Mohamed Amine Belarbi
Saturday, March 5, 2011
What after the 20th February protests?
The 20th February protests are now part of something commonly called ‘the past’, yet, we shouldn’t believe that with the end of the unrest, all the claims and appeals made during that day are to be forgotten.
Even though being criticized –and I was one of those who affirmed their partial refusal to the protests in my previous post- and widely accused of treason and anarchy, the lessons to grab from these recent events are valuable and raise to the level of national security concerns.
The people, even if they did not agree upon the way to demonstrate their disapproval of the country’s management, are all standing in the same front line when it comes to the necessity of taking action and imposing reforms on a falling government led by several imperialistic families.
A change is needed and there is no way to fool people with empty promises of a better future because the first and last warning has been issued by all Moroccans in a common call for social justice and government’s organs reorganization.
Now the urgent matter to deal with is the way to achieve these hoped for improvements and to reach a global consensus among the community on the way to handle a revolutionary but peaceful transition, a transition from a corrupted governmental structure to a democratic and transparent Morocco where every citizen can live with dignity and pursue his own happiness quest.
Let us move away from the superficial and backward approach to the change in Morocco which showed to be the most common currency among Moroccan youths these days: Defamation!
We’ve witnessed dozens of YouTube videos made by individuals, whether to support or attack the protests, and where the only content can be resumed in mutual hatred and underestimation, reaching sometimes more extreme tendencies such as cursing and insulting each other’s opinions and private life. Even if YouTube uploads by Moroccans on the recent events in the country have shown to what extent we are fond of destruction more than finding realistic solutions –with all due respect to several professional and wise videos-, it is not an exclusive phenomena to a particular platform, but it is a general wave across all the social networks, especially Facebook where pro and anti- protests groups grow like mushrooms.
I joined these groups, both anti and pro-demonstrations, and my observations were almost all the same: insults, stigmatization, exposure of private life of the 20th February protests members… and my answer to them was as follow:
‘This is not a way to show your discontentment about the protests. Stigmatization against your fellow brothers will not lead to a solution; rather it is worsening the ties between individuals among a same society. Maybe the protests should not happen, but this is not an excuse to curse each other’s and assume that the ones who are going to join the protests are assholes and gays. try instead to argue about why this should not happen and be logical in your approach, otherwise, you are just wasting your time saying nonsense. This is an advice to all the group so outside observers do not comment on such a behavior and take it as a justification to fuel hate between Moroccans. We are brothers after all, and nobody is prevented from doing wrong things, advising them and initiating debates with them is way more constructive than just throwing insults.'
Continuing to adopt such a behavior is the essence of wasting all efforts for a potential global reform of our country, since instead of making positive comments with the aim of proposing solutions, practical changes and reviews of our national policy, we are currently shouting at each other and making foreigners laugh at us.
We need to lay down the areas which suffer corruption and lack of professionalism in front of the authorities, point clearly to the social and governmental diseases and state what are our proposals and the way we want to contribute in curing them. This is the only way to perform a gradual evolution in the core part of our national system and claim highly that we didn’t miss the Arab train of revolution because we had our own, not through rebellion and causalities in the streets, but through a wise, responsible, patriotic and effective approach to what matters to us, the welfare of our nation.
Even if the social media platforms haven’t witnessed yet the rush of people to propose and discuss reforms strategies and future development plans in a global scale, yet the situation on the ground have seen several movements and waves of changes which respond to the citizen need and claims.
The main response to the protests and one of the first glimpses of change has been the rumors floating in the streets of Morocco about the imminent cabinet shuffle. The potential appointment of Mustapha Tarab as new prime minister might give a strong signal to the Moroccans that their voices are being taken into account and that the regime is ready to observe people requests and proceed them whenever possible, the only question is: Is this a false flag or a real political willingness to get over the dark ages of the past?
Also the second good news came with the appointment of Driss El Yazami and Mohammed Sebbar respectively president and secretary general of the National Council of Human Rights. Knowing the major role of the institution in healing the wounds of the past and assuring the respect of human rights across the country without omitting the prosecution of the one’s responsible of violations of people’s constitutional rights.
This is a major step since this council has a lot to play in the foreign policy strategy and the national main cause which is the Sahara. The Gdim Izik camps protests, which have been legitimate demonstrations for social justice, have been badly monitored by local authorities that it gave a chance to separatists to take over and justify the attacks against public properties as normal response to police forces intervention. The heads of these authorities should be brought to the court as human rights violators, because not only are they attacking peoples’ right to demonstrate, but because they are gambling with our primary dossier and they are putting at risk the inter relations between Moroccans and Sahrawis because of the lack of professionalism and the heavy presence of corruption in managing local affairs.
Stopping the wave of change at this point by the two previous signals is the biggest offense the state might commit against its people, who, we know well, won’t address another peaceful warning to the authorities but would rather enforce better standards through a violent uprising.
Many, if not all, sectors of the social order need urgent and impartial reform, from the falling apart national school system which worsen years after years and which promotes the education boycott among the working class, to the healthcare system where all the cruelty and stupidity of the Moroccan policy has been thrown, like garbage, accompanied with health and medical security of the citizen, all in a crappy hole of neglect and carelessness.
The story continues with the so called public offices and which the people best qualify as ‘Hell’, institutions made to serve people’s interests and simplify administrative ‘adventures’, but turned to be capitalistic factories where everyone extracts as much money as he can from the oppressed customers who suffer furious attacks on their dignity and honor and animal treatment.
Poverty: Morocco is ranked 114 by the United Nations out of 169 countries, while in our community; you can find ones of the richest people on Earth, across the entire hierarchy spectrum, starting from the top with the King Mohamed VI who is ranked by Forbes number 7 among the wealthiest monarchies in the world, estimating his fortune greater than the Queen of England and the king of Qatar! Without mentioning the other “royal families”: Fassi Fihri, Bennani, Bennis, Ben…Ben…This only contrast arise hundreds of questions, and leaves us in a total confusion on what is the real direction the countries’ resources take, the pockets where it is poured and the banks where it is stored?
Corruption, unemployment, social injustice, favoritism,…and more inhabit the daily life of the ‘normal Moroccan’, and if we have to speak about all the infectious viruses which float in our country’s atmosphere, we will end with an encyclopedia way thicker than the Oxford Dictionary.
The necessity to go ahead with reforms is out of discussion, but what about the ones to lead this evolution, the Moroccans themselves, are they ready to take over the leadership role and work for their interest throughout the nation’s development? Will the love of stagnation and laziness impede and hinder the great leap Morocco needs? This is the most important dilemma in the path of change: Yes for development, No for work!
I came across an article talking about the change in Morocco, and this paragraph from Khadijah Berr might resume the internal conflict the Moroccan society is suffering in its way to achieve the hoped advance:
‘I believe that all Moroccan people, particularly the children, deserve to feel a sense of pride in in their heritage instead of placing the value stamp on all things French or American. Additionally, Moroccan people deserve to feel valued within their own society. Why do we settle for less? Even down to the products we buy, we are always being given second rate. I am disturbed that given the grim circumstances of the majority of Moroccans and the world wide awakening to the fact that The People deserve better, that Morocco might just indeed sleep through this epic time in history and come out the other side unchanged. Why? Is it because they truly don't know that they deserve better or that most of the people don't have access to information being that they are indeed illiterate? Or if they do have access/education do they lack the ability to comprehend once information is presented to them? Is it fear of oppression or years of brainwashing? Is it because they are so downtrodden for so many years that the effort is literally too much to bear? I respect the fact that the Moroccan situation is better than it was under the desperation of previous rulership, but have the steps forward in recent years been enough? As a friend of mine so eloquently put it, now is the time for under developed countries to act, because if they don't the door of opportunity might be closed forever. As a nation, we need to wake up and realize that we can do better.’