Anti-government demonstration dispersed in Tunis

#Fech_Nestanew collective protesting price hikes

08 January, 10:50

    TUNIS - A demonstration in front of the Tunisian Interior Ministry by about a hundred young activists from the #Fech_Nestanew (What Are We Waiting For) movement, which aims to denounce price hikes and government policy, was broken up by security agents on Sunday evening on the centrally located Avenue Bourguiba.
    The activists continued to parade through the adjacent streets shouting slogans against Tunisian President Béji Cad Essebsi and Premier Youssef Chahed, while scenes of the protests were transmitted in real time via social media.
    The Fech Nestanew campaign was launched on January 4 by a group of young people (some of whom are part of the Union Générale des étudiants tunisiens (UGET) student union and others from civil society) with the main goal of protesting against the price hikes that went into effect with the 2018 budget.
    Some members of the movement were arrested by law enforcement for a few hours on January 4 after they were caught writing protest slogans on the walls of the Tunis Metro 2 station.
    The movement defines itself as transversal and apolitical, includes activists from the "Manich Msameh" (I Don't Forgive) movement, and aims to expand nationwide.
    "The campaign is open to all Tunisians," activist Ouennas Rouissi told the website Réalités Online in an interview about his January 4 arrest.
    "It's a way to protest against the actions of those responsible for the current crisis, the old Troika, Nidaa Tounes, Ennahdha, l'Union Patriotique Libre (UPL) or still Afek Tounes," he said, adding that the movement is not connected to any particular political party.
    "Some opposition parties, such as Popular Front, have supported us, as well as some independent members of parliament.
    However, our main demand remains the suspension of the work that was started as part of the 2018 budget bill," Rouissi said.

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