The 2011 uprising in Tunisia

Tunisian regime deploys army as protests spread 10 years after Arab Spring

By Alex Lantier, 19 January 2021

Ten years after revolutionary uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt, explosive anger is building in working-class districts across North Africa amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

General strike of 700,000 public sector workers shakes Tunisia

By Johannes Stern, 18 January 2019

Eight years after the ouster of Tunisian dictator Ben Ali in 2011, renewed mass struggles are erupting.

Thousands march to mark anniversary of Ben Ali’s overthrow in Tunisia

By Alex Lantier and Kumaran Ira, 15 January 2018

The new wave of protests was prompted by anger over mass unemployment, corruption and the 2018 finance law.

Mass protests against unemployment shake Tunisian regime

By Alex Lantier, 12 January 2018

Protests against unemployment and the 2018 austerity budget in the industrial heartlands of southern Tunisia are now spreading across the country.

France gives €1 billion aid to Tunisia in bid to halt mass protests over jobs

By Kumaran Ira, 26 January 2016

Amid growing social unrest, Washington and Paris are boosting military aid to Tunisia to prepare to suppress social opposition in the working class.

Mass protests against unemployment erupt across Tunisia

By Alex Lantier, 23 January 2016

None of the grievances that drove the working class into revolutionary struggle five years ago against first Ben Ali in Tunisia, then Mubarak in Egypt, have been resolved.

Former Ben Ali official wins the first round of Tunisian presidential elections

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 19 December 2014

The coming to power of Nidaa Tounes represents an attempt to restore the old Ben Ali regime that the working class toppled in revolutionary struggles nearly four years ago.

Egyptian dictator al-Sisi signs military, economic deals in Paris

By Kumaran Ira, 3 December 2014

The Socialist Party government warmly welcomed Egyptian military dictator al-Sisi.

Tunisian political parties organize “national dialogue”

By Antoine Lerougetel and Johannes Stern, 15 October 2013

The Tunisian ruling elite is desperately seeking a way out of a deepening political and economic crisis.

Tunisian opposition seizes on Brahmi’s murder to push for Egypt-style coup

By Kumaran Ira, 27 July 2013

Opposition leader Mohamed Brahmi was killed outside his home in Tunis by unidentified attackers.

New prime minister in Tunisia

By Antoine Lerougetel, 25 February 2013

The bourgeois media is seeking to endow ex-Prime Minister Hamad Jebali with democratic credentials, despite his role in betraying the aspirations of the workers and youth who overthrew the dictator Ben Ali and repressing social protests.

General strike, mass protests shake US-backed Islamist regime in Tunisia

By Barry Grey, 9 February 2013

The current political eruption in Tunisia, the most widespread since the events of late 2010 and early 2011, occurs just days before the second anniversary of the fall of US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak in Egypt.

Murder of secular politician sparks mass protests in Tunisia

By Antoine Lerougetel, 8 February 2013

Mass protests and attacks on the ruling Islamist Ennahda party offices broke out throughout Tunisia after the assassination of a prominent Tunisian secular politician

Tunisian UGTT union calls off one-day national strike against Islamists

By Antoine Lerougetel and Alex Lantier, 19 December 2012

At the last minute, the UGTT union called off a one-day national strike called against the assault by Islamist thugs on UGTT members.

Islamist thugs attack Tunisian unemployed workers’ protest in Sidi Bouzid

By Antoine Lerougetel, 29 August 2012

Police stood aside last week as hundreds of Salafist thugs attacked workers and youth in Sidi Bouzid, the starting point of the Tunisian Revolution and the Arab Spring.

Strikes and protests sweep Tunisia

By Jean Shaoul, 17 August 2012

On Tuesday, several thousand workers demonstrated in Sidi Bouzid.

Tunisian ruling seeks to exonerate Ben Ali police officials

By Anthony Torres, 27 June 2012

On June 14 former President Ben Ali, along with 22 Interior Ministry officials, stood trial of for the massacres in Thala and Kasserine during the Tunisian revolution.

The Egyptian revolution and the struggle for workers’ power

By Johannes Stern, 16 February 2012

The failure of strike calls by petty-bourgeois “left” parties in Egypt highlights the need for an independent political struggle by the working class with the aim of taking power and establishing socialism.

Egyptians protest in lead-up to anniversary of Mubarak’s ouster

By Alex Lantier, 11 February 2012

Thousands marched in Cairo, Alexandria, and other cities against the US-backed Egyptian military junta yesterday.

One year of the Egyptian Revolution

By Alex Lantier, 25 January 2012

One year ago today, millions of workers in cities throughout Egypt took to the streets on the first day of revolutionary protests against President Hosni Mubarak.

Protests in Tunisia greet one-year anniversary of Ben Ali’s overthrow

By Alex Lantier, 16 January 2012

Saturday marked the one-year anniversary of Tunisian President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali’s ignominious flight from Tunisia to exile in Saudi Arabia.

Tunisia delays forming government amid a new wave of strikes

By Kumaran Ira, 15 November 2011

Rising strikes in Tunisia underscore continuing popular opposition to the political establishment, which has still not succeeded in assembling a government after the latest elections.

Islamists claim victory in Tunisia’s Constituent Assembly elections

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 28 October 2011

Tunisia held elections Sunday to elect a 217-member Constituent Assembly, tasked with drafting a new constitution after mass protests toppled President Ben Ali this January.

Tunisians distrust upcoming Constituent Assembly election

By Kumaran Ira, 17 October 2011

The Constituent Assembly election in Tunisia, slated to draft a new constitution, is scheduled for October 23.

Political tasks of the Egyptian Revolution

By Johannes Stern, 13 September 2011

In recent days a new wave of strikes and protests against the US-backed military junta has swept over Egypt.

Mass protests in Egypt against US-backed military junta

By Johannes Stern, 10 September 2011

Egyptian workers and youth mounted mass protests in cities across Egypt yesterday, after a new wave of strikes swept the country in recent days. In Cairo tens of thousands of protesters gathered in iconic Tahrir Square, one of the epicenters of the Egyptian revolution.

Tunisian interim government faces widespread opposition

By Kumaran Ira, 25 August 2011

Anti-government protests took place across Tunisia on August 15. Thousands of Tunisians participated, denouncing the interim government and calling for its resignation.

Low voter registration for the Tunisian Constituent Assembly elections

By Antoine Lerougetel, 10 August 2011

The lack of popular interest in the Constituent Assembly elections is a devastating verdict on the Tunisian Transitional Government’s attempts to give itself a veneer of pseudo-democratic legitimacy.

Israeli protest movement sparks mass strikes

By Jean Shaoul, 3 August 2011

Over 100,000 Israeli municipal workers took strike action on Monday in a show of solidarity with the nationwide tent city protests against the exorbitant cost of housing.

Egyptian military junta attacks sit-in on Tahrir Square

By Johannes Stern, 2 August 2011

Yesterday the Egyptian military and security forces attacked protesters on Tahrir Square in Cairo to clear it and bring protests to a halt.

Syrian regime cracks down on protests

By Niall Green, 2 August 2011

Syrian security forces allegedly killed around 100 people in the Syrian city of Hama over the weekend.

Anti-Assad protests enter fifth month in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 28 July 2011

The regime of President Bashar al-Assad has deployed tens of thousands of troops to quell the growing protest movement, now in its fifth month.

Tunisian police attack anti-government protests

By Kumaran Ira, 22 July 2011

In recent days Tunisian security forces have violently attacked a new wave of anti-government protests across the country.

Attacks on US and French embassies used to step up pressure on Syrian regime

By Niall Green, 15 July 2011

Last week’s meeting of French and US ambassadors with opposition activists in Syria signaled a sharp escalation of tensions with the Assad regime.

Mass protest in Egypt calls for “second revolution”

By Jonathan Aswan, 8 July 2011

Hundreds of thousands of workers and youth are expected to turn out to the streets today in protests dubbed “Friday of Persistence” or “The Revolution and the Poor first”.

Protests, strikes continue against military junta in Egypt

By Jonathan Aswan, 4 July 2011

On Friday tens of thousands of workers and youth went to the streets in at least five governorates in Egypt to denounce the politics of the US-backed military junta and its leader, Field Marshal Mohammed Hussein Tantawi.

Syrian protests spread against Assad regime

By Jean Shaoul, 4 July 2011

At least 28 protesters were killed Friday, as security forces opened fire on what were the largest demonstrations since political unrest first gripped Syria four months ago.

Egyptian military carries out bloody crackdown on protests

By Joseph Kishore and Jonathan Aswan, 30 June 2011

Over one thousand have been injured in clashes that began Tuesday and continued into Wednesday morning, with protesters demanding the ouster of the Egyptian military regime.

Tunisian interim government delays Constituent Assembly elections

By Kumaran Ira, 29 June 2011

On June 8, the interim Tunisian government decided to postpone the Constituent Assembly elections to October 23.

US strives to engineer post-Saleh regime in Yemen

By Niall Green, 29 June 2011

As fighting continues in Yemen, with US warplanes and drones striking targets inside the country, Washington is working to form a pliant regime in the country.

Bahrain: Show trial sentences critics of regime

By Niall Green, 23 June 2011

A military court in the US-allied monarchy of Bahrain has handed down lengthy prison sentences to 21 people involved in anti-government protests earlier this year.

US steps up air strikes as conflict deepens in Yemen

By Niall Green, 17 June 2011

As heavy fighting between the government and opposition militants continued in Yemen, the US carried out further air strikes in the south of the country.

Egypt’s military regime prepares clampdown on strike wave

By Harvey Thompson, 17 June 2011

The upsurge of industrial struggle by Egyptian workers that preceded the January revolution shows no sign of diminishing.

US-backed Bahrain regime stages military trial of doctors and nurses

By Bill Van Auken, 15 June 2011

The US-backed dictatorship in Bahrain proceeded this week with the military trial of 47 doctors and nurses rounded up during mass protests last March.

Syrian crackdown deepens as fighting threatens to spread

By Jean Shaoul, 14 June 2011

The brutal crackdown being waged by Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime against protests in Syria has caused an estimated 10,000 Syrians to flee Jisr al-Shughour into Turkey.

Syrian regime intensifies repression as protests mount

By Barry Grey, 8 June 2011

The Syrian regime has threatened a military crackdown against the town of Jisr al-Shughour, after claiming that “armed gangs” killed 120 members of the security forces there.

Imperialist powers step up intervention in Yemen

By Niall Green, 8 June 2011

As fighting between pro- and anti-government forces continues in Yemen, the major powers are maneuvering to secure their interests in the strategically vital country.

Heavy fighting in capital of Yemen

By Patrick Martin, 3 June 2011

Heavy fighting between anti-government rebels and forces loyal to president Ali Abdullah Saleh raged through Wednesday night and into Thursday in Sanaa, the capital of Yemen. Dozens of people were believed killed, many of them civilians caught in the crossfire between tribal militiamen and various factions of army troops.

Egyptian doctors threaten to renew strike

By Harvey Thompson, 3 June 2011

Hundreds of doctors marched from the doctors’ syndicate to the Egyptian Cabinet offices with their unmet demands on May 29, threatening to go back on strike.

Yemeni regime kills dozens in Taiz and Sana’a, bombs southern city

By David Walsh, 1 June 2011

The embattled regime of President Ali Abdullah Saleh in Yemen stepped up its campaign of repression Monday and Tuesday, resulting in the deaths of dozens of protesters and civilians.

Mass protests demand “second revolution” in Egypt

By Patrick Martin, 28 May 2011

Demonstrations Friday brought huge crowds back to Tahrir Square in Cairo and in dozens of other cities throughout Egypt.

Syria becomes centre of struggle for regional influence

By Jean Shaoul, 28 May 2011

With the failure of the anti-government movement to make significant headway against President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime, there are now regional efforts to bolster the disparate and fractious opposition forces.

Tunisian interim prime minister visits France ahead of G8 summit

By Kumaran Ira, 27 May 2011

Tunisian interim prime minister Beji Caid Essebsi met with French president Nicolas Sarkozy on May 17-18 to plan joint strategy against continuing protests in Tunisia.

Gun battles erupt in Yemeni capital after Saleh refuses to step down

By Bill Van Auken, 24 May 2011

At least 18 people were killed and many more wounded in gun battles that erupted Monday in the Yemeni capital after the dictator Ali Abdullah Saleh reneged on a deal to step down.

Egyptian “left” parties seek alliance with bourgeoisie

By Johannes Stern, 21 May 2011

As the Egyptian revolution reaches a crucial turning point, a group of parties calling themselves “left” and even “socialist” have united to form an alliance with the bourgeoisie, which in turn backs the ruling military junta.

Tunisian regime creates electoral commission amid mass strikes

By Kumaran Ira, 17 May 2011

Last Monday, the Tunisian interim government announced the formation of the independent electoral committee to oversee the July 24 election of a constituent assembly.

Syrian regime continues to use lethal force against protests

By Jean Shaoul, 16 May 2011

President Bashar al-Assad’s Ba’athist regime persisted in its lethal crackdown on dissent over the weekend.

Tunisian regime imposes curfew amid protests over coup threat

By Niall Green and Kumaran Ira, 9 May 2011

Demonstrators in Tunisia calling for a “new revolution” were brutally attacked by riot police after warnings of a possible military coup.

International finance presses for counter-revolution in Tunisia

By Olivier Laurent, 5 May 2011

The political reforms in Tunisia aim to remove people from power who are too politically associated with the dictator Ben Ali, whilst justifying the maintenance of the social conditions against which the Tunisian masses revolted.

Yemen president torpedoes agreement to leave office

By Patrick Martin, 4 May 2011

President Ali Abdullah Saleh reneged on an agreement to step down after 32 years in power.

US steps up pressure against Syria

By Joseph Kishore, 26 April 2011

The US and European powers are working to exploit unrest and protests in Syria to advance their own interests in the region.

France blocks train carrying Tunisian refugees from Italy

By Antoine Lerougetel, 20 April 2011

Last Sunday French border police blocked rail traffic between France and Italy to prevent Tunisian immigrants from entering France via Italy.

More violent attacks on protesters in Yemen

By David Walsh, 19 April 2011

Security forces attacked tens of thousands of peaceful demonstrators in Hudaida in south-central Yemen on Monday, reportedly wounding at least 88. Over the weekend, as many as a million Yemenis rallied against the government.

Mass protests continue in Yemen, as official opposition conspires with US, Gulf states

By David Walsh, 15 April 2011

Yemen witnessed massive protests April 13, some of the largest yet in the wave of anti-government demonstrations that began in mid-January.

Strikes and protests by Egyptian workers

By Harvey Thompson, 15 April 2011

Strikes and protests by workers across Egypt continued this week, with many calling for improved wages and working conditions while others attempted to block moves that would reduce their income or restrict their prospects.

Egyptian junta steps up violence as protests and strikes continue

By our correspondent, 14 April 2011

The non-ending stream of strikes and protests by Egyptian workers has unnerved the military junta, which is responding with increasing violence.

Mubarak and sons detained as Egypt’s military continues crackdown

By Bill Van Auken, 14 April 2011

Ousted dictator Hosni Mubarak and his two sons have been detained for 15 days while Egyptian prosecutors conduct an investigation into their multi-billion-dollar embezzlement and corruption.

Conflict intensifies in Syria

By Jean Shaoul, 14 April 2011

The Assad regime has stepped up its clampdown on demonstrators calling for democracy and an end to corruption.

Egyptian military storm peaceful protest in Tahrir Square

By our correspondent, 12 April 2011

Tens of thousands gathered in Cairo’s Tahrir Square chanted: “The people want the overthrow of the field marshal” and “the people want to overthrow the regime”.

US-backed regime in Yemen carries out new slaughter of protesters

By David Walsh, 5 April 2011

The Saleh regime in Yemen continues to enjoy the support of the Obama administration despite repeated massacres.

Syrian president delays reforms, demands national unity against protests

By Alex Lantier, 1 April 2011

President Bashir al-Assad spoke at the People’s Assembly in Damascus Wednesday, ahead of protests scheduled for today, to appeal for national unity while making no further concessions to popular demands for political change. Syria has been ruled under emergency laws since 1963, the year a coup placed the Ba’athist party in power.

Syrian government resigns amid continuing unrest

By Jean Shaoul, 30 March 2011

Syria’s government had resigned in an effort to counter the wave of protests calling for political reform.

Tunisian Reform Commission defends capitalist regime

By Kumaran Ira and Alex Lantier, 30 March 2011

On March 26 Tunisia’s Commission for the Achievement of the Objectives of the Revolution and the Democratic Transition was enlarged from 70 to 130 members in a closed-door session.

Egyptian workers face US-backed counter-revolution

By Bill Van Auken, 25 March 2011

The promulgation this week in Egypt of a decree banning strikes and protests has laid bare the real character of the military-controlled regime that succeeded the US-backed dictator Hosni Mubarak.

Yemen ruling elite fractures as uprising continues

By Niall Green, 23 March 2011

Senior figures in the Yemeni elite have moved against President Saleh, seeking to maintain their own wealth, power and relations to US imperialism.

Egyptian constitutional referendum passes amid low turnout

By Stefan Steinberg, 22 March 2011

The thoroughly fraudulent and undemocratic nature of Saturday’s referendum in Egypt was the declaration from the Supreme Military Council that in the event of a no vote it would impose its own constitution until a new one is drafted.

Top Yemeni general calls for ouster of president

By Andre Damon, 22 March 2011

Five high-level generals in Yemen, including Ali Mohsen, the country’s top military figure, announced their support for the country’s opposition movement Monday, calling for the ouster of president Ali Abdullah Saleh.

UN vote clears way for US-NATO attack on Libya

By Bill Van Auken, 18 March 2011

The United Nations Security Council Thursday night approved a resolution that paves the way for the United States and other major imperialist powers to conduct a direct military intervention in Libya under the pretense of a “humanitarian” mission to protect civilian lives.

US ally Bahrain orders bloody crackdown on protesters

By Tom Eley, 18 March 2011

On Wednesday the government of Bahrain assaulted peaceful demonstrators in Pearl Square and arrested at least a dozen opposition politicians the following day.

Hillary Clinton in Tahrir Square

By Bill Van Auken, 17 March 2011

US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Middle East tour, capped by a stroll through Cairo’s Tahrir Square, presents an unparalleled profile in hypocrisy.

Oil workers strike in Oman

By Barry Grey, 17 March 2011

Omani state oil workers have gone on strike to demand higher wages, joining other sections of workers who have launched strike action and ongoing popular protests against the regime of Sultan Qaboos bin Said.

Major powers discuss Libyan intervention

By Bill Van Auken, 15 March 2011

Representatives of the major imperialist powers initiated a flurry of meetings Monday to discuss plans for military intervention in Libya.

Bahrain: Gulf states intervene against mass protests

By Niall Green, 15 March 2011

The military intervention of Saudi Arabia into Bahrain is aimed at putting down the mass protests there and intimidating opposition at home. Behind the actions of the Saudis, US imperialism is working to ensure its economic and strategic interests are maintained.

Massive police mobilisation stifles “Day of Rage” protests in Saudi Arabia

By Chris Marsden, 12 March 2011

Massive numbers of police succeeded in intimidating anyone seeking to join protests urged by Saudi Arabian dissident groups after the Muslim Friday prayers in cities including the capital Riyadh.

US, Britain step up plans for military intervention in Libya

By Ann Talbot, 9 March 2011

The threat of direct foreign military intervention against Libya has moved closer in the last 24 hours, as international support has gathered for a no-fly zone.

Violent crackdown on Iraqi opposition

By Patrick Martin, 9 March 2011

The reality of US-imposed “democracy” in Iraq is being displayed in police raids on opposition parties and mass arrests of demonstrators against the government of Prime Minister Nouri al-Maliki.

Egyptian protesters storm secret police headquarters

By Patrick Martin, 8 March 2011

Thousands of people, many of them former prisoners and victims of torture, took action to preserve documents showing their abuse at the hands the State Security Investigations agency.

Military planning continues as divisions mount over Libyan intervention

By Ann Talbot, 4 March 2011

Sharp divisions within ruling circles have not halted the military preparations for an attack on Libya.

Materiel and personnel in place for military intervention in Libya

By Julie Hyland, 2 March 2011

The United States, Britain and the European powers are deepening their preparations for intervention in Libya, including military action.

German imperialism and the crisis in Libya

By Peter Schwarz Alex Lantier, 2 March 2011

Germany has emerged as a full-fledged participant in the great power drive for imperialist intervention in Libya.

Protests spread throughout Arabian Peninsula

By Alex Lantier, 2 March 2011

Renewed protests hit Yemen, Oman and Bahrain yesterday. There are signs that the protests that spread from Tunisia and Egypt to the Arabian Peninsula may also overtake Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Russia and the uprisings in the Middle East

By Andrea Peters, 2 March 2011

The ongoing wave of popular uprisings in the Middle East and North Africa has provoked alarm within the Kremlin, which fears the destabilizing impact of these events on Russia’s national interests in the region, the world economy and mass consciousness throughout the former Soviet sphere.

Imperialist hands off Libya!

By Patrick Martin, 1 March 2011

The United States and the European powers are seeking to carve up the oil-rich North African country.

Bahrain protests demand political change

By Niall Green, 1 March 2011

Anti-government protests are continuing in the Persian Gulf kingdom of Bahrain. Demonstrators blockaded the National Assembly, Bahrain’s rubber-stamp parliament, on Monday. Crowds of thousands are still occupying Pearl Square, the focus for demonstrators in the capital city, Manama.

Tunisia prime minister resigns amid mass demonstrations

By Patrick Martin, 28 February 2011

Mohammed Ghannouchi resigned less than 48 hours after 100,000 people marched through the capital demanding his ouster.

North African uprisings force French foreign minister to resign

By Pierre Mabut, 28 February 2011

France’s minister for foreign affairs, Michèle Alliot-Marie, was forced to resign her post yesterday, amid the scandal over her relations with the deposed Tunisian government.

Notes on the Egyptian Revolution

By Nick Beams, 25 February 2011

The following report by Nick Beams, national secretary of the Socialist Equality Party (Australia), was delivered to an aggregate meeting in Sydney.

Libyan protests outside BBC: “An amazing revolution is taking place in the Middle East”

By Robert Stevens and John Newham, 24 February 2011

Protesters are holding regular demonstrations outside the BBC’s HQ in Manchester city centre in north-west England against the Gaddafi regime.

Mass protests continue in Bahrain

By Niall Green, 24 February 2011

Tens of thousands of anti-government demonstrators took to the streets of Bahrain’s capital, Manama, this week. Defying government demands to end protests, amid vicious police attacks on crowds last week that left an estimated eight people dead and hundreds more wounded, crowds called for the fall of the regime and justice for slain protestors.

Egyptian junta clamps down on strikes

By Chris Marsden, 23 February 2011

Egypt’s military regime has threatened to illegalise strikes in the face of the ongoing social unrest in the aftermath of the removal of President Hosni Mubarak.