Tendance Coatesy

Left Socialist Blog

Tunisia: March Against Terrorism, Without the Popular Front.

with 18 comments

World Social Forum, Tunis, Saturday: Against Terrorism.

Tunisia anti-terror march kicks off World Social Forum. Activists from around the globe honour victims of museum attack last week that left 21 people, mostly tourists, dead.”

Sunday: A demonstration against terrorism is being organised after the bloody attack at the Bardo Museum. Tens of thousands of people and foreign dignitaries, including French President Francois Hollande, are expected to participate.

Adapted from Libération.

People and organisations will gather from about 11:00 local time (1000 GMT) in Bab Saadoun. They will march to the front of the museum. This building, which houses an outstanding collection of mosaics, was the target of the March 18 attack that killed 22 people – 21 tourists and a policeman.

Prominent personalities, political figures and overseas guests will assemble at around 12:00 (11:00 GMT) with Tunisian President Beji Caid Essebsi over a hundred metres along the outside of the museum prior to inaugurating a monument to the memory of the victims.

“We must now show our patriotism” said Minister of Tourism Salma Elloumi Rekik on national television. The attack was “a heavy blow (…) but this time did not kill us, he made us stronger,” she assured.

 President Caid Essebsi called Wednesday on his countrymen to massively participate in the march “to express the strength of Tunisia” and “send a message abroad that Tunisia continues its fight against terrorism.”

Tunisia, the pioneer of the “Arab Spring”, despite its internal turmoil has completed its transition to democracy with elections in late 2014. But its stability could be threatened by the rise of Jihadist threat as well as the persistence of the economic and social problems that were the root of the 2011 revolution.

French President François Hollande will be present on the day that France holds the second round of the departmental (regional) elections. Polish and Palestinian presidents Bronislaw Komorowski and Mahmoud Abbas will take part in the march, as will Italian and Algerian Prime Minister Abdelmalek Sellal and Matteo Renzi and the Spanish and Dutch Ministers of Foreign Affairs, José Manuel Garcia-Margallo and Bert Koenders.

“From now on, everyone reacts after each terrorist attack as if the attack was carried out in their own country. This is new and it’s important, “said President Caid Essebsi to the French daily Ouest-France.

This march is reminiscent of the one organised in January by President Hollande after the attacks in Paris against the satirical weekly Charlie Hebdo, a policewoman and a kosher supermarket.

The Islamist Ennahda party, the second political force in the country in the present coalition government, has called on supporters to participate in the march “to express the unity of Tunisians face this danger and their determination to defend their homeland (… ) preserve their freedom. “

The powerful trade union federation, the UGTT has also invited its members to attend “en masse”.

But the Popular Front ( Front populaire) the left coalition and main opposition party, announced that he would not participate. It accused ‘certain participants’ in the march of “hypocrisy” –  a clear reference to Ennahda.

The spokesman of the Front, Hamma Hammami, said that the demonstration was  “a way to cover up  the issue of the responsibility (…) for the spread of terrorism.”

Many leftist policies accuse the Islamist party of having shown excessive tolerance towards the growing Jihadist groups when in power (late 2011-early 2014). They charge it with responsibility for, or complicity, in the murders in 2013 of two members of the Popular Front, Chokri Belaid Mohamed Brahmi.

Faced with these divisions, the daily La Presse spoke of “an absurd battle”, saying that “the world (…) expects that proves us to show  that we deserve their backing, and  the wave of solidarity that this event will demonstrate throughout today. “

The attack of March 18 was claimed by the Islamic State Group (EI). But the Tunisian Interior Ministry said the attack was led by a leader of the Falange Okba Ibn Nafaa, a group affiliated with Al Qaeda chased out by the army more than two years ago from in the mountains bordering Algeria.

The Bardo Museum, is preparing to resume normal activity. On Friday, it opened its doors to school pupils, students and members of delegations. It  intends to open its doors to the public on Monday.

More on the Front Populaire’s position:

The Popular Front leader Mohamed Jmour said his party refuses to participate in the walk on Sunday, if the parties involved in terrorism are involved.

He added in a statement Friday that components of the old troika (previous government) refuse to this day to take responsibility for what has happened in Tunisia.

Mohamed Jmour also expressed also his refusal to participate in an event side by side with French leaders who are still not apologised, according to his statements, to the Tunisians for all the harm done to them during the period of the protectorate.

African Manager.


18 Responses

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  1. the ultimate responsibility for the ‘spread of terrorism’ are the West, and in that region France in particular.
    more crocodile tears for those that dont deserve them, ie charlie hebdo,


    March 29, 2015 at 5:45 pm

  2. its worth listening to what this great man says:


    March 29, 2015 at 7:08 pm

  3. You must be trolling now. Surely?


    March 29, 2015 at 7:21 pm

  4. no i’m not. his views are not mine, but if lgbtq equality is valid, then so are the views of david duke. you can’t have it both ways. the british left has moved so far away from working class people and values, and so obsessed with rootless cosmopolitanism and fashionable minority issues ie legalizing drugs, lgbt issues and feminism. who gives a toss about trans issues? i do not wish them harm, but it is hardly something to go to war over, to silence bakers over etc is it?

    i suggest you read this, Israel Shamir’s ‘the tyranny of liberalism’.


    March 29, 2015 at 9:52 pm

  5. read this about this northern Irish baker persecuted for following his beliefs. why dont you stand up for him and his rights? or do you not care about normal working class people such as him? this story also proves that the ruling class is behind lgbtq, not the working class.



    March 29, 2015 at 9:55 pm

  6. Your sources: the Daily Express (a paper which pumps out xenophobic headlines like “Keep Out: Britain is Full Up” and UKIP propaganda on a daily basis), and a notorious anti-Semite. Then you use a phrase which was *in both Nazi Germany and the Soviet Union* a notorious euphemism for anti-Semitism …

    It is obvious that you don’t feel any kinship to the *whole* of the British working class, any more than The Sun does. Only those parts which are politically convenient for you. No different from Murdoch, even if he supports different parts of that class for his own convenience.


    March 29, 2015 at 10:22 pm

  7. david duke? david “White people don’t need a law against rape, but if you fill this room up with your normal black bucks, you would, because niggers are basically primitive animals.” Duke , the neo nazis sure are out of the woodwork in the comment section


    March 29, 2015 at 11:09 pm

  8. oh, dear, i think we have a right wing resurgence.
    still, the WSF have clearly distanced themselves from islamo fascism.
    we need to support things such as one law for all, as well as secular humanist projects such as ‘everybody draw Mohammed day’.



    March 29, 2015 at 11:12 pm

  9. There – a drawing of Mo

    . .

  10. and we need to go further, and in my opinion link up with non marxist humanists such as Richard Dawkins. marxism is atheist, materialist and humanist at core.

    dave did bring up an issue in his video about the left and paedophilia, altho he approaches from a wrong direction. ie a fascist one.

    the CPGB Weekly Worker also believes in abolishing age of consent laws, and there was a debate about in LU i believe, and the ultra leftist spartacist have the position of ‘ state out of the bedroom’ and want to abolish age of consent laws.

    what is the AWL/Tendance view on this?


    March 30, 2015 at 12:01 am

  11. Blinking really hard here. So we’re on the Bardo massacre … and Dave is bringing up deh gayz? I mean, I know we’re all fabulous but this is WAY too much attention.

    Nurse! Dave sez some bloke is eyeing up his botty even as I type. And he’s quoting fascists Israel Shamir and David Duke at volume.

    It’s the FEMA camp for you Dave where we’ll inject you with chemtrails ….

    {exits to manic gay laughter}

    Paul Canning

    March 30, 2015 at 12:22 am

  12. But Bardo was *caused* by those gayzz in that Franceland where it’s compulsory and that. The stereotypical Frenchman only keeps a mistress as a beard for his flagrant and flamboyant gaying.

    I’m going off for a glitter-shower now. Toodle-oodle-looooooo

  13. Southpaw Punch supporting ISIS, Dave supporting the KKK: bloody hell. Andrew: like you I’m generally in favour of a liberal BTL comments policy, but don’t you think the time has come to exclude some of these far-right loonies?

    Jim Denham

    March 30, 2015 at 8:43 am

  14. On the plus side – letting the far right in generates a lot of comments. On the minus side – they’re almost never about the subject under discussion. Not that I’d expect the Western far right to have much to say about the complexities of Tunisian domestic politics…


    March 30, 2015 at 9:56 am

  15. The links are closer to home, Redkorat >

    22 January 2012
    ‘Homosexual panic’ grips Tunisian politics


    “The alleged video of Ali Larayedh from his time in prison was posted shortly after an announcement by the Tunisian government that three arrest warrants had been issued for senior officials at the Ministry of the Interior. Tarek, Tunisian Editor for Gay Middle East notes that “the security forces of Tunisia have largely remained intact since the time of Ben-Ali and thus many of its personnel are potentially hostile to the Ennahda party.” In other words, the video may have been leaked by someone in the Ministry of the Interior, or perhaps former a high-ranking police officer, wishing to undermine Ali Larayedh by further inciting public opinion using a tactic dubbed “porno politics” by Tunisian activist Ahmed Manaï. According Manaï’s book, book, “Tunisian Torture: The Secret Garden of General Ben Ali”, tactics to discredit political opponents through exposing sexual scandals, and in particular homosexual ones were used by the deposed Tunisian dictator Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali, during the early 1990s.

    The background to this scandal is important to note. Two days before this incident (16.1.12) Naji Behiri, the brother of the Tunisian Minister of Justice, Noureddine Behiri, was released from prison under presidential amnesty, despite allegation from his hometown that he raped a young boy. Tarek attests: “A wave of public anger erupted across the nation accusing Ennahda party of being at league with homosexuals and paedophiles, terms that were used interchangeably. Highly homophobic comments were posted on related news articles and throughout the social networking sites, mostly asking that Naji Behiri remains in prison and tried and punished for sodomy. Conspiracy theories of homosexual corruption and cover up within the Ennahda party have become commonplace.”

    These two scandals have ignited a kind of “homosexual panic” according to Tarek. Many people have been voicing their opinions that the Interior Minister should resign as his behaviour contradicts Islamic values while others even called for him to be indicted for violating Article 230 of the Tunisian penal code that punishes homosexual acts between consenting adults with up to three years imprisonment. Public discourse has been saturated with conspiracy theories that the ruling party is rife with homosexuals, protecting gays/paedophiles or failing to protect Tunisia from a homosexual epidemic. Mocking satires such Ennahda is a “fag” party, “they are all shaz (fags in arabic) in Ennahda”, are “quite commonly heard in the streets of Tunisia” stated Tarek, “often conflating the terms ‘paedophilia’, ‘homosexuality’, ‘sodomy’ and ‘Islamists’ intentionally.” The picture to the left, spread via Facebook, depicts two veiled women are portrayed kissing, while on the right it reads: “Legal fags/Haraam fags” with the logo of the Ennahda party below.”

    Paul Canning

    March 30, 2015 at 1:51 pm

  16. Background on Tunisian left, and the Front Populaire:

    Normalization” underway in Tunisia
    Friday 27 March 2015, by Dominique Lerouge

    There’s lot to digest in the article but this is importan for the above post,

    “About the new government, a few comments from the Tunisian left

    – The press release of the Ligue de la gauche ouvrière (Workers’ Left League – LGO) of December 28, 2014: “The Ligue de la gauche ouvrière (LGO) refuses to participate in the government of the parliamentary majority, not only because of the alliance scheduled between Ennahdha and Nidaa Tounes with the participation of the Islamists in the government, but especially in terms of rejection of the economic and social program hostile to the interests of the broad masses as was found in the disastrous budget recently adopted by the Assembly. The Ligue de la gauche ouvrière refused to grant its confidence in the expected governmental composition because its program and its components will only work to restore the old regime in its major choices and orientations. The LGO calls upon the members of the Front populaire to move away from the logic of the imaginary political polarization between Nidaa Tounes and Ennahda within and outside of Parliament”.

    – Hamma Hammami (Parti des travailleurs (Workers’ Party) and spokesperson of the Front populaire (Popular Front)): “Some people accused in cases of terrorism and assassinations are part of the Essid government Essid. Activism continues in order to reveal the truth around the assassination of Chokri Belaid and Mohamed Brahimi, as well as the truth concerning the affairs of terrorism and the martyrs of the revolution”.


    Andrew Coates

    March 30, 2015 at 5:26 pm

  17. Thanks Paul. That all sounds a bit like what happened to Anwar Ibrahim the Malaysian opposition leader.

    redkorat☭ (@red_korat)

    March 30, 2015 at 8:55 pm

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