The revolution that is ripping through Tunisia has led to celebrations across the Arab world and beyond.
Ordinary Tunisians, after 23 years of a brutal dictatorship, rose up and threw out the hated ruler, Ben Ali. They created a movement so strong that no amount of police and security forces could hold them down.
It’s the first time in decades that mass protest has forced out a Middle Eastern leader—and it has sent shockwaves across the world.
The unemployment, poverty and oppression that sparked the revolt are familiar to millions. Arab and Western rulers are terrified because they know any one of them could be next.
The old regime set up an “interim government” with a handful of opposition members in relatively powerless positions.
Hours later it collapsed—and Tunisians were back on the streets. Many people insist that any government that includes members of the old regime is not acceptable—and they are right.
Mohammed, a Tunisian socialist, told Socialist Worker, “People are saying it’s just more of the same. We don’t know what direction things will take, but we know that this is just the beginning.
“I think the overthrow of Ben Ali announced the end of an era in the Arab world.”
By getting rid of him, workers have shown the strength they have when they are organised. Tens of thousands of Tunisia’s poorest people came together to overthrow the regime.
They must now push the revolution forward to transform Tunisia and win real power.