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MOROCCO: Antigovernment protesters clash with police


Thousands of demonstrators Sunday took to the streets of Casablanca, the country's largest city, in an antigovernment protest police struggled to disperse, driving into the crowd on motorcycles, armed with clubs.

A similar protest in the capital's twin city of Sale on Sunday also was violently disrupted, as was a demonstration in front of the Moroccan parliament Saturday.


Morocco's King Mohammed VI and the ruling elite, or makhzen, have so far avoided the massive "Arab Spring" uprisings that have swept other North African and Middle East countries, promising concessions and constitutional reforms in recent weeks as security forces successfully dispersed large crowds.

But protesters have grown both more assertive and organized in recent days, particularly the antigovernment Feb. 20 movement formed in the wake of uprisings in Tunisia, Libya and Egypt, which mounted Sunday's protest in Sale. On Sunday, well-known blogger Mamfakinch (which roughly translates as "We won't give up") posted Google maps of the protests online and live blogged their progress with photo and video updates. He posted witness accounts in French, including observations that police allowed pro-regime protests and even mixed with the crowds, but stopped those opposing the monarchy, accosting those with cameras, including journalists. "I can confirm there are wounded, clubbed in alleys," one witness said.


Both photos and videos posted online showed bloodied protesters collapsed in the streets of Casablanca's lower income Sbata neighborhood after allegedly being beaten by police. "Contrary to what has been said, the residents of Sbata do not reject the demonstrations," a witness told Mamfakinch, "I have never seen anything like it!"


Activists reported several arrests and more than a dozen injuries, some critical, during the protests, but those reports could not be independently confirmed.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Cairo

Video: (Top) Protesters take to the streets of Casablanca. (Middle and bottom) Moroccan police attempted to disperse crowds who gathered to protest in Casablanca and other Moroccan cities Sunday against the monarchy and ruling elite. Credit: Mamfakinch/YouTube.

Photo: A Moroccan protester collapsed in the streets of Casablanca's Sbata neighborhood during portests Sunday. Credit: Mamfakinch.



Comments () | Archives (34)


Look how much "They" praise him.. and regard him as a great father!! Obviously because they were protected and put under his extended arms!! However the "Moroccans" were treated as "Aliens" in their own home land, and he rewarded them with: HATERED, TORTURE, AND ILLITERACY.


King Hassan was educated at the Imperial College at Rabat and earned a law degree from the University of Bordeaux. He was exiled to Corsica by French authorities on 20 August 1953, along with his father Sultan Mohammed V. They were transferred to Madagascar in January 1954. Prince Moulay Hassan acted as his father's political advisor during the exile. Mohammed V and his family returned from exile on 16 November 1955.

Prince Moulay Hassan participated in the February 1956 negotiations for Morocco's independence with his father, who later appointed him Chief of Staff of the newly founded Royal Armed Forces in April 1956. In the unrest of the same year, he led army contingents battling rebels in the mountains of the Rif. Mohammed V changed the title of the Moroccan sovereign from Sultan to King in 1957. Hassan was proclaimed Crown Prince on 19 July 1957, and became King on 26 February 1961, after his father's death.

Rule Hassan's conservative rule, one characterized by a poor human rights record,[1] strengthened the Alaouite dynasty. In Morocco's first constitution of 1963, Hassan II reaffirmed Morocco's choice of a multi-party political system, the only one in the Maghreb. The constitution gave the King large powers he eventually used to strengthen his rule, which provoked strong political protest from the UNFP and the Istiqlal parties that formed the backbone of the opposition. In 1965, Hassan dissolved Parliament and ruled directly, although he did not abolish the mechanisms of parliamentary democracy. When elections were eventually held, they were mostly rigged in favor of loyal parties. This caused severe discontent among the opposition, and protest demonstrations and riots challenged the King's rule.

In the early 1970s, King Hassan survived two assassination attempts. The first, in 1971, was coup d'état attempt allegedly supported by Libya, organized by General Madbouh and Colonel Ababou and carried out by cadets during a function at the King's summer palace in Rabat during his forty-second birthday party. Important guests, including the Belgian Ambassador Marcel Dupert, were placed under house arrest, and the King himself was taken to a small pavilion. Rabat's main radio station was taken over by the rebels and broadcast propaganda stating that the King had been murdered and a republic founded. The coup ended the same day when royalist troops took over the palace in combat against the rebels. On August 16, 1972, during a second attempt, four F-5 military jets from the Royal Moroccan Air Force fired upon the King's Boeing 727 while he was traveling back to Rabat from France, but they failed to bring it down. General Mohamed Oufkir, Morocco's defense minister, was the man behind the coup and was officially declared to have committed suicide after the attack. His body, however, was found with several bullet wounds.

In the Cold War era, Hassan II allied Morocco with the West generally, and with the United States in particular. There were close and continuing ties between Hassan II's government and the CIA, who helped to reorganize Morocco's security forces in 1960.[3] Hassan served as a back channel between the Arab world and Israel, facilitating early negotiations between them. This was made possible due to the presence in Israel of a large Moroccan Jewish community.



Thanks for the in depth history and notes! Incredible sham and travesty at the expense of the people, I can hear the rustle of papers as the frantic copy begins on the mini series! *gag*

There is a definite parallel echo about this story as it relates to several ME Nations, particularly the ones with great wealth, which makes this all too very *familiar* as with Patriarchy driven and Monarchy styled leaders.

We could drop good money on a bet that Morocco's King Mohammed VI is *diversifying his portfolio* rapidly

Analyze This! To Loyal Moroccan Citizens!!
His father "Hassan II" has entirely frozen the education system for 40 years.. A ruthless king who hated his own people and favored the Jews and the CIA instead. He had ordered his slaves to torture and murder any Moroccan citizens who might stand against him.. He had organized the crime and assasination of a great man that every nation would be proud of
"Brother Ben Barka" a man of conscience, challenge and high intellect. He had taught math to the ruthless king "Hassan II" as a reward he had ordered the elimination of a great professor by sending two of his loyal subjects to France. The entire world is aware of this awful massacre.
As a father as a son! There is no difference they both carry the same genes and they both look down upon their people. Morocco does not need a king instead it needs: MEN of HONOR and there is no way that those two will be qualified to honor their people. His father had taught him all the best tricks and how to fool people... Of course that's why they wanted all Moroccans to be "ILLITERATE" and never be able to think confidently.
Power Corrupts, Absolute Power Corrupts Absolutely!
Shame on them. Shame on them. Shame on them.

Analyze This! To Moroccan Citizens!!!
WikiLeaks: Moroccan Royals Accused of Corruption
The Moroccan King, Mohammed VI, spends £3.6 million ($8.8 million) a month on staff wages, £97,000 on car repairs and almost £53,000 on animal feed, according to a breakdown of the palace budget that has enraged his poverty-stricken subjects. Details of the lavish spending - the first time that the finances of a royal Arab household have been revealed - show that the king costs Moroccan taxpayers £144.6 million ($353 million) a year, 18 times more than Queen Elizabeth. The palace spends £632,000 on electricity and water, £600,000 on telephones and £355,000 on petrol and fuel. The monthly clothes bill comes to £121,000, while stationery alone costs £61,000. The Moroccan royal family's private wealth is estimated at £2.1 billion - £2.7 billion by the US financial magazine Forbes. (Sydney Morning Herald, January 25, 2005 | Photo: AP).

Morocco’s royal family is using the institutions of the state to “coerce and solicit bribes” in the country’s lucrative real estate sector, according to a leaked report from American diplomats.
Information about high-level corruption involving the rulers of Washington’s closest ally in north Africa was brought to the attention of the US consulate in Casablanca, Morocco’s commercial capital, by a businessman in 2009, leading diplomats to describe “the appalling greed” of those close to King Mohammed VI.
According to the US report, decisions involving Omnium Nord Africain (ONA), a holding company owned by the king, are made only by the king and two of his powerful associates. “To have discussions with anyone else would be a waste of time,” the head of the company is quoted as saying.
Royal involvement in business is a hot topic in Morocco but public discussion of it is sensitive. The US embassy in Rabat reported to Washington in a separate cable that “corruption is prevalent at all levels of Moroccan society”.
Document 1 Leading entrepreneur tells how institutions and processes of the Moroccan state are used by the royal palace to coerce and solicit bribes in the country’s real estate sector. Contrary to popular belief, corruption in this area during the reign of King Mohammed VI is becoming more pervasive.
Document 2 Moroccan sacking exposes king’s business role. Morocco’s largest conglomerate, the palace-controlled ONA, dismissed its CEO charging that he mismanaged the company’s telecommunications subsidiary. The abrupt nature of the dismissal has been the talk of Casablanca business circles and refocused attention on the king’s business activities.
Read related article “WikiLeaks cables accuse Moroccan royals of corruption” in the Guardian


Now the European Union is asking the Moroccan government to restraint in the use of force and respect of fundamental freedoms:

The Moroccan government can only be intimidated by the Europe union and the US. We should put more pressure on the Moroccan government by sending letters to Catherine Ashton, Vice-President European Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, and to President Obama, asking them to pressure the Moroccan Government to respect the right to protest.
Interested? please join me on facebook Salim Bouzid (MoroccanDemocracy).
Thank you

I'm sick of supporters of oppressive, backwards monarchies/dictatorships dragging in the bogeyman of "Salafists" or some other religious Muslim group to discredit genuine reform and democratic movements. It only fools people who don't know what's going on.

Good Day from Casablanca,
Well, as all Moroccan once, the mouvment of 20 Fev started we was all behind and support it, because we was thinking that this mouv will be a meader to a good change and better futur in Morocco, but days after days, we was surprised to note that this mouv become under control of some salafist mouvments including AL ADL WA AL IHSAN who is the bigest supporter in term of memebrs to 20 Mouvment, at that time most of Moroccan peoples start to neglet this mouvment cause it become loyal to some ideas of weekly demenstration without any goal or result, by my self i was participating before in such dims but after i found its just a waste of time, cause there is a conflit between the country authority and some salafist mouvments, and unfirtuntly 20 mouvment become the only way such salafist leader use to creat troubles in Morocco.
in the bigning there was a plan that all demenstration must be made in appointed areas, what we dont understand is why it has been changed to neiberhood where peoples who care only about their daily needs lives!!!
Also why Los Angles Times didnt mentione any thing about what happen in Spain or France!!!! is this what we call freedom!?
if yes i prefer freedom in Morocco than france or usa and we are Moroccans and proud to be,
PS: sorry for my english

The king is popular in some "provinces" but in others he's very less popular and now he's on his father's way to lose all popularity, which I think was fake.
His father couldn't and never visited the city of Tangier (north) during all his reign.
To have an idea of our country, there's no independent TV , no freedom of speech and the most popular journalist RACHID NINNY is jailed for more than a month now. While the "bad ones" are free .
The "people"(famous ones) here are "The Intelligence Bureau Head" and "The Administration of Prisons' Head", I see them on TV and newspapers more than singers or actors, just to give you an idea of my country.

there is no excuse to beat up people like that ! and a country where absolute power in the hand of one man is never a democracy !

It is simply a lie when these protesters say that Morocco has not changed or that Morocco is a dictatorship. If honest enough, Moroccans who are old enough like myself to remember the seventies and the eighties should reject this statement. The fact that people can say that Morocco is a dictatorship and they don't get tortured is a change of itself. In the seventies and eighties you couldn't even criticize a minister let alone the entire government. It is simply a lie to say that Morocco has not changed. Most of these demonstrators are either salafists that believe in a distorted version of Islamic history andn incapable of a rational thought or the unemployed. It would be very useful if the LA Times did a feature article about the movement of the unemployed in Morocco. This movement claim that it is their "RIGHT" to get a government job after graduation. They refuse to join the private sector because "it is too hard" they believe they are entitled to a government job right after their college graduation. There are mandatory tests to get a government job but these protesters they even refuse to take the test and believe it is a God given right to have a job immediately after graduation. They even refuse training for God sake! This is simply insane viewpoint, no government can sustain to recruit all graduates every year. There are even government programs to help start businesses through loan guarantees of approximately 30 000 USD but they refuse to take advantage of it, instead they prefer to protest for years on end. I know some private schools that offered jobs to these protesters with the possibility of upward mobility but they refused. This must be shocking to an American reader, especially giving the fact that education in Morocco is FREE. These graduates did not pay a dime for their education. If anything these unemployed graduates should be paying back the government for the free education they received not protesting the government.

We all know what the government is doing to clean his face, but paying individuals to give false testimonials is not going to work. Moubarak's governments tried it before, Assad is trying it right now. It will not convince the international community, simply because the protests against the regime always weight more, especially when they face repression.
At this point the government has little window to manipulate the facts, the moment is definitely on the side of the pro-democracy movement.

What i found interesting is that M6 is not acting, where is he? what does he think about all these protests? The king needs to go beyond speeches, honestly we don't need speeches that are vague and hard to interpret. The Monarch needs to talk directly and frankly, he needs to let us know what he wants. A conference press could be a starting point and then a national debate. This is how a country must address his future, the era of sacred speeches is over!

Brothers and Sisters, you need to be active. We have almost 50% of illiteracy in Morocco, many people live in extreme poverty and don't have a voice. You are fortunate to have the education that allows you to be part of this forum. You are the hope of all Moroccans, you are valuable to all of us. Join the street movement, if you can not, You can contribute in so many ways, get engaged, write comments in the news, write article if you can, join facebook of ( or february20th or others. if you live in Europe or the US, go to rallies against the corruption, and human rights violations in Morocco.

If you can not do anything mentioned above, talk to your friends and family, express your thoughts, and educate your relatives and friends.

It is just a matter of time and we will get back our country, our constitution, and our dignity.

It's a class act to accuse all the very many people who speak out against this juvenile movement of being 'Moroccan intelligence' - but if by that you mean Moroccans who actually use their brains, then yes, I suppose we do represent Moroccan intelligence. Irrespective, it's just as easy for us to accuse you of being Algerian secret services (perhaps a lot closer to home) - who are known to spend billions of their oil funds campaigning against Morocco (something at least all Moroccans can agree upon). Even so, between our claims and yours, time will tell the truth - the reality already being plain to a fool; as they say: "Actions speak louder than words". So won't all these loud-mouthed campaigners here tell us just how many Moroccans are out in the street in "revolt"? Funny isn't that more Moroccans paid to attend Mawazine (a grand music festival bringing together the world community in a bid to celebrate world culture and arts - and a festival our dear "democrats", 20 Feb, were campaigning hard against)?

If it's an impartial view of things you're all after, why not ask the many tourists on vacation around our nation - or jump on any social networking site and pay close attention to how many Moroccans are displaying pictures of their King in a show of solidarity. We all know the ring leaders of the 20th Feb belong to the 9 percenters - so do bear in mind, dear "democrats" (hilarious), there's 91% of us who will defend our constitutional monarchy, and also bear in mind that poll was only representative of our urban population - we all know were the loyalties of countryside folk lie.

God bless Morocco and it's King.

This is the real face of the regime. I'm a modern middle-class mom and I support these protests. The king has lost all his masks thanks to wikileaks.
Some people do protest against "these monthly protests" but they never protested against corruption-bribery-the very bad educationnl system -the corrupt and impartial justice system. I mean, these people have no history in protesting but were paid to protest against the 20feb movement.
We have a major problem here in Morocco. The ones who govern have no legitimacy. It's the king's friends who govern : M. MAJIDI - M. HIMMA. The last has a "Major political party" who in a 2-years'existence became the first party in Morocco. The "elected" government has no power whatsoever.

i love marocoo
i love m 6

Why the United States do not press to Moroccan kingdom to stop the repression against the peaceful demonstrators!?

Hi everyone
thank you times for your voice and support and standing up next to the People .
Morocco is not a democratic country as it seems there are a lot of corruption and injustice all the power in one hand and many opportunists that are in the power , the majority of people are poor and living in unacceptable conditions without work, nor health benefits nor education and a lot of alphabetization it is gloomy and dark thats the real situation over there I am talking about the majority of people .
no freedom of speech Rachid nini the famous journalist and the voice of people is in the jail and under the rest for no reason just to stop and close his mouth .
we need your help we need Europeans and Americans people to help us to speak up .by the way i am telling you there is a disaster over there right now and we need you to support us against these barbarian police and government we are helpless without your support here are some video in youtube to see and watch the real situation and what happened
please there are bad situation here if you are under 18 be careful or if you think this will affect your emotion thank you

look they are hiting a kid and with bad words
thank you times

You will see may members of the Moroccan Intelligence service squads commenting here and expressing the view of the authoritarian regime in English,; they are doing the same thing in Arabic, Spanish and French forums. I live in the US and I am originally from the neighbourhood of Sebata where this demonstrations took place: The residents have lived a nightmare yesterday 29 May 2011, Police force were attacking everyone, even those women and children who didn't participate in the demonstrations . Thugs from other regions were bussed to talk to the media as if they were the residents of Sebata. the funny thing is, these same faces where seen in other cities like Marakech and Rabat - ie: the woman who was wearing the Moroccan flag and carrying the picture of the king"- .
According to eyewitnesses, the youth of this mostly dense neighbourhood were about to respond with violence to defend themselves, but were discouraged by members of the Feb 20 movement.

it seems as if Morocco is governed by several kings.
Each secretary general of a political party is considered a sacred king.
The king should normally marked his presence by hitting hard on the fingers of the great thieves of public funds

Facebook's Feb 20th has 30,000 members. Wow! That's almost 0.1% of Moroccans, how do they get so much press coverage?
Furthermore, why do "Analysts" and commentators keep talking about the majority of Moroccans? When has 0.1% of a population become a majority ?

On another point regarding the one defending the Salafists. As a reminder, Salafists movement members think of themselves as the vigilantes of Islam. My sister (a high school science teacher) in Casablanca was stabbed with a knife in the street by a Salafist because he didn't agree with the length of her skirt. The skirt apparently was not long enough and showed the knee.
Salafists are a societal cancer, and there cannot be a democracy in a sick social body.


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