The caravan “United for freedom” started from Tunis three days ago and Unicommon is participating as part of the Unicommon March. The first approach to the capitol city is marked by the huge attention from the population and media to the war in Libya and the state of migrants in Lampedusa, Italy. Indeed, in Italy migrants from Maghreb and Mashriq are treated in a terrible way, living at inhuman conditions and being deported in Centres of identification that work as jail in italian territory. Hundreds of them escaped from the Manduria Centre: freedom and pursuit of a better future cannot be contained! As in Italy migrants escape from detention centers, in Tunisia self-managed groups are organizing solidarity, helping collecting medicines and first aid materials. 150 thousands people have been helped by them: the caravan “United fro freedom” and Unicommon will give them all the materials we will collect, on going with these networksto the libyan border.
The meeting with the Union UGTT has been rich of exchange and emerging problematics, well explaining the complexity of a country that is facing a huge transformation after the revolts. Someone underlined as this revolt is rooted in the struggles during 60s and 70s, despite Ben Ali repression, and the central role that women played in the revolts. There is the absolute necessity of monitoring the constituent process of the revolution, continuing to take to the streets to affirm the right to freedom and income, against poverty and unemployment.
Monitoring as a constituent process that is not closed in the “revolutionary” one; quite the contrary. There is a dangerous continuity with Ben Ali government as some representatives are still involved in the state apparatus: creating new tools to radically change the decision making process and expelling the lobbies of power of the previous government is the new challenge Tunisia is facing now. Unions are playing a central role in this process and people aim they would be able to gain a deep transformation and change in the balance of power.
Kasbah 1 and 2 have been the two first steps that gained the previous transformations, Kasbah 3 is the actual challenge that aim to open a new constituent process and push forward the turmoils to enforce people’s power against any attempt of restauration or block of the process opened during the last months: it will be possible only with the continuous pushing forward of the claims and contents of people involved in the revolts!
The caravan has reached Kassarine, one of the city most involved in the revolts, where hundreds of young people died during the fight with Ben Ali’s troops.
Students have been protagonists of the hardest fight in January against a corrupted government and its police: supported by the whole populations, students have fought for welfare against unemployment. During the arrival of the caravan a protest sit-in was taking place, where dozens of degree and qualifications were exhibited by student on hunger strike to show how their claims are not listened by the new government and how the responsible of massacre in Kasserine (300 km from Tunis) have not been removed from their state role and the local government of the city is managed by the military groups that steal the money from the population. Formal change cannot be accepted by whom acted the revolt and lost their sons and daughters during the revolts. Even care labors are demonstrating after their dismissal, women claiming for the right to the future. In Kasserine, we perceive a huge distance from the city, a gap that tells us of the unanswered problems teachers, employers and students are shouting loudly during the last months; a non-linear process far from the ideological easiness of an “eschatological revolution”; quite the contrary. There is a deep necessity of rethinking revolts and turmoils as the radical opening of the concrete possibility of change that cannot happen without the continuity of change, where social reforms and constituent process are the inseparable link with the beginning of revolts. For these reasons, fights are going on, yesterday a boy died during the fight in Tozeur.
Then, we have experienced how religions is playing a problematic role in Tunisia. While religious freedom is aimed by all tunisians, at the same time the islamic fundamentalism is seen with huge suspect and fear. The risk is an instrumental use of the revolts by fundamentalism, feeded by the libyan crisis, but pushed away by the tunisians: in Ben Guardane a group of fundamentalists have been sent away by demonstrators as religious freedom cannot turn into fundamentalism and religious government.
On Monday Berlusconi will be in Tunis. Several demos will take place and we will be part of them against italian government and against any treaty that won’t start from the assumption that freedom is the only answer to the Fortress Europe, and income is the only solution to poverty and unemployment that are starving our bodies and knowledge production during this crisis. Tunis’ government will take time to release from people claims and economic treaties.