UIT-CI/CEI Coordinating Committee Statement about the situation in Tunisia.
On February 6, Choukry Belaïd, leader of the Unified Democratic Patriotic Movement – Marxist-inspired pan-Arab force and one of the leading organizations of the Popular Front of Tunisia – was killed,. Two days later, a general strike and mass protests were the best response to this crime.
On behalf of the UIT-CI/CEI Coordinating Committee:
1. We express our solidarity with the family of the murdered comrade, his party and the Popular Front. We demand the investigation and punishment of the perpetrators of the crime and the policy makers politically responsible for the crime.
2. We denounce the responsibility, either active or passive, of the Islamist Ennahda party rule for the impunity with which the so-called Leagues for Defense of the Revolution acts – these are vigilante groups armed by the government which must be dissolved. Additionally, the Islamist Ennahda party has refused to move forward with breaking away with the old regime; with cleansing of the police and judiciary with financial reparations to victims of the revolution, just as it has continued to repress protests. After more than a year in power, the government of the Troika has done nothing to improve the situation of the workers and the people who live under unemployment and misery. Their whole policy has been based on neoliberal measures to keep foreign investment and agreements with the imperialists (IMF, EU, Qatar, Saudi Arabia) and the multinationals. Instead of responding to the demands of bread and work that had been at the heart of the revolution, this policy has increased unemployment and poverty.
3. We welcome demonstrations expressing popular rejection of these policies such as the struggles in Siliana or the Gafsa mining region for employment. They are the continuity of the revolutionary process that began in December 2010. We believe that the central dilemma for the Tunisian people today is not Islam or secularism; but whether or not progress is being made in the way of the revolution to meet the needs of the exploited (bread, work and freedom ) and in a break with the old regime.
4. We understand that there is no outlet for the Tunisian masses that revolted against Ben Ali if nothing is done to put all the country’s resources in the service of public employment schemes, with the nationalization of strategic assets, non-payment of debt and a break with the EU, which is in the service of imperialism and has been built against the workers. This also means deepening the democratic content of the revolution, smashing all the repressive apparatus of the old regime. In our opinion both objectives are inextricably linked: without progress to ensure decent work for all there will be no possibility of consolidation of democratic freedoms. Without deepening the revolution the field will be left clear for reactionary sectors and the murderous vigilante groups to continue acting against the working class, the popular sector and the left.
5. To our knowledge, this development will be impossible while maintaining alliances and policies with no clear class content, unequivocally on the side of the workers, of the army of unemployed youth, of the impoverished peasantry. From our point of view, the alliance of “all against Ennahda” proposed by sectors of the Tunisian left— which would recycle elements of the old regime such as Nidah Tunis (an old Minister of the dictatorship) who supported repression in Siliana— does not help advance in the construction of a political alternative imperative to place in the hands of Tunisian workers a tool that would be useful in the service of the revolution.
6. We believe that the government of Ennahda has failed and cannot respond to the dreams of the Tunisian revolution. We support the formation of a worker’s and people’s government with the UGTT and the Popular Front detached from all ties with the dictatorship and neoliberal Islamism.
February 18, 2013
UIT-CI/CEI Coordinating Committee