A demonstration in support of the General Union of Tunisian Workers (UGTT) was held today in Sousse, a city located in the central-eastern coast of Tunisia. Nearly a thousand protesters were holding up signs and chanting slogans in a massive show of solidarity with the union. The protesters directed their ire against the government and particularly Ennahdha – the dominant, Islamist party in the ruling tripartite coalition.
Today’s protest was in large part a reaction to Prime Minister Hamadi Jebali’s recent controversial remarks on last Saturday’s UGTT-led demonstrations condemning a series of vandalistic acts against several of its offices.
Jebali stated earlier this week that “Ben Ali militias” – eager to see the new government fail – had infiltrated last week’s protests. According to the Prime Minister, “businessmen” from Sousse and “Ben Ali militias” had coordinated their efforts and transported supporters by bus from the coast to Tunis in order to disrupt public order.
One of today’s protesters explained that the protest was organized in response to Jebali’s portrayal of the demonstrators as “Ben Ali militias.” ”We are here because of Jebali’s remarks,” she asserted.
The protesters today also demanded greater attention on the government’s part to the high level of unemployment that plagues the country.