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Tunisia: celebrating the future

by Sara Bennett in Tunis

Workers celebrate May Day in Tunis  (Pic:Olivia Nigro)

Workers celebrate May Day in Tunis (Pic:Olivia Nigro)


Around 2,000 people joined the first public May Day celebrations in Tunis for 50 years.

The demonstration was organised by a group of rank and file workers inside the General Workers Union of Tunisia (UGTT).

They were joined by the 14th January Coalition which brings together the main left wing groupings and the Unemployed Graduates Union (UDC).

People of all ages marched, but the presence of so many young men and women was particularly impressive.

However, the UGTT’s leadership had organised a separate celebration of music and poetry far from the demonstration—and their absence was noticeable.

Demonstrators marched down the city’s main street, Avenue Bourguiba, past the heavily guarded Ministry of the Interior. It was a reminder that while the dictator Ben Ali has fled, the structure of his regime remains.

As the celebrations finished, marchers divided into smaller groups and went on talking. Since the revolution there has been a blossoming of ideas, with Arab nationalist and socialist groups debating the next steps.


Article information

News
Tue 3 May 2011, 18:14 BST
Issue No. 2250
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