At a protest in the working class area of Bernoussi in Casablanca, hundreds marched and chanted against government policies, social marginalization, and corruption.
They also took aim at the wealthy clique of Moroccans known as the Makhzen, the governing elite centered around monarch King Mohammed VI.
The protests were led by a group calling themselves the February 20 Movement. They are largely inspired by the Egyptian April 6 Movement, and just like their Egyptian counterparts they communicate extensively through social media. Earlier in the week an appeal was sent out over Facebook to hold protests over the rising cost of living in the North African country.
A representative from Mamfakinch, a media portal for citizen journalists tied to the protest movement, told the Daily News Egypt that in Casablanca, “the march went peacefully until suddenly at the very end police started beating street vendors and passers-by. Later they started chasing and apprehending protesters.” According to the representative, six people appeared before a judge on Tuesday, thought is still unclear under what charges.
The Moroccan State Press Agency said they are not authorised to comment on the protests.
One blogger publishing at larbi.org, compared the turn of events in Casablanca to the “release of dogs from their leashes,” with “enthusiastic” police officers “raining batons” on the protesters.
A number of related portals show photos of Moroccan youths with broken noses and bloodied backs.
The February 20 Movement has called for addition protests throughout the holy month of Ramadan.