The PJD government already launched controversial fiscal reforms as it took on the state's subsidy system in an attempt to bridge the gap between the rich and poor. The Benkirane government also unveiled a 20% increase in fuel prices, which angered many in the streets, already reeling from high levels of inflation and increased cost of living. The latest protests are about the recent government decisions, and the perceived lack of movement towards meaningful socio-economic and political reforms in the country as a whole. The demonstrations are only the first of many that the Feb 20 movement has promised over the month of Ramadan. Last night's police brutality will only make it difficult to contain the public sense of frustration with the Makhzen and its structures of social pacification.
The regime, since it is the one that holds all keys to power and not the PJD government, cannot continue on this dual policy of promoting fictitious reforms, and oppressing individual liberties at the same time. This only serves to undermine the current Islamist government hailed as a historic landmark in modern political history of Morocco. More importantly, it gradually erodes the regime's legitimacy especially as it is increasingly seen as an agent of immobilism and paralysis.
Photos from El Jadida (all photos are courtesy of Mamfakinch)
Video from the protests in Rabat.