(www.teachersolidarity.com) Teachers in Tunisia were on strike last week along with thousands of young people and other trade unionists
The protests are about unemployment in a country with massive oil wealth, where the gap between rich and poor is widening and which has been praised as an economic success story by the International Monetary Fund (IMF). At least three Tunisians have been killed during the protests.
The struggles have now spread to neighbouring Algeria which has similar problems, where the governing class are enriching themselves at the expense of the poor and which also had a glowing report from the IMF in the autumn. Algeria is the sixth biggest exporter of natural gas.
The protests in both countries are being led by the young who are involved in continual clashes with the police – echoing the fury felt by many young people in Europe as they watch their futures threatened by the eoncomic crisis. Four Algerians have already been killed in the clashes. Columnist Fahmy Howeidi said (as reported in the website:http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=54067) “The revolution of the hungry and the deprived couldn’t be ignored any more…The message from Tunisia is that tyranny can extend the life of a regime but it cannot keep it alive forever. All Arab countries suffer similar conditions to the ones that started the Tunisian protests.”