WSWS: Workers and youth have clashed with police for three days in cities across Tunisia following the self-immolation of journalist Abderrazak Zorgui. The 32-year-old cameraman burned himself to death in his hometown of Kasserine after posting a video on social media calling for an uprising and saying he hoped his act would help start a new revolution.
His suicide came eight years after revolutionary uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt triggered by the December 2010 self-immolation of Tunisian vegetable vendor Mohamed Bouazizi. Absent a revolutionary leadership capable of leading the working class to take power, the old Tunisian regime was able to restabilize itself and impose the financial diktat of the European and American banks. Tunisia’s current president, Beji Caid Essebsi, served under Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, the dictator toppled by the working class on 14 January 2011.
In his video, Zorgui denounced the Tunisian regime and the “war on terror,” saying, “To all unemployed youth of Kasserine, hungry and without resources: When we protest, they throw terrorism back at us. We go into the street to demand the right to work and they go on about terrorism, which means ‘shut up and go home to starve.’ I tell the people and the unemployed of Kasserine, today I will make a revolution alone. Those who want to join me are welcome. If someone finds a job afterwards, my self-immolation will not be in vain.”
He added, “We are sick and tired, they have been giving us promises for eight years and these are just lies. For my part, I belong to no party. They forget the unemployed and speak for the wealthy, while the unemployed and entire regions do not have a cent.”