“If you’re back, we’re back”, that’s how protesters at the Kasbah 2 suspended their sit-in, referring to the interim government, those against the revolution and pro-Ben Ali’s people.
And now they’re back! Kasbah 3 kicks start on July 15th. The date has been long called for on social networking sites. Observers may’ve noticed the following hash tags: #Jul8 and #Jul15 and seems like Egypt took the first step this time on July 8th in having protesters gather in Tahrir square once again.
First day of the long waited (for some) Tunisian sit-in didn’t go as peaceful as it was advocated for; many people judged it: a failure.
The Kasbah square witnessed a massive presence of police and public security forces since the morning. According to protesters, people started to gather around 1:30 pm (around Friday prayer’s time), the couple of hundreds of people there were manifesting peacefully, the shouted slogans were peaceful as well, and there was no need for the violent intervention of the police.
A lot of people used the Kasbah mosque nearby as a shelter to hide from the police, yet the corrupted police continued throwing the tear gas bombs inside causing a state of panic and chock, several older people to pass out. Everyone was so angry at the attack on the holiness of the mosque.
Police violence hasn’t stopped from 1 pm till around 6pm on July 15th, tear gas bombs still being fired. One of the political party’s leaders Abd Wahab Heni who supported the amendments of Kasbah 3 was spotted and attacked. He declared later his willingness to fill a lawsuit the Minister of Interior after getting a medical checkup.
Several journalists were attacked as well when attempting to cover the sit-in. sarcastically; the general directors of the public security declared that journalists should’ve stayed behind the police lines and cover the events from there since it’s difficult to make the difference in moments of attack.
The National Syndicate of Tunisian Journalists declared that it filed a law suit against the minister of interior and that is taking a number of measures to denounce the attacks on the freedom of press.
Mehrez Harzalli, one of the policemen, joined the protesters’ crowed, dressed in his uniform and lifting a sign saying “Long live the people” got suspended of work and is now waiting for the disciplinary board’s judgment for attacking the image of the Ministry of Interior with his actions as they say!
It should be noted that protesters arrived on July 15th with almost 3000 roses that they distributed on the present police officers.
The Minister of Interior issued a statement declaring that the police presence aimed at protecting the shops nearby in the Medina (saving the country’s economy) and added that they regret that he was harmed and said it was difficult to distinguish between political leaders and the protesters.
Cherif Masmoudi, a blogger, wrote on a facebook note describing what he witnessed near Kasbah square; a taxi driver giving one of the young people a bag full with rocks! This suggests that old wicked games of the minister of interior haven’t changed at all.
One of the conclusions that I think is the most approved is that the attack on the mosque is made to provoke the people in an attempt to create general disorder that would lead to postponing the Constitutional Assembly elections on October 23rd.
The next day, police still banning protesters from reaching Kasbah square, local protests in several Tunisian cities took place today; some of them were quite violent causing injuries in both lines. Updates I’ve got on my twitter’s time line indicated burning of some police offices and attacks on policemen.
Helicopter in the sky, curfew is imposed on some districts and live ammunition reported to be used bringing brutal scenes back from before January 14th.
Demands of the protesters are:
- Restructuring of the High Commission for the Protection of the Revolution
- The need to involve young people
- Dismissal of Minister of Justice and Interior
- Independence of the judiciary
- Accounting killers martyrs and symbols of corruption
- Activation of the general legislative amnesty
- Stick to the date of election: October 23rd