Moroccan teachers marched and demonstrated around Rabat, capital city, marking eight year anniversary of the Moroccan Arab Spring, which instigated a spirit of activism across the North African Kingdom.
The police hit protesters with truncheons and shot water cannons on them, while they marched toward the royal palace during demonstrations.
According to The Associated Press (AP), the demonstrators reminisce about how the Arab Spring has changed them. The Wednesday’s protests have escalated the fears of authorities, making them agitated over the large number of protests happening across Morocco every day.
After protesting in front of the Education Ministry in Rabat, the people proceeded toward the nearby royal palace, distressing the police.
The AP reporters said that many protesters were beaten on the ground by the police, making a couple of them injured.
There were thousands of demonstrators from across the country, who wore teachers’ robes to demand salary hikes and promotions. They also protested against the narrow opportunities for low-ranking teachers, with an average earning of 400 euros ($454) per month. They also showed displeasure over ad hoc government contracts that do not include health care or pensions.
The crowd called out slogans that were chanted during the first Morocco-wide Arab Spring protests in 2011. Back then, the country’s population demanded significant democratic reforms and social justice.
Unlike its counterparts in Tunisia and Egypt, the Moroccans did not topple the regime, however they regularly protest on roads to fight against challenges like water scarcity in unattended provinces, sexual misconducts and police abuse.
In the wake of Arab Spring consequences in Tunisia and Egypt, and to address the widespread issues among the Moroccans, the ruling authorities have promised a modest change.
Mostapha Mochtari, a member of the Islamist PJD party, said “Its because of the youth movement, Moroccans have built self-confidence to demand their rights through all legitimate means. February 20 is a spirit that lives on to this day.”