Jasmine Revolution

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REVOLUTION Fundamental change in power or organizational structures that takes place in a relatively short period of time. A revolution generally represents a complete turnaround from one way of doing things to another way that is usually diametrically opposite. Most revolutions are motivated by the masses deciding to use their advantage to overwhelm their own leadership. There are two types of revolution : Complete change from one constitution to another Modification of an existing constitution


INTRODUCTION The Tunisian Revolution began in December 2010 and led to the ousting of longtime President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali in January 2011. The demonstrations were precipitated by high unemployment, food inflation, corruption, a lack of freedom of speech and other political freedom and poor living conditions. The protests constituted the most dramatic wave of social and political unrest in Tunisia in three decades and have resulted in scores of deaths and injuries, most of which were the result of action by police and security forces against demonstrators . The protests were sparked by the self-immolation of Mohamed Bouazizi on 17 December and led to the ousting of President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali 28 days later on 14 January 2011, when he officially resigned after fleeing to Saudi Arabia, ending 23 years in power.


WHY TUNISIAN REVOLUTION CALLED AS JASMINE REVOLUTION ? Jasmine, which is a flower used in making a kind of tea, suggests a calm emotional state. The revolution was based on nonviolent protest, rather than an armed assault on the existing government. It was a very civilized revolution (although the response to it was not). In Tunisia and the wider Arab world, the protests and change in government are called the Sidi Bouzid Revolt, derived from Sidi Bouzid.


STORY BEHIND JASMINE REVOLUTION Twenty-six year old Mohamed Bouazizi had been the sole income earner in his extended family of eight. He operated a purportedly unlicensed vegetable cart for seven years in Sidi Bouzid 190 miles (300 km) south of Tunis. On 17 December 2010 a policewoman confiscated his cart and produce. Bouazizi, who had such an event happen to him before, tried to pay the 10-dinar fine (a day's wages, equivalent to 7USD). In response the policewoman slapped him, spat in his face, and insulted his deceased father. A humiliated Bouazizi then went to the provincial headquarters in an attempt to complain to local municipality officials. He was refused an audience. Without alerting his family, at 11:30 am and within an hour of the initial confrontation, Bouazizi returned to the headquarters, doused himself with a flammable liquid and set himself on fire. Public anger quickly grew over the incident, leading to protest. This immolation & subsequent heavy handed rsponse by the police marchers caused demonstration. Mohammad Bouazizi died on 4 th January, 2011.


PROTEST The people of Sidi Bouzid overcame heavy censorship and police repression to ensure that their uprising did not go unnoticed in silence. Protesters took to the streets with "a rock in one hand, a cell phone in the other," The self-immolation of the 26-year-old street vendor that triggered riots causing the Tunisian leadership to flee the country, family members and friends used social media to share the news of what was happening in Sidi Bouzid with international media.


Continue….. The protests that erupted in Sidi Bouzid were indeed spontaneous, yet they were marked by a level of organisation and sophistication that appears grounded in the sheer determination of those who participated in them. The Sidi Bouzid branch of the UGTT was engaged in the uprising from day one. While the national leadership of the Tunisian General Labour Union (UGTT) is generally viewed as lacking political independence from the ruling class, its regional representatives have a reputation for gutsy engagement. Grassroots members of some opposition movements did, however, play an active role as individual activists (Ali Bouazizi, for instance, is a member of the Progressive Democratic Party).



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