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Tunisia: Sidi Bouzid Rises. . . Again

Sidi Bouzid, the Tunisian city which sparked the wave of Arab revolutions more than a year and a half ago, is once again simmering with a new wave of protests. Economic, social and political woes are moving the masses, who are showing increasing discontent with the current government.

Citizen media collective Nawaat shares this video on YouTube of the new wave of protests, on August 9, 2012:

The explanation which comes with the video reads [ar]:

التحرّك جاء للمطالبة بإطلاق سراح الموقوفين خلال الإحتجاجات الأخيرة المندّدة بالتأخير في تسديد أجور عمّال الحظائر و تواصل إنقطاع الياه الصّالحة للشراب بعديد المناطق بسيدي بوزيد. كما طالب المحتجّون بتسوية وضعيّة عمّال الحظائر و بإقالة مدير منطقة الحرس الوطني، وكيل الجمهوريّة ووالي الجهة، إلى جانب المطالبة بإقالة الحكومة نظرا لعدم كفائتها و عجزها عن ردّ الإعتبار لولاية سيدي بوزيد. الوقفة حافظت على طابعها السّلمي إلى أن بدأ البعض في محاولات لإقتحام مقرّ الولاية،وهو ما دفع بقوات الحرس الوطنّي التّي كانت تحرس المقرّ من الدّاخل إلى إستعمال الغاز المسيّل للدموع لتفريق المُحتجّين. هذا و تواصلت المشادّات و التراشق بالحجارة في الأنهج المجاورة لمقرّ الولاية، ممّا سبّب إصابات لدى المحتجّين. هذا و سُجّلت بعض الجروح الخفيفة في صفوف الشّرطة و الحرس.

The activism started with a call for the release of those detained during the last protests where (demonstrators) complained about the delay in paying wages to workers in barns as well as the constant cuts in drinking water in a number of areas of Sidi Bouzid. The protesters also called for improving the conditions of workers in barns and firing the head of the area's National Guard, the Republic's representative and the Governor of the district. They also called for the resignation of the government because of its ineffectiveness and inability to restore the reputation of the mandate of Sidi Bouzid. The demonstration maintained its peacefulness until some attempted to break into the Governor's headquarters.This led the National Guard forces, who were guarding the premises from the inside, to use teargas to disperse the protesters. The clashes continued as protesters and the guards threw stones at each other, in the alleys near the premises. One of the protesters was hurt and a few minor injuries were incurred by the police and members of the National Guard.

This is another video, shared by Nawaat, showing the aftermath of the protest above:

Netizens joined forces to report on the action.

Tunisian blogger and Global Voices contributor Sami ben Gharbia reports:

@ifikra: Police fire teargas, rubber bullets at demonstrators in #sidibouzid

Free MoulaDj adds [ar]:

العودة الى التويتر مع ثورة V2.0 ‎‪#sidibouzid‬‏

@mouladj: The return to Twitter with the revolution V2.0

And Med Islem Bouazizi reports [ar]:

عاجل-عاجل الأن : كل مدينة سيدي بوزيد في الشارع بنسائها و رجالها يطاردون رجال القمع البوليسي ‎‫#تونس‬‏ ‎‪#sidibouzid‬‏ ‎‪#tunisie‬‏ ‎‪#tunisia‬‏

@bouazizi_sbz: Breaking: All of Sidi Bouzid, with its women and men, are on the streets chasing the men of police repression

Clashes with police ended with arrests.

Nawaat announced today [August 14, 2012]:

@nawaat: All those who have been arrested after the events of August the 9th are now released. #sidibouzid

Meanwhile, NPR senior strategist Andy Carvin reports:

@acarvin: Found the permalink of what appears to be the 1st use of the #sidibouzid hashtag, by @Chady2009, 18 Dec 2010: http://bit.ly/My4quN #tunisia

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