Events are heating up in Morocco. The regime seems to have abandoned its early tactical reconciliatory approach to the demands of pro-democracy movement. Last Sunday, security forces violently repressed peaceful protesters in Casablanca. Protesters were clearly shouting: "no stone, no knife, peaceful [protests]" This still didn't deter the forces of order from using violence against everyone, including elderly women carrying young children.
Tuesday, May 31, 2011
It is apparent that early statements on reforms were mere strategies to diffuse a rapidly contagious and popular movement for change in Morocco. That early tactical retreat by the regime was meant to allay the Feb 20 movement, riding high on the wave of Arab spring. However, the plight of the Moroccan spring is in tatters as the little media attention it once garnered has virtually faded, especially with atrocities committed in Syria, Bahrain, ongoing conflict in Libya and shaky post-revolt tumult in Tunisia and Egypt. The regime is betting on this "quiet repression" of the protests, while engaging in rhetorical support for clichéd talking points of democratic change.
Recent police brutality is taking place as the whole country awaits the recommendations of the royal blue ribbon committee on constitutional reforms set by the king in March. Suffice it to say that no one is holding their breath for vast structural changes, still the scope of the recommendations could provide additional levels for analysis of the regime's strategy to placate the calls for reforms. The pro-democracy movement is steadfast in its demands and its call for weekly demonstrations. The recent repression will only galvanize the protesters with legitimate demands for political and socio-economic renewal in the kingdom.