20th movement (M20)”

Saturday 21 January 2012, by Al Mounadil-a

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This Appeal from the Al Mounadil-a current to the Moroccan left
was made on January 1, 2011.

Conscious of the historic responsibility of all the tendencies of the Moroccan left at this historic moment of the development of the movement of the struggle of the oppressed layers of our people against despotism, the Al Mounadil-a current launches this appeal to the forces of the left to take collective responsibility for strengthening and developing the M20, shedding all forms of sectarianism and anti-democratic practices which have marked the previous experiences of struggle.

We understand by the Moroccan left the political forces which in different degrees oppose the political, economic and social choices imposed on our people and who have never assumed the responsibility of applying these choices in the puppet government.

We address ourselves then in the first place to the forces of the revolutionary left, convinced that definitive rupture with the dependent capitalist system in place in Morocco in all its dimensions is the sole way to realise the aspirations of the toiling classes to liberty, dignity and social justice. This means principally all the forces and groups originating from the Marxist-Leninist movement and the different components of the rank and file current in the universities.

On the other hand, we address ourselves to the forces of the reformist left convinced that it is possible to democratise the regime by the accumulation of reforms and render more social the existing capitalist choices, that is a sort of social democracy, as defined historically in the imperialist countries, with the Moroccan specific that this left has emerged from a national liberation movement and not from a workers’ party.

These diverse forces have a role to play today in the dynamic of struggle which has been unfolding in our country since the beginning of the M20 in assuming, with the youth who are politicising in the context of the revolutionary process underway in the Maghreb and Arab region, the task of continuing the struggle inside the M20.

There is no doubt that the struggle of the M20 is a historic conquest for the toiling classes in Morocco and for all the forces who aspire to change. This is a concretely combative mass movement which has left aside the sterile methods of imploration specific to the historic opposition (Union socialiste des Forces populaires (USFP), the Parti de l’Istiqlal (PI) and the Parti du Progrès et du Socialisme (PPS)), and follows the path of a real mass democratic struggle, based on social demands in contradiction with the social and economic choices imposed by despotism.

One of the most significant lessons of the last ten months is that only popular mobilisation has forced the regime to make concessions such as the formal revision of the Constitution which has been demanded for decades by the opposition and material concessions have never been conceded in this scale in such a short period [wage increases for workers and civil servants,, injection of funds into family allowances, youth employment and so on].

Which offers favourable conditions to those who struggle for democracy and social rights, whatever their strategic vision. to build a movement of popular struggle capable of attaining its objectives. It is a historic opportunity which is offered to the Moroccan left to confirm its ability to lead the struggle of the Moroccan people to emancipate itself from dependency and despotism. The left has lived for some decades in a climate of repression and physical liquidation, in almost total isolation from the popular masses, and all its strategies thus suffered from the absence of an effective social base. Today, and since the beginning of the M20 and the wave of popular protest that accompanies it, the left can at last emerge from its historic dilemmas and build a strong movement of mass struggle.

To ensure the continuity and development of the M20 movement, we should all the same remind ourselves of a negative heritage of the Moroccan left which has already missed opportunities to build a genuine movement of popular struggle. And the first useful thing to stress is, for example, the experience of the movement of Co-ordinations against price increases. The movement has shown real possibilities of development, in particular in certain regions like the town of Bouarfa in eastern Morocco, but the forces of the Moroccan left have sought to control from above, which has contributed to the aborting of this experience. Other experiences of struggle have suffered from the presence of left forces side by side and have shown the difficulty of fruitful cooperation and a management of divergences to the benefit of the movement of popular and workers’ struggle.

The plurality of actors in a mass movement is natural to this movement and the sole solution to ensure the continuity and development of the movement rests in the democratic management of divergences, the practice of a broad democracy, and the respect of the right of those without political affiliation to expression and participation in the construction of the movement. And unhappily the Moroccan left has no credible heritage of democratic practices in the conduct of struggles and confidence in the initiative of the popular masses.

The general objectives for which the M20 has been launched are liable to unite all the opponents of despotism and social injustice in a common struggle where each party keeps its independence and the freedom to express its opinion on the course of the movement, and respect of the right of those without political affiliation to expression and participation.

Complete and exhaustive agreements on the precise objectives of the movement of popular struggle represented by the M20 are not a condition for the cooperation of the forces of the Moroccan left to build it. And all the polemic on the limit of demands is only an artificial obstacle to destroy the movement, when these demands are finally subject to the dynamic of the movement and strengthened by the struggle. Even the demand for parliamentary monarchy, for example, very controversial among the left forces, is impossible without an extremely powerful and combative mass movement.

The struggle of the M20 movement in recent months has shown that the relationship of forces is still in favour of the regime in spite of some jolts, and that the political consciousness of the toiling classes is still basic. And that the task of the left is to contribute to the organisation of the masses around their immediate demands stemming from the needs of the oppressed people, so as to allow the development of their experience of struggle from the partial and local to the global and national, in other words the political.

The task of the left today is to make its presence felt in the different fronts of struggle: student, trade union, in the human rights movement and the fight against unemployment, a lever of struggle to strengthen quantitatively and qualitatively the M20. The left has no existence outside of the popular struggle, and the polarisation today should be made on the basis of a clear position towards political and economic despotism. The task of the left is to elaborate its positions on the demands which would most favour mobilisation and unification and allow the people the freedom to judge the pertinence of these positions.

Let us then make this historic moment an opportunity for a new élan for the M20, benefiting form the setbacks and successes of recent months and orienting our critique and our struggle against despotism in all its variants, against imperialism and for a full national and popular sovereignty.

- collective responsibility demands the defence and development of the gains of the M20

- collective responsibility demands the establishment of relations of healthy common struggle between the forces which make up the M20 movement

- responsibility demands stressing the interest of the development of the M20 through the healthy management of divergences, the adoption of the broadest democracy, a deep implantation in the popular layers and the crystallisation of this implantation in its own organisations.

- responsibility demands that left trades unionists assume a policy independent of the bureaucracy which collaborates with the regime so as to effectively involve the working class in the dynamic of current struggles, as the only class capable of changing the relationship of forces.

* Published in Arabic on the site of Al Mounadil-a.