2011 actually started on December 17, 2010 although none of us knew it at the time. On that provident day a fruit peddler in Tunisia decided that he was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. In the year since then, his sentiment has been echoed by millions around the globe in the greatest show of people power that we have seen in more than 40 years.
Mohamed Bouazizi, who could find no other work and took to selling fruits and vegetables, had grown tired of the police harassment. When his complaints to city hall went unanswered, he doused himself with gasoline and lit a fire that is blazing still.
Had his act of defiance happened in any earlier epoch, it most likely would have gained little notice outside of word of mouth, but we now live in an age when word of mouth spans the globe. We have the technology, even in North Africa.
So news of his defiance spread throughout Tunisia in a flash and the people rose up to demand justice from the government. Then, via WikiLeaks, the Tunisian people found out just how corrupt their government really was and started to demand an end to the 20 year rule of Ben Ali. When they did this, their struggle took a revolutionary turn.
This is an account that was passed on to me by a friend’s friend.
Please help get this published/share/circulate. This person said it best: Talk to your friends, family, colleagues, neighbors, facebook friends and everyone else, about what is going on.
A friend of mine lives in Libya and has been in the center of the area where Gaddafi’s regime is brutally cracking down on protesters against the government. There are reports of hundreds, maybe thousands, of casualties. I’m going to post here excerpts from his emails from the last few days:
Please note, his identity is confidential as he is living with his family in a very dangerous situation – in a place where govt hired mercenaries are all over the streets shooting in the head and neck anyone and everyone they see, often randomly.
This Day in Cable History. (May 12th 1986. Madrid)
QADHAFI RETALIATES AGAINST SPANISH EXPULSIONS.LIBYA MAY 12 RESPONDED TO FRIDAY'S EXPULSION OF ITS CONSUL GENERAL, CHARGED WITH PASSING FUNDS TO A SPANISH ARMY COLONEL ON THE ANTI-DEMOCRATIC RIGHT, BY PNG'ING THE SPANISH COMMERCIAL AND CULTURAL COUNSELORS IN TRIPOLI. MFA'S SUBDIRECTOR GENERAL FOR NORTH AFRICA TELLS US THAT THE GOS WILL NOT RETALIATE SPECIFICALLY FOR THESE EXPULSIONS; AS INVESTIGATIONS CONTINUE INTO THE LIBYAN ACTIVITIES HERE, HOWEVER, MORE EXPULSIONS ARE QUITE POSSIBLE.
This Cable, written on a Monday afternoon in 1986 describes some of the "realpolitik" between Spain and Libya at the time. Further, this cable was written 27 days after the United States bombed Tripoli and surrounding military bases. Though QADHAFI and his administration were not an innocent party to the events leading up to the raid; the raid-bombing itself was condemned by many countries.
By a vote of 79 in favor to 28 against with 33 abstentions: