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MOROCCO: Peaceful anti-government protests allowed to proceed, more planned


Anti-government protests against Morocco's monarchy in the North African country's two largest cities were allowed to proceed and ended without violence Sunday.

About 60,000 protesters gathered in a main square in Casablanca, activists said, but no riot police showed up to limit the crowd, as they have at previous demonstrations.

Riot police were also absent at protests in the capital of Rabat, where videos posted online showed thousands marching down a main road leading to parliament, chanting, “The people want to overthrow tyranny! The people want to overthrow corruption!”


"The demonstrators are marching now to parliament," blogger Mamfakinch wrote at about 1 p.m. while live blogging the protests. "No intervention by police, who merely regulate the marchers."

The king appears to be taking a softer stand against the demonstrators than in recent weeks, when riot police clashed with protesting crowds, allegedly beating them with batons. It appears to be an effort to limit activists' broadening support as they attempt an Arab Spring uprising similar to those of Tunisia and Egypt.

Activists emphasized online, however, that the lack of violence should not be confused with a lack of repression.

"These protests are taking place today at the same time the Makhzen [the Moroccan regime] are launching a campaign of unprecedented defamation and disinformation against the movement," Mamfakinch said.

Police were seen watching from a distance as the crowds marched in Rabat and Casablanca, called on the government to resign and demanded better jobs, education and healthcare.

Some demonstrators said undercover police mingled with the crowds.

Protesters in both cities waved posters of Kamal Amari, who on Thursday died from wounds he suffered during clashes with police on May 29 in Safi, about 200 miles south of Rabat.

“Martyr rest, will continue fighting,” they chanted.

Protesters could also be seen in online videos assembling in Safi to honor Amari and rally against the government.


Dozens of injuries have been reported as a result of the weekly protests in recent months. The demonstrations have been mostly organized by the February 20 movement, a coalition of secularists, leftists, Islamists and independents. The group is planning similar demonstrations next weekend, according to postings online.

-- Molly Hennessy-Fiske in Cairo

Photo: Anti-government protesters gather in the Moroccan capital, Rabat, on June 5, 2011, with signs honoring protester Kamal Amari, who died June 2 from wounds suffered during clashes with police on May 29 in Safi, about 200 miles south of Rabat. Credit: Mamfakinch

Videos: (Top) Anti-government protesters march on parliament in Rabat Sunday, with little intervention by police. Credit: Mamfakinch / YouTube. (Bottom) Protesters gather to chant against the government and honor Kamal Amari in Safi, June 5, 2011. Credit: Mamfakinch / YouTube

Comments () | Archives (9)

what a ridiculous article,AFP say 6000 and you *10 it?
it´s social demos not anti-monarchy you dumb,like in each democracy

Anti-government or Anti-monarchy??
The chicken or the eggs first?
It doesn't matter, since it is one and the same. The king holds supreme and unlimited power, hand picks the PM and can dissolve the parliament at a snap of a finger! Can declare state of emergency at will! all given to him by the constitution. It is an autocratic monarchy. Just like "me, myself and I."
Most people there endured decades of abuse they developed the Stockholm Syndrome. Fear is what is causing people to revolt against the government as opposed to naming the king. You name the king and you are an enemy of the state...per the constitution, you are breaking the article "the king is sacred and inviolable" and may God have mercy on your soul after that. The bottle might seem more of a remedy than what they can do to you...limitless!

The new name for this king is: "the King of the bottle". Not because he drinks, but because his hatchet men (el himma, laanigri, etc...) are notorious for pushing bottles up the rectums of those they arrest. you might want to also Google or youtube DST Temara, it's morocco's abughraib, only more awful.

A book had appeared in 1990 called "notre ami le roi", in english "our friend the king" by Gilles Perrault. this book had described the atrocities of the previous king, (hassan 2). If any of you writers are out there, I think it's high time for an other book which you might call "our friend the new king". You will not have a shortage of material or victims that can provide you with content.

"Anti-government protests against Morocco's monarchy"

So Anti-government or Anti-Monarchy?

First of all the demonstrations are targeting specific points and not "The monarchy" so please correct your article and stop spreading false information.
Second, why are you not writing articles about the demonstrations of moroccans who represent above 90% of the country's population and are against these protests led by islamists who are trying to hurt morocco's stability. Who is sponsoring this article? BP? Shell? or TOTAL?

A seventeen years old girl has been arrested in Casablanca protests last Sunday because her poster showed "God, Country, People" instead of the conventional "God, Country, King".

Where are the women here? who's leading these protests and why? I didn't see any youths here. Who are these people?

It is very lame to blame the Feb 20 movement in a corrupt, oppressive country led by a monarch with absolute power! The history of oppression and human rights abuse not only rivals but surpasses by far those of Egypt, Tunisia, Libya and Syria combined! There is nothing to fix in the constitution...It must simply be deleted! A constitution that states: "the king is sacred and inviolable"...Thus, in plain English, anyone questioning the king, his wealth or his dictatorship is in violation of the above article...and don't even ask about the punishment for such violation, but google Tazmamart if you are curious! Another country where American tax payers are sending 800 Million Dollars annually...Where the king is worth more than 2 Billion dollars according to Forbes. One of the poorest countries with one of the wealthiest monarchs! Oxymoron, that is.
To quote John F. Kennedy from his 1962 speech: “Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable.” Nevertheless, I hope for a peaceful one for the sake of Morocco.

It's important to note that Moroccans are also getting weary of Feb 20 movement. Most Moroccans are furious that the 'activists' have rejected the invitation by the King to participate in rewriting the constitution, and prefer demonstrations to constructive action for the country. The govt might be unhappy with Feb 20, but so are many Moroccans.


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