A working class revolt has broken out in Tunisia. Trade unions, professional organisations and millions of poor and oppressed people have faced off with the armed thugs of dictator Ben Ali, and after weeks of protests, strikes and clashes he has been driven from power. The dictator fled to Saudi Arabia, but the people are still on the streets, demanding the complete destruction of his political party, the corrupt regime he and his family led, and the creation of a new and better Tunisia.
At this point events are moving very quickly and it is uncertain where the movement will go. There is no mass revolutionary socialist party in Tunisia, and there are a wide variety of demands being raised. Whether the movement will succeed in destroying the old state apparatus and establishing the political and social power of the working class remains to be seen. However, several things are clear. This is an inspiring uprising of the oppressed which demonstrates the power that the working masses have when they act collectively and without fear. The Tunisian uprising will send a shockwave throughout the Arab world, and already people in Egypt, Jordan and throughout the Middle East are demonstrating in solidarity with the Tunisian revolt, while also calling for a similar movement in their own country. Tyrants throughout the Arab world have reason to be afraid.
Another recent and very significant development is the emergence of splits in the police ranks. Thousands of policemen have joined the protests, and are marching through the streets wearing red armbands as a symbol that they have thrown their lot in with the people’s movement. State forces are now refusing to use violence against the demonstrators, and as the ability of the ruling class to command and exercise violence against its own people vanishes anything can become possible.
Nobody knows what will happen next in Tunisia, but what we know for sure is that the oppressed people of the world now have concrete proof that they do not need to shut up and put up with their oppression. Revolution is possible - revolution is necessary. Solidarity with Tunisia!
Below are a number of articles that shed some light on the situation in Tunisia.