North Africa at the Crossroads
Organised by Middle East Solidarity magazine with the support of SOAS Unison
Tuesday 11 July – 7-9pm
Room G3, School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), Russell Square, London, WC1H 0XG
Tickets £3 (unwaged), £5 (waged),
Available in advance via Eventbrite or on the door.
Speakers include: Mohamed Boutayeb and Souad Jellal (Moroccan public sector trade unionists); Marwa Belghazi (activist with the campaign of solidarity with the Moroccan Hirak movement in the UK); Jaouhar Bani (Tunisian activist); Anne Alexander (Middle East Solidarity magazine)
Six years after the region gave birth to the Arab Revolutions, with the uprising which toppled dictator Ben Ali in Tunisia, the contradictory pressures on the Maghreb are as sharp as ever. Analysis in the mainstream media focuses on the growth of jihadist groups in Libya and the threat of terrorism, ignoring the role played by NATO’s 2011 military intervention in creating the conditions for groups like Islamic State to grow.
Yet across the region, movements demanding social and political change for the poor continue to challenge state repression. From mass public sector strikes in Morocco, to protests against unemployment, corruption and austerity in Tunisia and Algeria, the battle for social justice continues. In some areas, such as Morocco’s Rif region, these issues have combined with longstanding grievances from the Amazigh-speaking population about their marginalisation and oppression by the state to create an explosive mix of protest and resistance.
This workshop will explore the state of the Maghreb’s movements for social justice and political change. Speakers will address political developments since 2011, including the role of Islamist movements, and analyse how the current wave of social struggles is shaping opposition to the region’s rulers.