Tunisia: Police Violently Disperse Anti-Capitalism Protesters

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

Inspired by the occupy movements taking place around the world, mainly Occupy Wall Street, and under the umbrella of the global event Occupy the World on 11.11.11, hundreds of protesters raising anti-capitalism slogans took to the streets to #occupytunis.

#OccupyTunis took place at the square of human rights in an avenue in downtown Tunis, where financial institutions and banks are crowded next to each other.

Protestors in downtown Tunis. Photo by Nacer Talel shared on his Facebook page

Small gathering in the coastal city of Sousse. Photo shared by Facebook page Moujanadine men ajli tounes

Djerba, in the South of Tunisia, and Sousse a coastal city, also witnessed anti-capitalism protests. But it was the protest that took place in the capital Tunis, that got more attention, because it was the largest, and ended with police violence.

Amazigh Forever tweets:

#occupyTunis : Protests took place in Tunis and Djerba, for reminding that the enemies of freedom aren't only political but also economical

”No to Capitalism”, ”Resistance Now”, ”IMF Leave” and ”Marx was Right” were among the slogans raised by protesters.

The following YouTube video features protesters marching in downtown Tunis before arriving at the square where they gathered later on, chanting ”People Want the fall of Indebtedness,” in reference to Tunisia's debts, ”People Want the Fall of Wall Street” and ”Employment, Freedom and no to Indebtedness.”

#OccupyTunis then turned violent when police intervened to disperse protesters. There were social media reports, of the use of batons and tear gas, and of arrests too.

@kefteji: I just saw police in riot gear chasing about 200 protesters away from #OccupyTunis protest in downtown Tunis. #OWS #Tunisia

تظاهرة “احتلال تونس” انتهت بقمع المتظاهرين بالعصي و الغاز المسيل للدموع #OccupyTunis #Tunis
@beirutelabdi: The protest Occupy Tunis ended with oppressing protesters with batons and tear gas

@beirutelabdi:أنباء عن اعتقال بعض الشباب المشاركين في تظاهرة “احتلال تونس”ـ #OccupyTunis #Tunis

@beirutelabdi: There are reports that some young people who took part in Occupy Tunis were arrested

@Tunisia_Live: Police got violent earlier but now the protest is going smoothly #Tunis #Tunisia #OccupyTunis #OccupyWallStreet

Heavy police presence. Photo by Sabrina Belkhouja shared via her Facebook page

Though the number of protesters was small, the heavy police presence couldn't pass unnoticed:

@Liliopatra: La police a dispersé tout le monde… #occypyTunis #Tunisie

police dispersed everyone…

@MedAliSouissi: il parait bien que #OccupyTunis a été Occupied by la police #Tunisia #Occupation

it looks like #OccupyTunis was occupied by the police

Tunisian mainstream media did not pay much attention to #occupytunis, except for a few online magazines. State TV, for instance, did not report the protest, or the use of force by police to disperse demonstrators.

Hichem Jawadi tweets:

Aucun mot au JTV #TTN sur #OccupyTunis et l'intervention violente des forces de l'ordre!

Not a single word on the news of State TV on #OccupyTunis and the brutal intervention of the security forces!

Despite the media blackout and the violence, some will cherish positive memories of #OccupyTunis. Khalil Chatewi tweets:

Occupy Tunis : j'y étais c'était magnifique #occupytunis

Occupy Tunis: I was there, it was amazing

This post is part of our special coverage Tunisia Revolution 2011.

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