Moroccans protest over public job cuts

Moroccans protest over public job cuts

RABAT - Reuters
Moroccans protest over public job cuts

Unemployed Moroccoan gruduates scuffle with police in this file photo. AFP Photo

Thousands of Moroccan trainee teachers and their families took to the streets of the capital Rabat on Jan. 24 to protest against government plans to cut education jobs, defying an official ban on demonstrations. 

Waving banners and chanting “Repression won’t scare me,” several thousand protesters marched past hundreds of riot police who watched nearby with water canon trucks, just weeks after police were accused of violently repressing an earlier protest. 

Large-scale protests remain rare in Morocco, where the king holds sway. When pro-democracy unrest toppled leaders in Tunisia, Egypt and Libya in 2011, the palace calmed similar protests with limited reforms, spending and tougher security. 

The teacher trainee protests are one of several rallies that have taken place in the last few months against government plans to cut spending and reduce public sector hiring as part of reforms meant to revive state finances. 

The government said on Jan. 21, that it would not allow any unauthorized protests.