Protests have broken out across Morocco in north Africa after the death of a fish seller became a symbol of anger against the regime.
Mouhcine Fikri was crushed by a compactor in a refuse truck in the northern port city of Al Hoceima on last Friday.
He had jumped in to retrieve his merchandise, which had been confiscated by police.
Police claim they turned the machine on to “send a warning”.
Protests immediately broke out in the city. Demonstrations spread to Marrakesh and Rabat, the capital, the next day.
Some activists say Fikri’s death could be as significant as that of Mohamed Bouazizi.
Bouazizi was a fruit seller in Tunisia who set himself on fire in December 2010 sparking a wider revolt that toppled a dictator.
There is bitterness over economic and political issues. About 30 percent of the population in Morocco is between the ages of 15 and 29, and there is very high unemployment.
Al Hoceima is part of the Rif region of north Morocco. It has a history of revolt against colonialism and the Moroccan monarchy, which still holds great power.
It is significant that some protesters in other parts of the country chanted, “We are all Rif” as an act of solidarity.
King Mohammed VI has ruled since 1999. Although there were parliamentary elections in 2011 and then again last month, the King has effective control.
Oppositional forces are repressed.
The regime has close ties with the French and Spanish governments and is a close ally of the US.
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