Tuesday, February 22, 2011

One Man Changed the World; Outrage Prompts Protest

Lest we forget so soon, the act of a single man, Mohamed Bouazizi, started the tide of popular uprising in the Mideast.

With his self immolation, he sparked the fire of popular uprising seeping across country after country in the formerly colonized Arab world.

In the United States, Midwest union members now protest for their right to collectively bargain, threatened by an autocratic "governor" who ginned up a budget crisis to accomplish his ideological goals.

The whole world watches, Governor Scott Walker. And we buy pizzas for protesters, on line and Facebook. Even Egyptians, absent Hosni Mubarek, support labor organizing in Madison.

Egyptian Supporter of WI Labor

Ian's Tote Board of Donation Origins

[It started with a young man who set himself on fire, acting out of desperation after police confiscated the fruits and vegetables he sold without a permit.

Mohamed Bouazizi was a 26-year-old university graduate without a steady job, trying to support his family. His self-immolation - which left him in intensive care, wrapped head to toe in white bandages - shocked the North African nation and sparked protests over unemployment that have led to at least three deaths.

For decades, Tunisia has promoted itself as an Arab world success story, a place where the economy is stronger than in neighboring countries, women's rights are respected, unrest is rare and European tourists can take stress-free vacations at beach resorts.

But the recent protests have exposed a side of Tunisia that the country has long tried to hide: the poverty of the countryside, poor job prospects for youths and seething resentment at the government of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali, who has ruled Tunisia with an iron fist since 1987.] http://www.haaretz.com/news/international/self-immolation-leads-to-massive-protests-in-tunisia-1.334934

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