You can arrest us but you can’t silence us: politically motivated arrests and detention in Morocco

6 June 2014, Sit in calling for the release of political prisoners in Casablanca. Photo Via: @LeJebly

6 June 2014: Sit in calling for the release of political prisoners in Casablanca. Photo Via: @LeJebly

Morocco’s Arab Spring was short lived. The protest movement that emerged was somewhat pacified by the State with promises of reform and initiatives to tackle corruption and improve human rights. A new constitution was passed. These promises were mainly empty rhetoric and voices of dissent continue, and continue to be suppressed by the authorities. It’s estimated that around 300 are currently in Morocco’s prisons for voicing opposition to the regime.

Over the past three years activists from the 20 February Movement, a youth-led pro-democracy movement which emerged in Morocco as part of the regional uprisings, have been subject to arbitrary arrests, torture and even murdered by the State. But the movement was not silenced. Continue reading

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Left solidarity: Supporting grassroots movements in Syria

31/5/14 protest in solidarity with Douma4 held in Douma Photo via: Douma Local Council

31/5/14 protest in Douma calling for the release of the Douma4 kidnapped activists
Photo via: Douma Local Council Facebook page

Much of the debate on Syria by people who identify as being ‘leftists’ both in the West and the Arab world has been dominated by issues most prominent in the media such as a focus on geo-politics, militarization, Islamism and sectarianism. It’s ultimately been a very State-centric discourse. Conversely there seems to be very limited knowledge or discussion about popular struggles or grassroots civil movements in Syria. This is strange because the politics of liberation should not be grounded in discussions between political leaders and States but grounded in the struggles of people for freedom, dignity and social justice. Continue reading