Solidarity with the movement in the Rif and Morocco

Thursday 15th June 2017

For more than half a year people have taken to the streets in the Rif region and the rest of Morocco. They demand an end to humiliation (“hogra”) at the hands of police and state officials, and investment in public services and employment.

The movement began with the brutal police murder of the fishmonger Mohcine Fikri in Al Hoceima. Hoceima is part of the northern Rif region—a politically, economically and culturally marginalised part of Morocco. The region has a rich history of resistance, both against colonialism and the Moroccan regime. The demands of the Amazighen people of the region have been taken up by people all over the country.

The protests have grown over the past weeks, further strengthened in reaction to repression. After years of silence, people are coming out in huge numbers. Women are taking a leading role within the protests. Last Sunday hundreds of thousands demonstrated in the Moroccan capital, Rabat.

Two weeks ago the state escalated by imprisoning the movement’s leader Nasser Zafzafi and others. More than a hundred activists are now imprisoned, facing torture and fabricated court cases. The regime is spreading lies through the media and mosques about the movements “separatism”—which also circulate within the European diaspora. But, for now, the repression and slander has only brought more people to the streets with others stepping forward as spokespeople.

The movement has learned from the February 20th movement that emerged during the Arab spring but was met with massive repression. The movement remains disciplined, repeatedly argues that it is non-violent in nature and gives no space for provocateurs. Rulers in the region are afraid this movement will re-awaken the fighting spirit of the masses, and rightfully so.

The Western powers in general, and the European Union in particular, have always been close to the Moroccan king, with initiatives ranging from the extraordinary rendition torture programme to the EU-treaties that empty Moroccan seas of their fish.

We stand in full solidarity with the people of the Rif and Morocco and their legitimate demands: the release of all political prisoners, investment in public services and an end to the militarisation of the Rif. All power to the people!

International Socialist Tendency