Morocco

Moroccan offensive in Western Sahara

After sixteen years of war, on 6 September 1991, Morocco and the POLISARIO, the national liberation movement in Western Sahara, reached a ceasefire agreement, sponsored by the UN, for the holding of a self-determination referendum in which the Sahrawi people will decide their fate. This referendum has not yet taken place; until November 13 this year the ceasefire agreement was still in force. What happened then in Western Sahara? The ceasefire agreement, within the framework of Military Agreement No. 1, established areas in which both Moroccan troops and those of POLISARIO could not enter. One...

Defend migrants, defend free movement, fight for socialism!

Look around the world. Look at EU migrants who have made the UK their home now wondering how long they can stay and on what terms, all under the threat of Brexit. If they want to stay, they will have to apply for “settled status”. 1.2 million UK citizens living in other EU member states face similar anxieties. There are 3.7 million non-UK EU citizens in the UK; about 6% of the population and 7% of the working population. Look just across the Channel — at Calais, which has long been a focus for migrants trying to reach the UK. Now that the French authorities have cleared out the migrant camps...

Morocco: freedom for political prisoners!

Ziyad M is a supporter of the Revolutionary Marxist Current of Morocco Freedom for all political prisoners in Morocco! In the jails of Morocco, political prisoners have been on hunger strike for more than sixty days. More than twenty political prisoners have undertaken a hunger strike, in spite of the media blackout levelled against them. Tarek Hammammi and Abdes-semad Haïdour, imprisoned in Taza, have been refusing food for more than sixty days. Hassan Koukou, Soufiane Sghéri, Mounir Aït Khafou and Hassan Ahmouch, who are being held in the Toulal 2 prison in Meknès are entering the fiftieth...

Morocco - questions for the Movement of 20 February, one year on

For more coverage of the Moroccan Movement of 20 February, see here On the 19 and 20 of February, on the first anniversary of the movement in Morocco, rallies and demonstrations took place in dozens of towns. To those who talk of the movement running out of steam after the departure of Al Adl Wal Ihsan [a hard-right Islamist movement which left the movement of 20 February in December 2011] or because of the difficulty of becoming a comprehensive and credible alternative, the streets have made a retort. One year on, although the movement has not won its demands, the determination is still there...

Morocco: crackdown against the Berbers

The new Islamist-controlled government in Morocco has been engaging in increased repression against the social movement which started last year under the name of the “20 February Movement”, as the Moroccan expression of the Arab Spring. In the Berber-speaking Rif region, this repression has been intense for several weeks, with housing demolitions, widespread use of tear gas and other weapons, with deaths and many injuries. Ziyad Mohammed, an activist of the Trotskyist group Revolutionary Marxist Current, spoke to Solidarity. The Rif region where al Hoceima is, it is a unique region...

Fight for women's rights in North Africa

On 10 March 16-year-old Amina Filali killed herself by swallowing rat poison. Amina had been badly beaten during a forced marriage to Mustapha Kellak, a man who had raped her. Although there have been some limited legal improvement in the position of women in Morocco, the state still allows a rapist to marry an underage victim as a way of avoiding prosecution. The law — known as Article 475 — says a “kidnapper” of a minor can marry his victim so that dishonour is not brought on her family. Legislation designed to outlaw all forms of violence against women, planned since 2006, has yet to appear...

Morocco: where rape brings dishonour... on women

On 18 March several hundred campaigners, led by the Democratic League for Women’s Rights, demonstrated outside Morocco’s parliament against a law which led 16-year old Amina Filali to kill herself. Article 475 of Morocco’s penal code allows rapists to marry the woman they rape, if she is a minor, to avoid prosecution and “restore her virtue”. After months in a violent marriage to a man who sexually assaulted her when she was 15, Amina took rat poison on 10 March. Protesters, including her parents, held signs saying, “The law has killed Amina”. Protests on the streets have been matched by an...

Islamists gain in Morocco's elections

The 25 November elections in Morocco were won by a soft-Islamist party, the Party for Justice and Development, which models itself on the ruling Turkish Islamist party. The runner-up was Istiqlal, a conservative monarchist party. The elections took place amidst intensifying protests. Much of the left participated in a boycott of the elections. The Moroccan opposition movement has been split between a liberal right wing, regrouping social democrats, nationalists and Islamists, with its base in the centre of the country and the capital Rabat; a left wing of Marxist parties, trade unionists and...

The workers, politics and the left in Morocco

Ziyad, from Courant Marxiste Révolutionnaire, Morocco, spoke to Ed Maltby. In Morocco, young people were influenced by what had happened in Tunisia, and also by the various calls coming from other so-called Arab countries, calling on people to demonstrate against dictators, for human rights. They initially came together around demands which stopped at a certain political ceiling: that is, minimal democratic demands. On 20 February people came out to demonstrate for social justice, against repression and against corruption. There were some so-called “theorists” of the Moroccan regime, who tried...

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