Arab-Berber unity in Morocco protests

Protests continue for a second week in Morocco's neglected Rif region which has been shaken by unrest since death of a fish-monger at hands of police last year. More leaders of the al-Hirak al-Shaabi, or "Popular Movement," were detained by police in the flashpoint town of al-Hoceima, but protests also spread to cities throughout the country. On June 11, thousands took to the streets of the capital Rabat to demand release of the detained activists. Chants included "Free the prisoners!" and "We are all Apaches!"—a reference to an insult the late King Hassan II aimed at the people of Rif, who are mainly Berbers. The Rif was at the heart of the Arab Spring-inspired protests in Morocco in February 2011, which prompted a constitutional reform and greater cultural rights for the Berber people. (Irish Times, June 12; Middle East Online, Middle East Eye, June 11)

Videos of the new protests on AJ+ show the Berber flag in many images, in presumably mxed Arab-Berber marches, with participants chanting "No to militarization!," "We are all activists, catch us all!" and "Peaceful, peaceful! No stone, no knife!" 

  1. Morocco: political blow to cannabis legalization effort

    Morroco has long been the world's leading cannabis producer, but the conservative monarchy has managed to keep any talk of legalization out of political discourse—until last year, when the country's biggest opposition party submitted a bill in parliament to at least allow cultivation for medicinal and industrial purposes. Now that effort has been dealt a setback, with the sudden resignation of Ilyas El-Omari as head of the Authenticity and Modernity Party—forced to step down over the violence shaking his Rif region.

    See full story at Global Ganja Report