By Aziz Daouda
By Aziz Daouda
Morocco World News
Rabat, February 27, 2012
The last declaration of Mr. Abdelillah Benkirane to the media on Thursday was very clear. The head of government intends to put some order and enforce the law related to the right to demonstrations.
After the government council meeting, Mr. Benkirane pointed out in a press conference that demonstrations have escalated to new forms that will not be tolerated, specifically the occupation of public places. He added that the government remains open to dialogue, while still assuming its responsibility to enforce the law.
In fact, some demonstrators, fortunately few in number, have gone beyond previous limits by intimidating the authorities and security forces. Public buildings have been occupied, streets and avenues blocked, roads cutoff, despite the fact that such actions are punishable by the law, especially if it undertaken without permission.
For instance, since a few weeks ago, the building of the Ministry of National Education has been occupied. In addition, the commercial activity in Mohammed V Avenue is paralyzed. The shop owners and residents can no longer stand the daily “chaotic” protests and demonstrations.
The right to demonstrate is certainly granted, but demonstrations must follow specific rules. It seems that the demonstrators have been deliberately transgressing the law in order to draw attention to their situation. This is ascribed to the feeling of the Rabat demonstrators’ despair caused by their unique demands remaining unfulfilled: to be hired in the public sector.
In fact, the protests in Rabat earned the support and sympathy of citizens in the beginning. But when faced with the demonstrators’ uncompromising positions, especially those who are stubbornly demanding a position in the public sector, the population has withdrawn its support and is currently expressing its annoyance.
Before, people stopped to greet protestors but today, they scold them when stopped in traffic or cross the streets in total indifference. Another form of protests that has to be immediately condemned is self-immolation. It is considered a threat to the authorities and a blackmail maneuver. Here again, the population is no longer sympathetic, because all forms of suicide are condemned in Islam.
Mr. Benkirane’s firm language is not intended to disenchant. On the contrary, the right to freedom is honored in the law, but it ends where other people’s freedom starts. Other people’s freedom means simply the right to drive, to trade, to undertake their missions, and to have access to their offices unimpeded.
Aziz Daouda served three times as the technical director of the Royal Moroccan Federation of Athletics. He was also the manager of numerous renowned Moroccan and foreign track and field world champions with whom he won several titles and world records, including Said Aouita, Hicham El Guerrouj, Nezha Bidouane, Jawad Gharib, Hasna Benhassi, Salah Hissou. He is a contributor to Morocco World News. He blogs at azizdaouda.blogspot.com.
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