Socialist Worker

Revolt keeps spreading throughout the region

by Simon Assaf and Alistair W
Issue No. 2240

Following the overthrow of Ben Ali in Tunisia, and Hosni Mubarak in Egypt, all regimes in the Middle East—whether considered “friendly” or “hostile” by the West—have been challenged by the spreading revolutionary movement.

Unprecedented demonstrations have taken place in Syria, where large crowds surrounded a police station in the capital, Damascus, following a beating of a young man.

The crowds chanted, “The Syrian people will not be humiliated.”

Demonstrators in southern Iraq faced down security forces in a protest over corruption.

In the Kurdish region of northern Iraq, large crowds have taken to the streets in an attempt to drive out the ruling party.

The unrest has also spread to Kuwait and the eastern region of Saudi Arabia.

In Morocco, crowds attacked a police station and French-owned firms in Tangier in protest against a deal that handed over a utilities contract to a French company.

Last week, young Moroccans attempted to storm the Royal Palace. They are calling for more demonstrations.

Eyewitness reports from Yemen say that for the first time thousands of people protested in all areas of Aden against president Ali Saleh’s regime.

Neither police or Ali’s special security force were to be seen.

The manager of the main bank in the city has been attacked, beaten and thrown out of his job.

His four sons—who hold also senior positions—have been evicted and workers have taken over the bank.

The same thing has happened to managers of the government-run electricity service.

People attribute the huge and continuous increase in their bills to corrupt managers and government officials.

Workers have decided to withhold all payments to central government in order to pay their own wages.

Managers, and those considered to be their collaborators, have been kicked out of a government furniture factory, the port department, and the water department.

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