Politics | Human rights
Large peaceful protests in Morocco
Protests in Morocco, announced for today, are getting a large turnout all over the country, with the greatest protest marches in Rabat and Casablanca - the kingdom's capital and its largest city. But also minor cities are seeing protest marches, including Marrakech, Tangier, Fez and Al-Hoceima
But the protests during the afternoon soon could develop their own dynamics. In Rabat, protesters are already reported to move from Hassan II Boulevard towards parliament to present their demands. As the extent of the marches is becoming known - they are widely aired in national media - more and more people are daring to join the manifestation.
Also in Marrakech, often described as the capital of the Berber minority, protest marches during the day are rapidly growing. Around noon, some 5,000 people were reported to be in the streets of this inland city, where authorities normally do not allow protests due to Berber resentments.
But so far, the atmosphere is calm and protesters seem to take pride in the contrast between Morocco and Libya, where more than 100 protesters were killed during the last few days. "My country is making me proud," is one of several tweet messages with a similar message coming from the protests in central Rabat.
King Mohammed VI so far however has not indicated that he or his government will give into the protesters' demands. Currently, they hope that a soft response to the protesters will both boost the kingdom's international image and take the sting out of the protest movement.
By staff writers
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