Following the Murder of Mousine Fikri: Solidarity with the Mass Protests in Morocco!
Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 06.11.2016, www.thecommunists.net
1. The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) expresses its full solidarity with the mass protests taking place in Morocco. These protests began on 28 October in Al-Hoceima after social media spread the tragic story of Mousine Fikri, a fishmonger crushed to death inside a garbage truck as he tried to block the destruction of a truckload of his fish confiscated by police.
2. As a result, the February 20th Movement, which emerged during the spring of 2011, sprang back to life and has taken the lead in organizing the protests, which have spread to 40 cities. Protesters chanted "Mouhcine is a Martyr" and "Down with the Makhzen," referring to the “deep state” in Morocco which is centered on the king and consists of royal notables, top-ranking military personnel, landowners, security service bosses, civil servants and other well-connected members of the establishment.
3. The killing of Mousine Fikri by the police is a symbol for the authoritarian and oppressive nature of the Moroccan regime. Morocco’s regime of King Mohammed VI is a reactionary monarchy governing a capitalist semi-colonial country which has been one of the most stable and reliably loyal allies of the US and European imperialist powers in the Middle East. For example it has supported the military intervention of France in Mali since 2013.
4. King Mohammed VI rules the country with the help of the bourgeois Islamist Justice and Development Party (PJD), which has governed the country since 2011, as well as other bourgeois parties like the Authenticity and Modernity Party (PAM) and the Istiqlal (Independence) Party.
5. The regime also receives the support by so-called left-wing parties like the social democratic Socialist Union of Popular Forces (USFP) as well as the ex-Stalinist Party of Progress and Socialism (PPS). Both of these latter parties are represented in the parliament and have repeatedly been part of the king’s governments during the last two decades. With full justification both of these parties can be dubbed “His Majesty’s Socialists.” The Moroccan workers and youth should put no trust in such parties, as they will only tactically support any protests in order to improve their positions in the power-game inside the Makhzen.
6. Like in other countries of the region, capitalism is incapable of offering any perspective to the workers and poor of Morocco. While the official unemployment rate stands at 9–10%, in fact only around 42% of the working age population has a job. According to official statistics, 38.8% of urban youth had no job in June 2016!
7. Unsurprisingly, unrest is simmering in Morocco for quite some time. While the regime managed to pacify the mass protests in 2011 with constitutional reforms, the country saw a successful one-day general strike against the pension reform in February 2016 which was organized by the UMT, the CDT and two other trade union federations and which was joined by nearly 85% of the private and public sector workers. Another reflection of the popular resentment against the Makhzen is the weak turnout at the parliamentary election in October – only 43% of the electorate voted.
8. The recent upsurge of protests is also inspired by the long-standing discrimination of the Rifian Berbers (also called Amazighen) in the north of the country. In an interview with Al Jazeera, Faysal Awssal, a member of the Moroccan Association for Human Rights said: "We want them [the authorities] to know that the children of this region want to end the oppression. People here want respect for the people of Al-Hoceima. People are [politically] aware. We want an investigation that determines what happens."
9. The Rifian Berbers have a long standing tradition of resistance – most famously represented in the heroic liberation struggle of Muhammad Ibn 'Abd el-Karim El-Khattabi, an Islamist tribal leader who led an popular uprising against the Spanish and French colonial powers from 1921 to 1926 and which was enthusiastically supported by the Communist International.
10. The current mass protests are a powerful confirmation of the RCIT’s assessment that the period of the Arab Revolution which started in 2011 has not ended. Despite a number of setbacks – as a result of the cul-de-sac in which the petty-bourgeois secular and Islamist leaderships led the popular struggles – the workers and peasants in the region are continuing their struggle against authoritarian regimes and social injustice.
11. In order to avoid repression and exhaustion of the mass protests, activists should build local action committees in the workplaces, schools, universities and neighborhoods which organize the workers, youth and poor in regular assemblies. These assemblies should elect delegates in order to create an acting leadership for the struggle. These delegates should also coordinate the struggle nationally.
12. At the same time, activists should put pressure on the trade union as well as the leaderships of opposition parties, forcing them to support these protests with their significant material resources. Activists should, however, be careful not to hand over the control of the movement to these forces. Instead, activists should call for a united front of all forces which are ready to support the protests.
13. The RCIT calls upon activists to link the protests against the murder of Mousine Fikri with the perspective of the overthrow of the reactionary regime and for a workers’ and peasant government based on popular councils and militias. They should also link the struggle in their country with the ongoing popular struggles against dictatorships and injustice in other countries. We see the resistance of the Moroccan people as part of the ongoing Arab Revolution along with the heroic struggle of the Syrian people in its revolution against the tyrant Assad, the resistance of the Egyptian people against General al-Sisi, the steadfast struggle of the Palestinian people, as well as many other examples.
14. The RCIT sends its greetings to all Moroccan revolutionaries and calls them to join forces with us in the international struggle for a socialist future!
* For the forming of action committees in the workplaces, schools, universities and neighborhoods!
* For a united front of all forces to protest against the murder of Mousine Fikri!
* For a workers’ and peasant government based on popular councils and militias
* For a single Intifada of the workers and peasants – from Al-Hoceima, Rabat, Aleppo, Tripoli and Cairo to Jerusalem!
International Secretariat of the RCIT
For the RCIT's analysis of the Arab Revolution we refer readers to:
RCIT: World Perspectives 2016: Advancing Counterrevolution and Acceleration of Class Contradictions Mark the Opening of a New Political Phase. Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries (January 2016), Chapter IV.2. Counterrevolutionary Offensive: The Retreat of the Arab Revolution Continues Despite Heroic Popular Struggles, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 47, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/world-perspectives-2016/part6/
RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 36, http://www.thecommunists.net/theory/theses-arab-revolution/
Furthermore, we refer readers to numerous statements and articles on individual countries in the Middle East which can be viewed on our website at http://www.thecommunists.net/worldwide/africa-and-middle-east/