Notes on Tunisia

posted 21 Feb 2011, 15:56 by Admin uk   [ updated 21 Feb 2011, 17:24 ]

Nadim Mahjoub  

There is a lull in the movement, the bulk of the Tunisian people has not moved again...We have seen in Tunisia and in Egypt it's only when the working class (the teachers, the health service workers, the PT and the rest), moves then we can speak of a blow to the ruling class...It is about mobilization and it seems that in Tunisia the people have chosen to wait for the elections, some layers of the middle class have infected the movement by their ideas of the need for security and 'no to anarchy', we have to ' go back to work', we have to 'give the government a chance', etc, etc.

Thus the movement is stuck in demanding rather than building, reacting (to an appointment of this minister or that ambassador) rather than acting. When the majority of the people are not ready and there is no organisation with a clear strategy to mobilize them, then one has to focus on building the movement. Like the army which is playing on two cords (helping the Libyans while stifling the militants in Al-Qasbah), the leadership of the UGTT is in the government and in the Council for the Salvation of the Revolution. Without kicking that leadership out the movement will remain weak.

Revolution is a process and the balance of forces changes with time, but once an opportunity is missed (between 14 and 28 January) then it is difficult to keep the momentum up. The ruling class and the imperialists are hell-bent on limiting the revolutionary process in the Arab world. More victories in Tunisia would mean another blow to imperialism and its interests in the region.

The most politicized layers have been taken by surprise and are unprepared; they don't know how to deal with a significant part of the participants who are not supporting any political party or group. These are the young people, the facebookers, the unemployed, etc These people are refusing to join any of the bodies which have been recently established.

Is it the classical pattern: revolution needs the whip of the counter-revolution? We saw it on the 28 January and we are seeing it now. More dangers are on the horizon.

Note: On the 20 February, those who marched towards the Government Square faced the army, but the latter was overrun and the protesters managed to occupy the Square without one person being killed. This shows that the movement has to take the opportunity that was missed earlier (as well as in Cairo) by challenging the army and storm the key places in the capital. Bastilles have to fall!