Solidarity protests are still needed in support of the Tunisian demonstrators who were attacked and arrested by the police forces under the direction of the three-party coalition now governing Tunisia. With the huge remnants of the old regime still in place, the government is trying to turn back the clock (See http://www.socialistworld.net/doc/5693)
Amongst the protests that took place internationally, socialistworld.net reports on the protests in Brussels and London.
On 13 April, a delegation from the PSL-LSP (CWI in Belgium) gathered in front of the Tunisian embassy in Brussels to protest at the recent vicious police crackdown against peaceful protestors in Tunis. We were received by M. Farhat, the Tunisian ambassador in Belgium. We told him about our concerns in relation to the attacks on democratic rights in Tunisia and the police violence on April 9.
We also reminded him that just one year ago, we were standing together with the Tunisian community of Belgium in front of the embassy which was still occupied, at the time, by agents of the old dictator Ben Ali.
We told the ambassador that the Tunisian masses do not want a return to dictatorship. But the attacks against the UGTT offices, followed by the repression of the Union of the Unemployed Graduates’ protest, last Saturday, and then the repression against demonstrators on the Bourguiba Avenue on April 9, appear be heading in this direction.
The ambassador thanked us for the attention we gave to his country! He was not in Belgium during December 2010-January 2011, but his colleagues remembered our protests. The ambassador spoke about the difficulties of establishing a democratic regime, of restarting the economy etc. He mentioned a series of dangers, including the attacks by the Salafist groups against student activists in universities. He implied that expectations, from the Right, as well as from the Left, were too high and that the government in Tunisia has to find a ‘happy medium’ to navigate out the current situation.
Before leaving, we handed a protest letter to the ambassador which is addressed to the Interior Minister of Tunisia. And we made clear that we will continue to monitor events in Tunisia, very closely.
On 16 April, a delegation went to the Tunisian embassy in London to hand over a protest letter. The embassy refused to speak with the protesters and called the police. However the placards and leaflets handed out made it clear to the embassy staff why the protest was organised.
People passing by were informed about the brutal repression against demonstrators in Tunisia on Martyr’s Day and later against the Union of Unemployed Graduates (UDC). Many expressed sympathy with the demand for an immediate release of all those arrested, without charge, in Tunisia.