Thousands Demonstrate in Rabat in Solidarity with Al Hoceima’s Social Grievances

Thousands of Moroccans staged Sunday a peaceful demonstration in downtown Rabat to express solidarity with Al Hoceima inhabitants’ social claims.
The protesters, between 15,000 (according to official numbers) and over 30,000 (according to the organizers), marched through the avenues of downtown Rabat, chanting slogans calling for meeting the social and economic demands of Al Hoceima’s inhabitants.
Tension in Al-Hoceima has been simmering since last October after the death of a fishmonger who was crushed inside a garbage truck while trying to retrieve fish confiscated by the police.
His death sparked the city inhabitants’ anger and triggered the largest protests in the North African country since the Arab Spring-inspired demonstrations in 2011, against rentier economy and abuse of power. As the protests sometimes turned violent, about one hundred individuals were arrested.
The protesters in the Rabat demonstration called on the authorities to heed the complaints and grievances of the inhabitants of Al Hoceima and to release the persons accused in the violence that tainted the demonstrations in the city.
They also blasted the government’s mismanagement of vital sectors such as health, employment, education and justice.
“Liberty”, “dignity’, “social justice” were among the recurrent slogans chanted by the demonstrators, while some of the banners urged to enshrine the principles of freedom and social justice and to fight corruption.
The call for the demonstration was launched by Al Adl wal Ihsan, a banned but tolerated Islamist association, small left-wing parties, and some human rights organizations.

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