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Entries in February 20 Movement (4)


Morocco Feature: The Rise and Fall of the February 20 Movement (Benchemsi)

Mass protest over unemployment, 20 January 2012

Seen from afar, Morocco’s 2011 events are the pitch-perfect tale of popular protests with a happy ending: after huge pro-democracy demonstrations broke out, the government complied without firing a bullet and a reformed Constitution was approved by popular referendum. Then the street movement gracefully faded, giving way to change in the polls: a few months later, free elections resulted in a severe defeat of the incumbent government and the spectacular rise of a fresh political party—one that was never associated to government before.

Yet this rosy narrative, though built on real facts, doesn’t quite reflect the reality. In truth, what happened in Morocco in 2011 was a war of position and speed involving underground activists, maverick political groups, and a subtly resilient royal administration. It was also a conflict of generations, pitting twenty-something wholehearted newcomers against old school, wily politicians. Finally, it was a case study of political tactics and stratagems—ones that made the national balance of powers shift twice in a year.

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Morocco Analysis: Why Did the Moroccan Uprising Not Rise? (El Amrani)

Protest in Tétouan, 26 June 2011

There are cautionary tales in the Arab uprisings, as Syria has shown: not every revolution can be as successful as Tunisia's, not every aftermath is rosy. And then there are also questions raised about those places where revolution did not take place. Was it averted because there is wise and popular government, or has some kind of social shock merely been postponed?

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Morocco Analysis: Where are the Women in the New Government?

While there is much that could be said about this new government, including the fact that it is based on a historically unprecedented coalition between the socialist PPS and the Islamist PJD, one noteworthy aspect has received much attention. This is the fact that the new government only includes one woman minister in a cabinet of thirty. This is a sharp drop compared to the recent past, when governments formed by other parties had between two and seven women ministers.

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Syria, Yemen (and Beyond) LiveBlog: Defiance and "Reforms"

1620 GMT: Claimed footage of a demonstration in Homs in Syria today:

See also Syria Video Special: The Latest from Friday's Protests

1510 GMT: Bahrain's Minister of Justice has said it has "taken the necessary legal procedures in order to lift the ban" on the Wa'ad Party after the opposition group "expressed keenness to promote security, stability, and national unity and take part in the comprehensive National Consensus Dialogue due to start on July 1".

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