Morocco: let us break the rod of repression with organisation and struggle

Those who follow the situation in Morocco can see that the repressive dictatorial regime has become more and more frenzied, and the police state has tightened its repressive grip on everyone and everything. They are arresting those who protest, who sing, who criticise, who write, and who show solidarity with those arrested.

After the arrest of dozens of young people of the Rif region because they demonstrated peacefully to demand a hospital and schools, and were sentenced to centuries in prison, the boldness of the police state increased. It arrested El Gnaoui because he sang to express his opinion; Muhammad Al-Sakaki because he demanded the king provide reforms; Abd Al-Ali Bahammad (known on social media as “Buda Ghassan”) following a post on Facebook; Muhammad Boudouh, after he posted a video via his official Facebook page criticising the general situation in the country; a high school pupil because he shared the song "Long Live the People"; and finally the journalist Omar Al-Radi, because he criticised the verdict against the youth of the Rif region.

Originally published in Arabic on 30 December 2019 |

There must be no voice louder than the voice of the “sacred consensus”, and no one is immune to the danger of “re-education”, not only by the state apparatus, but even by thugs, as was recently confirmed by the king’s friend and his cabinet minister, Abdelaziz Akhenoush. Also, there is no guarantee that anyone is safe from arbitrary accusations, especially of "insulting the sanctities", which has become fashionable these days. We have witnessed the fabrication of even more surreal charges such as "not reporting the attempt to introduce Russian-made tanks into Morocco to overthrow the regime," as was the case for the journalist Mahdawi. Following such charges, the dictator’s court will happily place the accused behind bars for years. In the king’s prisons, there is room for everyone.

A ‘human rights setback’?

The reformists and liberals bemoan the repression and arrests that are taking place, and they cry out against what they consider a "human rights setback" and "a return to the old times". Many of them blame this or that official, or occasionally the government as a whole. They never give up on offering “good advice” to the regime, although it did not ask them for any advice.

The thing that these ladies and gentlemen are unable to comprehend, or do not want to comprehend, because the conclusion terrifies them, is that the state is ultimately nothing but an apparatus of organised repression in order to ensure the dominance of the ruling class. Repression is the reason for its existence.

LLTP mainThe regime is desperate, and arresting anyone voicing protest / Image: fair use

Nor do they want to understand that the existing system in Morocco is a dictatorship to the core, and that this repressive policy is only an expression of its true nature. And it is the same system that ruled Morocco with iron and fire for decades, in the service of the interests of the same parasitic capitalist class, which plundered the country, exploited its people and imposed on it backwardness and misery.

In reality, no real estrangement took place in any period, neither before nor after the assumption of the current monarch; neither before nor after the government of alternation; neither before nor after the “new” constitution. What happened then was only a change in some formal aspects, so that nothing changed in substance, in addition to some concessions that the regime had to make under revolutionary pressure.

So these reformists (and their agents in the trade union bureaucracy) must bear their historical responsibility for the crimes committed against the Moroccan people and all the suffering resulting from their cooperation with the dictatorial regime, having rescued it on several occasions. Also, the revolutionary youth today must learn from these lessons, foremost of which is that this regime cannot be reformed and that the only solution is to completely destroy it and establish a true democratic regime on its ruins, i.e. one based on councils of workers and peasants.

The crisis

It is not possible to understand the current policy without understanding the context in which it comes. There is a deep crisis of the capitalist system, in connection with the general crisis of world capitalism.

Internal conditions are deteriorating at all levels. Unemployment has reached record levels and is increasing, and there is no hope for any improvement (except in precarious work under conditions similar to those of the Middle Ages). Indebtedness is escalating at an unprecedented pace, and exploitation and the high cost of living have made millions of Moroccans worse off than people living through civil wars and destruction (in countries such as Libya, Iraq, Egypt, etc.).

Hence, an explosion is inevitable, and it may be closer than anyone could imagine, especially in light of a regional and international situation characterised by a new revolutionary rise (including neighbouring Algeria, and even France). The Moroccan youth and working class are following these developments with great interest and hope, and their lessons are a tremendous source of inspiration.

In the absence of any margin for manoeuvre, there is no way for the regime to save itself from the coming revolutionary wave, except by severe repression and silencing all opposing voices, and throttling every hint of protest in the cradle, for fear that it will turn into a reference point for the angry masses, and thus a spark for the outbreak of the revolution.

What is happening is proof that the regime sees the current situation as too dangerous to maintain the smiling mask of "democracy". The only effective tools now are the stick, the curb, and the dungeon. This partly explains why the regime unceremoniously shook off all the disgusting reformists who clung to its back to escape the flood.

A mask! What for?

The rulers believe that they are no longer in need of any democratic mask. At an internal level, they see that the balance of powers is suitable for them and there is no organised force that can stand before them or compel them to do anything. They see that the working class is shackled by the chains of the trade union bureaucracy, which is more afraid of struggle than the regime itself.

King Mohammed VI Image UN Climate ChangeThe rulers have ditched their democratic mask / Image: UN Climate Change

Nor are they concerned with convincing “those on the inside” of anything. The time for searching for “democratic legitimacy” in the eyes of “loyal subjects” has ended. The only “legitimacy” the regime needs is the continued satisfaction of their imperialist masters. The rulers of Morocco look at what is happening in the world and find before them concrete examples that the humiliating servility to the United States and the European Union is sufficient for them to remain in power. For instance, Saudi Arabia can impose on its people bloody terrorist rule, it can ignite wars in Yemen and Syria, finance the most brutal terrorist forces everywhere and commit all crimes that may (or may not) occur to a human mind, as long as they are subject to their western masters, serve their projects and pay them tribute without delay.

More democratic regimes were not spared from the bullying of western governments. The Venezuelan government is democratically elected, but that did not save it from the imperialists, who are supporting a person who has never been elected as president of anything. And there is Bolivia, where imperialism funded, organised and recently led the right-wing coup against the democratically elected government of Evo Morales, whom the ballot box did not protect from being overthrown, nor shield from assassination attempts.

Thus, the regime in Morocco rushed to get rid of its democratic mask, which was holding it back, and showed its true face of ugly dictatorship. All of this is in exchange for some trivial concessions, that is, continuing to hand over the country's resources to imperialist companies and deepening dependency on them, while engaging in all their reactionary conspiracies on the international scene, especially within the American-Israeli axis, whose most important pillars are "fighting terrorism", harassing Iran and burying the Palestinian question.

When the moment of truth comes and the working class and its allies rise in revolutionary struggle, it will become clear that external “guarantees” do not actually guarantee anything. There is no force that can stop the march of a people who have decided to liberate themselves. This is what the Tunisian and Egyptian revolution proved when workers overthrew Ben Ali and Mubarak, despite all the "guarantees" and imperialist support. This is also what the Lebanese and Iraqi revolutions prove to us today.

Impossible to sit on bayonets

Some may delude themselves that all this arrogance and repression is evidence of strength. Absolutely not! A state that is afraid of a song, a blog post, or a "termagant" journalist who exposed a corruption file, cannot be strong and confident of its stability. The ruling class and its system are terrified in the extreme. They know that they are without any base of support within society, and they are sitting on a gunpowder barrel that may explode at any moment. This explains their frustration.

Al-Hoceima (Rif), for example, is silent, but its silence is not due to the masses’ satisfaction with the current situation or because they have forgotten their sons who were killed, nor those who were arrested and who were forced to emigrate, many of whom died by drowning. They are biting their lips with hatred and anger and waiting for the right opportunity to rise again for revenge. The regime knows this, and is terrified of this prospect, so it turned the city into a massive prison and imposed a state of emergency with all its repressive forces. But what is certain is that the masses’ fury is still burning and becoming more explosive from day to day. And as soon as the police grip is weakened, even for a short period of time, and once the beast is distracted, even for a while (for any reason, such as a movement in another region, for example), the Rif masses will return again to the struggle. They will do so with greater intransigence, greater hatred and greater consciousness, refined by years of oppression and insult, to demand the release of their prisoners, and seek revenge against those who have murdered and wreaked injustice.

We can say the same about Jarada, Sidi Ifni, Western Sahara, etc. Wherever the rulers look, they see no salvation from the impending settling of accounts with the court of the people and of history. There is no repression that can stop this inevitable course.

All solutions exhausted

The regime is in serious trouble. They know that the coming revolutionary wave will be greater than all that they have seen so far, just as they know that they will not be able to overcome it with the same "ease" with which they were able to overtake its predecessor. In the face of the next revolutionary revival, they will find that they have exhausted all possible "solutions". What will they do to rip off the masses again? "Constitutional reform" and "political concessions"? No one can be deceived by this manoeuvre (with the exception of the reformists, of course), because even the most-backward sections have experienced the "2011 constitutional reform". Or will they resort to some wage increases for some groups of the working class, especially the unionised ones? This option will be difficult given the huge amount of debt with which Morocco is laden, not to mention that it will not have the same effect that it had in 2011, after the masses learned that the system can provide some dirhams under pressure, only to retake them later when they have the opportunity to do so. Will they use the Islamist card again? Who will be deceived by it, after all the attacks and scandals the people experienced under the Islamist government, which revealed the Islamists for what they really are: i.e a "normal" bourgeois party like the rest? The new reformists? They have no hope because there is no possibility of reformism without reforms, and we live in the deepest crisis of capitalism globally and locally, therefore the room for manoeuvre does not exist at the present time. All that capitalism can promise the masses is more austerity and exploitation, which explains the crisis of reformism locally. Globally, the reformists are being exposed as mere servants in the hands of the ruling class to destroy yesterday's reforms. Therefore, they will find themselves without any winning cards in the face of the upcoming revolutionary revival, and repression will be the only tool available to them.

Where is the revolution?

The narrow-minded philistines, along with the frustrated traitors who want to justify their retreat, say: “Where is the Moroccan revolution that you Marxists have long preached to us? The Moroccan people will never awaken”, and so on… It is a strange irony that those who say these things are the most-removed from preparing for revolution and helping the masses to achieve victory. Rather, their entire mission in life is to alienate young people away from revolutionary struggle, from studying seriously the lessons of revolutions, and preparing for what is coming.

2011 Moroccan protests Image MagharebiaA new revolutionary wave is coming, greater than any before / Image: Magharebia

We are not interested in responding to these malcontents, nor explaining anything to them. We are only concerned with answering the questions of the revolutionary youth searching for a radical solution to their situation, and to these young people we say: the revolution is part of a process that is occurring before your eyes. Revolution exists in the deep processes that occur beneath the surface. So we must learn how to look behind surface appearances to see the amount of anger that is increasing day by day, and hear the groans of the tormented, the cry of the disaffected, the songs of the youth in the stadiums and on social media, etc. We need to understand that they are unmistakable indicators of the deep currents of discontent that are accumulating, which at the critical moment will erupt and turn every single thing into its opposite. Tranquillity becomes a storm, silence turns into an explosion and stability into earthquake. This is what dialectics teaches us, and what historical experiences confirm with an accuracy close to that of "objective sciences."

What is to be done?

We must learn from the lessons of the previous revolutionary revival, and the most important one is that spontaneous and unorganised movements without a clear programme and leadership are doomed, despite all the sacrifices and heroism. Thus, we must prepare for the new movement with organisation and consciousness. Our problems must be transformed into demands, and our demands into a clear programme linking economic rights such as employment, education, health, infrastructure, etc. with the necessary political rights, such as the release of political prisoners and the imposition of freedom of assembly, organisation, freedom of the press and expression, etc.

We must organise our ranks to fight for these necessary and urgent demands by using all available means, including social media, but in particular by organising struggle committees in the neighbourhoods, high schools, and universities, and if possible in workplaces as well. In these committees, we can discuss our concrete problems and achieve agreement on plans of action. Representatives should be elected to coordinate with other committees at regional and national levels, and to assist in building further committees in places where they do not exist.

We also call on the revolutionary youth to join us in the struggle to build the revolutionary organisation capable of leading that struggle towards victory with minimal losses; capable of seizing political and economic power, and building a revolutionary socialist regime by which the masses rule by themselves for themselves, achieve freedom, democracy and social justice.

  • Release all political prisoners!
  • Accountability for those responsible for repression and corruption!
  • For a socialist, democratic Morocco, free from capitalism and dictatorship!