Free Nasser Zefzafi and all other political prisoners! Long Live the Popular Protests in Morocco!

Statement of the Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT), 13.06.2017,




1.            The arrest of Nasser Zefzafi, head of the Moroccan social protest movement Al-Hirak al-Shaabi (Popular Movement), by authorities has provoked a series of mass demonstrations in that country. These protests are focused in Morocco's northern Rif region – mostly populated by the Rifian Berbers (also called Amazighen) – and in particular the port city of al-Hoceïma. The regime justifies the arrest of Zefzafi by accusing him of "interrupting an imam's sermon" at Friday's prayer in a mosque! Since then, several other activists from Al-Hirak al-Shaabi including political opponents of Zefzazi like the “moderate voice of the movement,” El-Mortada Iamrachen, have been arrested as well. The current leader of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi, a 36-year old female activist and mother of four, Nawal Ben Aissa is, like many others, also threatened with imprisonment. From the arrests and threats of arrest, it is clear that the Moroccan regime intends to smash the protest movement.


2.            The Revolutionary Communist International Tendency (RCIT) expresses its full solidarity with the mass protests taking place in Morocco. They constitute a continuation of the protests which began on 28 October of last year in al-Hoceïma, after social media spread the tragic story of Mousine Fikri, a fishmonger crushed to death inside a garbage truck when he tried to prevent the destruction of a truckload of his fish confiscated by police.


3.            The RCIT fully supports the demands of the popular movement like its calling for the punishment of those responsible for the death of Mousine Fikri in addition to that of other protestors, demanding the annulment of the martial law in the province of al-Hoceïma, and an end to the criminalization of small peasants for the cultivation of cannabis.


4.            The general background of these mass protests is the Arab Revolution which began in 2011 and which encouraged popular uprisings against the reactionary regimes in many countries, as well as the ongoing increasing impoverishment of large sectors of the Moroccan masses. While the official unemployment rate stands at 9–10%, in fact only about 42% of the working age population has a job. According to official statistics, 38.8% of urban youth had no job in June 2016. To this must be added the long-standing discrimination of the Rifian Berbers in the north of the country.


5.            As we have already explained in our statement on Morocco published last year, in order to defeat the reactionary regime and its "Makhzen" (as the “deep state” is called in Morocco), it is urgent that the popular movement raise its consciousness and its level of self-organization. We call upon the workers, youth and poor peasants to found local action committees in the workplaces, schools, universities and neighborhoods. These committees should organize regular popular assemblies and elect delegates in order to create an acting leadership for the struggle. These delegates should also coordinate the struggle on the national level. As one can see, even the traditional, religious, moderate voices like El-Mortada Iamrachen are threatened by the state apparatus. Therefore, not a single significant success will be achieved by the movement if it doesn't cultivate strong self-organization.


6.            At the same time, activists should put pressure on the trade unions as well as the leaderships of opposition parties and compel them to support these protests with their significant material resources. Activists should, however, be careful not to hand over control of the movement to the official leaderships of the trade unions. In addition, activists must not give any political support to the opposition parties. Activists should fight for a revolutionary orientation of Al-Hirak al-Shaabi. It is urgent to take steps in building a revolutionary organization that arises from the movement, one that is directed towards becoming a genuine revolutionary party of the workers and the urban and rural poor.


7.            The RCIT calls upon activists to link the protests against the murder of Mousine Fikri with a perspective envisioning the overthrow of the reactionary regime and the establishment of a workers’ and peasant government based on popular councils and militias. Moroccan activists should also link the struggle in their country with the ongoing popular struggles against dictatorships and injustice in other countries. It is important to fight for the release of all political prisoners and to fight for the end of the persecution of political activists! We repeat that the struggle of the Moroccan workers and peasants is 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 the regime of General al-Sisi, the steadfast struggle of the Palestinian people, as well as many other examples.


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 public employment program, against social cuts and for democratic rights!


* 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, Idlib, Tripoli and Cairo to Jerusalem!




International Secretariat of the RCIT




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For the RCIT analysis of the Arab Revolution, we refer readers to our numerous articles and documents accessed from the Africa and Middle East section of our website: In particular we refer readers to the following documents:


RCIT: Following the Murder of Mousine Fikri: Solidarity with the Mass Protests in Morocco! 13.06.2016,


RCIT: World Perspectives 2017: The Struggle against the Reactionary Offensive in the Era of Trumpism, Theses on the World Situation, the Perspectives for Class Struggle and the Tasks of Revolutionaries, 18 December 2016, Chapter IV. The Middle East and the State of the Arab Revolution,


RCIT: Revolution and Counterrevolution in the Arab World: An Acid Test for Revolutionaries, 31 May 2015, in: Revolutionary Communism No. 36,