Tear gas in Tunis as workers call for “new revolution”

Tunisian police fired tear-gas on Aug. 15 as a rally called by the General Workers’ Union (UGTT) was joined by some 2,000 protesting the lack of political reform since the overthrow of president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January. The UGTT, which was the only legal trade union federation during Ben Ali’s 23-year rule, sought a demonstration “faithful to the souls of the martyrs [of January] and for the achievement of the aims of the revolution.” The legal rally demanded a “purge of corrupt judges and lawyers,” under the slogan “Free Tunisia, throw out the thieves.” But a hundreds-strong breakaway demonstration attempted to march on the interior ministry, and clashed with riot police who blocked the way. The breakaway marchers shouted “new revolution” and “the people want the system to fall,” while accusing the interior ministry of “terrorism.” (Middle East Online, July 15)

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