Al Hoceima and the Pedagogical Exercise

Ottawa - What makes a democracy different from non-democracy? This is the classical and historical question asked by philosophers over the centuries and deeply questioned in the discipline of political science.

Democracy cannot prevent inequality as the case in the United States where inequality is the highest globally. Democracy cannot stop corruption like in Brazil where the level of corruption is the highest in the word. Thirdly, Democracy cannot bring development in regions such as Mongolia and some Latin American countries. The only thing characteristic of democracies is that they do not kill their citizens. Two weeks ago, the Tunisian army shot dead two protesters in the Tettawine region in the east

Over the last eighteen years, following the King Mohammed VI’s ascension to the throne, Morocco has capitalized on the new ‘era moment’ opportunity and established itself as an undisputed regional powerhouse that effectively addressed and drawn its empowering trajectory in an instable region in the world’ affairs.

Morocco has demonstrated time and time again the will to make the required commitments to the development and of the welfare of the Moroccans. This is no an easy task. Well-developed countries known for their welfare states systems are struggling with issues of poverty and unemployment. Al Hociema witnessed after the accidental death of Mohsen Fikri (the fish vendor) protests of citizens. More than that the state as well as all its institutions and their representatives condemned the way this sudden death occurred.

Ministerial delegations went to the family offering condolences and support for the bereaved family and the king gave his instructions to initiate an immediate investigation on the incident and bring those involved to justice. Demands of protesters after that were social and can be summed up in raising the educational infrastructure such as a faculty and the health facilities and other demands of employment. These demands are still defended in the developed countries, in their parliaments. This is no exclusive to Morocco.

The Pedagogical Exercise

Now that the protest in Al Hoceima is entering its eight-month with no casualties is a unique case to observe in the whole Middle Eastern, African, Latin American and Asian countries. This is unique because the state as an entity and its various institutions and specifically security has demonstrated a well-developed maturity. This is a pedagogical exercise.  When we see a stand of women in the night of June the 3rd in one of the squares of Al Hociema guarded by female police offices we realize the non-turning back from the principles of democracy.

When Morocco in many occasions portrays the country as stable, it is stable. We can draw examples from Britain as the leading example of the developed world democracy.  The 2009 G20 London summit protests is seen as the most robust demonstrations. One protester by the name of Ian Tomlinson died after being pushed to the ground by a police officer.

The 2010 United Kingdom students’ protests in London an elsewhere has taken more than three months, which involved in the beginning 30.000 and 50.000 demonstrators. A huge number of teenagers were caught by the police and were held for nearly 10 hours in a near-zero temperature location.  A year later, in 2011 London anti-cuts protest created a huge disorder, which pushed the Home Secretary back then Theresa May to push the parliament to permit the police new powers in removing face coverings and balaclavas as well.

This is a training exercise for the state and for the citizen of how much we went through the building of a nation that does fulfill its commitments. An exercise that has a futuristic connotations that gives immunity to the endurance of Morocco.

The virtual world and the invention of the News

One of the emerging phenomenon during Al Hociema’s protest is the rising of the ‘invention of news’ in the virtual world. That is to say we can detect for many months a media machine that had the purpose to push for an agenda that is clear to the audience what is at stake. We can observe the language used, the terminology (oppression, militarized zones..) to portray the security personal and more than that the regular citizens who understood what is being ‘cooked’.

For those who had the chance to read history, they know that after all this ends, there will be discussions, there will be unveiling of the truth of who was pushing whom and who was manipulating whom.

As observers also, we wonder how some electronic newspapers became the spokesmen of the protest not for the sake of the well being of people of Al Hociema but for the sake of ‘alien agendas’. If we can just decipher the US and British Embassies in Morocco warnings of their citizens not visiting the north of Morocco in the weekend and how some electronic newspapers used the Algerian version (Algerian Agency for News- APS) of the info and used it intentionally to deceive.

The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not represent any institution or entity. 

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