From A World to Win News Service

Morocco: Students Battle Police, Regime

January 9, 2015 | Revolution Newspaper |


5 January 2015. A World to Win News Service. Law students at Mohammed I University in the northeastern city of Oujda in Morocco beat back police and occupied the campus on 22 December. Morocco's campuses have repeatedly been a battleground, especially since last April when radical students battled Islamists at the highly politicized and polarized university in Fes. At that time the Islamist government serving under the authority of King Mohammed VI declared the student movement a problem of "public safety," authorized the police to enter university facilities (previously off-limits to them) and restricted campus demonstrations.

The Oujda students had gone on strike, set up literature tables and blocked access to a law school building in a protest against entrance exams and procedures that admit only 240 students to a masters program out of the 900 who have completed the undergraduate courses. The police entered in force, charging in on numerous vehicles and trying to surround the open area occupied by the students, but appear to have been forced to retreat by youth who stood their ground. Despite encirclement of the campus by security forces the protests spilled over to several neighbourhoods in Oujda. (For footage of this pitched battle, see

This university has been known for radical anti-government opposition, and Education Minister Lahcen Daoudi denounced the students harshly. He claimed that their real political target was the regime, and that having armed themselves "with stones and onions to make tear gas bombs," they had injured a hundred police. Students followed up with a sit-in at the university.

The authorities have singled out the organization Voie Democratique Bassiste (Democratic Path – the Base) for attack in connection with these student protests. Many students allegedly associated with it have been arrested over recent years. Imprisoned student leaders, both those long awaiting trial and those already convicted, have launched repeated hunger strikes – often subsisting on sugar and water and sometimes not – for recognition of their rights as political prisoners and against prison abuses, and demanding accelerated trials and authorization to pursue their studies in jail.

One of them was Mustapha Meziani, who died last 15 October after a 72-day hunger strike in Fes. Abelhak Atalhaoui, in Essaouira prison, waged a long hunger strike in October. More recently, Aziz Elkhalfaoui, a leader of the 20 February Student Movement, arrested on 4 September 2014 and still awaiting trial in Marrakesh, went on hunger strike on 3 December. He was reportedly in a coma and hospitalized on 15 December. Redouane el Aaimi, arrested at the same time and also on hunger strike since 3 December in Marrakesh, is reportedly very ill.

A week later these two young men were joined in their action by two other prisoners, Aziz Elbour and Mohamed Elmouden, serving three-year sentences in the southern Morocco city of Tiznit.

The authorities have blacked out news of these prison protests in the media, and we have learned nothing more since late December.


A World to Win News Service is put out by A World to Win magazine, a political and theoretical review inspired by the formation of the Revolutionary Internationalist Movement, the embryonic center of the world's Marxist-Leninist-Maoist parties and organizations.


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