The protests in the Arab world in 2010 and 2011 consist of a series of popular uprisings in autocratic Arab countries, North Africa and Middle East qualified as a revolution in the international press, which began with the Tunisian revolution , whose date of onset is usually taken the immolation of the 26 year old Mohamed Bouazizi. By the nature of these protests (democratic freedoms, political, economic and social), these mass demonstrations begin to be compared with the revolutions of 1830 , those of 1848 and the revolutions in Eastern Europe after the fall of Berlin Wall .
Image: Goran Tomasevic / Reuters
This series of protests for democracy contrasted initially appalling silence of the European Union with a relatively large support from the United States . Frattini said the lack of response on the grounds that European states were independent and European colonies. The European Union met on 31 January of 2011 to decide whether to support popular uprisings in Tunisia and Egypt , but hardened its stance against Hosni Mubarak , Egypt’s president, called for a peaceful solution and not condemn government.
The initial views on the spread of this revolution from Tunisia to its Arab neighbors are not decided on their success, but some general announced in countries such as autocracy and the current capacity to mobilize the people, as intellectuals and academics as Azzedine Laayachi and Abdennour Benante.
Arab Democratic Revolution is considered the first great wave of protests secular and democratic in the Arab world in the XXI century . The protests, social in nature and in the case of Tunisia, supported by the army, were caused by harsh living conditions rooted in unemployment, thus adding to corrupt and authoritarian regimes whose evil do was revealed by Wikileaks. Pedro Fuentes from the PSOL explains these regimes, born of Arab nationalism from the 1950 and 1970 were converted into impeding repressive governments credible political opposition that led to a void filled by Islamist movements of various kinds. Juan Goytisolo lists other causes of poor living conditions, in addition to unemployment and social and political injustice of their government, they lie in the lack of freedoms, social injustice, high militarization of countries and the lack of infrastructure in places where the full benefit of growing economies will fall into the hands of a few corrupt.
Some have analyzed why these revolutions could not have occurred before. It has been said that until the Cold War the Arab countries to link their national interests to those of the superpower United States and Russia, faced by the global hegemony. Not until the end of the Cold War when, with few exceptions, these countries are allowed more political freedom, coinciding with a broad process of globalization to spread the ideas of the West and at the end of the first decade of the second millennium ended up having a strong presence of social networks , which in 2008 were imposed on Internet . The network, in turn, implemented its presence in the decade of 2000 through the development plans of the European Union . Most of the protesters were young (in fact Egypt protests have been named youth revolution), close to the Internet and whose main difference with previous generations is that they have basic education, and sometimes even college and university.
Finally, the deep economic crisis that engulfed the countries of northern Africa, along with most of the rest of the world, poverty more acute, was a trigger to produce increases in the price of food and other commodities, causing the famine in the poorest population.
Sequence of protests:
- On December 18th of 2010 began the protests in Tunisia , which led to the overthrow of the government of Zine El Abidine Ben Ali on January 14th of 2011 , who had 23 years in power. Citizens protesting unemployment, food inflation, corruption, freedom of expression and poor living conditions. After resigning the presidency Ben Ali fled the country.
- Shortly the protests spread to Albania, whose characteristics are largely similar to those of North African countries, but were quickly suppressed by the army.
- On December 28 of 2010 took place the first protests in Algeria , following the increases in food prices and the effect of poor living conditions. In January there was a wave of attempted self-immolation, as had happened in Tunisia.
- Between 13 and 16 January of 2011 there were protests in major cities in Libya , including Darnah , Benghazi and Bani Walid, due to high housing prices. The protest was unsuccessful. On January 27 , the government responded to the riots with twenty-four billion dollars in investment funds to provide housing and promote development.
- On January 14th of 2011, after several demonstrations in support of the Tunisian people, the left parties staged demonstrations that led to the protests of Jordan. Begun in Amman , Maan , Karak , Salt , Irbid and other major cities. The protesters demanded the resignation of President Samir Rifai government. The largest demonstration took place in the capital, Amman, on 21 January of 2011 , which gathered 5,000 people.
- On January 17th of 2011 the popular uprising spread to Mauritania and Oman. In the African country a protester blew himself up at the presidential palace to protest against the policies of President Mohamed Ould Abdel Aziz . Meanwhile, in the country in the Persian Gulf 200 protesters marched to demand increased wages and reducing the cost of living. The protest surprised the journalists, who were to Oman as a stable country. That same day, in Sudan, was detained Hassan al Turabi, leader of the National Congress Party, along with five other party members. The protesters, like the Tunisian government protested against the intention to overthrow him, accusing him of electoral fraud, increase inflation and to repeal civil liberties.
- On January 18th of 2011 the protests spread to Yemen .
- On January 21 of 2011 was an attempt to start protests in Saudi Arabia when a 65 year old man blew himself up in the city of Samtah (Jizan Province). Finally, the protest was not continued.
- On January 24th of 2011 began the protests in Lebanon within a framework of political instability where a portion of the population opposes the new president.
- On January 25th of 2011 began a serious uprising in Egypt, on January 29 Mubarak forced the leader to make his government resign, although he remained in power. The main protests took place in Cairo, Suez and Alexandria.
- On January 26th of 2011 was the beginning of protests in Syria, when a citizen, Ali Hasan al-Hasakah Akleh, was sprayed with gasoline and burned imitating the Tunisian Mohamed Bouazizi. According to eyewitnesses, “The action was a protest against the Syrian government.” On January 29th of 2011, the news channel Al-Arabiya said the cut in the Internet, a fact that was quickly denied by official sources. In social media Facebook and Twitter, the Syrians called for a “Day of Rage” for Feb. 5. On January 28th of 2011, a demonstration was held overnight in Raqqa, protesting the killing of two soldiers Kurds .
- On January 28th of 2011 there were protests in Palestine who were repressed by the government .
- On January 30th of 2011 protests started in Fez and Tangier (Morocco), in solidarity with the Tunisian people and building to protest the level of Moroccan life. But were not significant and dissolved quickly.
- On February 1 of 2011 40 teachers on strike tried to stick fire in front of the Ministry of Education in Rabat (Morocco).