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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Thousands protesting in Morocco

From Al Arabiya:
Thousands of people took to the streets in several Moroccan cities to demand that King Mohammad VI give some of his powers, dissolve the government and parliament, fight corruption and give more rights to the country’s indigenous Amazigh people.

Some people in the crowd were waving Tunisian and Egyptian flags in recognition of the popular uprisings that overthrew the two countries' presidents.
A protest organizer said there were more than 5,000 participants while a police officer told Reuters there were fewer than 3,000 people at the protest in Rabat.

Uniformed police kept their distance from the protest, which began in the central Bab El Ahad area, but plain-clothes officers with notebooks mingled with the crowd, amid chants of "The people reject a constitution made for slaves!" and "Down with autocracy!"

Some called on Prime Minister Abbas El Fassi to leave but placards and slogans made no direct attacks on the king.

Analysts say Morocco, with a widely respected reformist monarch and growing economy, is one of the Arab countries least likely to succumb to the wave of protests sweeping the region.

"This is a peaceful protest to push for constitutional reform, restore dignity and end graft and the plundering of public funds," said Mustapha Muchtati of the Baraka (Enough) group, which helped organize the march.
It is interesting that each Arab country has different grievances against their leaders, even though they all invoke Tunisia and Egypt.