Adl wal Ihsan march in Rabat – 11,000 or 40,000 or 100,000 depending on who you ask

March 25th, 2012, in front of the parliament in Rabat, Morocco, people protested against the participation of the Israeli delegation at the 8th session of the parliamentary assembly of the Mediterranean Union. (Photo REUTERS)

So today, the Adl wal Ihsan (AWI) movement staged a march in front of parliament. According to this article, “Sunday’s march was to mark Land Day, when Palestinians recall 1976 protests over Israeli expropriation of Arab-owned land.”

I can’t help but wonder, was this really the reason behind the march? AWI is notorious for its anti-monarchy rhetoric. When they withdrew from the February 20th Movement after November elections, it seemed that since then, they were falling off the radar.  The article I cited above mentions Ali Anouzla’s comments that this was largely an effort to remind the regime of its presence in society. I want to take that further.

Moroccan solidarity with the Palestinian struggle is not controversial. It’s commonplace, at least from a civil society level (let’s ignore the regime’s ties with Israel and pro-Israeli lobbies for a moment). Out of all the recent human rights violations and injustices in Morocco, such as the suicide of Amina Filali after being forced to marry her rapisttorture and abuse against Ezzedine Eroussi for protesting in Tazaviolent repression of protests in Rifthe arrests of Walid Bahomane and Abdessamad Hiddour, AWI chooses to publicly express dissent regarding a relatively uncontroversial matter.

What direction is AWI heading? Many hinted at a possible PJD-AWI integration after the split from the February 20th Movement. I personally believe it’s unlikely, but it’s worth a debate.  However, by essentially veering away from relatively controversial matters that would potentially deter public engagement, AWI–an already marginalized movement–could be using this march almost as an advertisement to the masses. Who knows?

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