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ILC Communiqué on Uprising in Tunisia

ILC Communiqué on Uprising in Tunisia

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Published by B. Ross Ashley
Statement by the ILC Co-ordinators on the proletarian and popular uprising against the ben Ali government in Tunisia.
Statement by the ILC Co-ordinators on the proletarian and popular uprising against the ben Ali government in Tunisia.

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Published by: B. Ross Ashley on Jan 13, 2011
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INTERNATIONAL LIAISON COMMITTEEP.O. Box 40009, San Francisco, CA 94140Tel. (415) 641-8616; fax: (415) 626-1217email: ilcinfo@earthlink.netwebsite: www.owcinfo.org----------International Liaison Committee of Workers and PeoplesUrgent CommuniquéJanuary 13, 2011The International Liaison Committee of Workers and Peoples (ILC) condemns the repression against the youth, workers and people of Tunisia, who have risen up against oppression, the high cost of living, and corruption.The ILC sends its support to the workers, youth and people of Tunisia and their organizations, particularly the GeneralUnion of Tunisian Workers (UGTT), which has spearheaded the mobilization.The ILC calls on the labor movement and workers' organizations worldwide to express their solidarity with the workers,youth and people of Tunisia, and to demand an end to the brutal repression.The bloody and corrupt regime of dictator Ben Ali, supported by the European Union and the IMF, has faithfully appliedtheir plans and dictates in the context of the Association with the European Union, to be completed in 2011, which aims tomake Tunisia a "free trade" zone.Immersed in misery, without any perspective, the youth and working class of Tunisia, reclaiming their unions for struggle,are rising up across the country to defend their very right to exist.During several days, union activists of the UGTT have been killed under the bullets of police repression. Men and womenunited, workers, youth, lawyers, artists, academics ... hundreds have been injured, beaten, jailed.Spontaneously in dozens of cities, the population went to the local headquarters of the UGTT to express their opposition toBen Ali. For the first time in 25 years, one can hear the chants in the Tunisian demonstrations of "Down with Ben Ali!"The police repression has been systematic. At Kasserin and Thala dozens of people have been killed. Police snipers havesown panic in the demonstrations.In Tunis, trade unionists were reading to leave their union's headquarters to take to the streets, but they were soon driven back by police tear gas.On Sunday, January 9, the UGTT local affiliate in Sfax issued a call for a regional general strike. With only a fewexceptions (hospitals and many bakeries), the strike was followed 100%. In Sfax, 30,000 workers and youths demonstratedin the streets. A Jenduba on January 12, there were 12,000 people demonstrating in a city of 30,000 inhabitants.The mobilizations are sweeping every corner of the country, including the suburbs of Tunis itself. In several cities the policewere forced to retreat or withdraw in the face of the relentless population. The curfew in the greater Tunis metropolitan areahas been largely ignored as the protests continue to swell.In the south, particularly in Kasserin, hundreds demonstrated, appropriating the city buses to travel to Thala, where theyviolated the 22-out-of-24 hour curfew and forced the police to withdraw back to their stations.The government-run television channel, a mouthpiece for the propaganda of General Ben Ali, filmed scenes of looting,staged by the police in civilian clothing who infiltrated the demonstrations, to justify the repression.But in Thala, Kasserin and Sidi Bouzid, the youth set up Neighborhood Committees to organize their marches and expel the provocateurs from their mass protests.Last week, on several occasions members of the military brandished their weapons against the Public Order Brigades after the people took refuge behind these brigades. The movement is so deep it has caused the dismissal of the General Staff of the Army.

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