Protests erupt in Morocco after two die working in abandoned mine


Protests erupt in Morocco after two die working in abandoned mine

Alex Lantier

30 December 2017

A general strike brought the eastern Moroccan city of Jerada to a standstill yesterday after two men died in an accident in an abandoned coal mine there. Houcine and Jedouane Daioui, aged 30 and 23, were two of thousands of unemployed workers in Jerada who are forced by poverty and the lack of jobs to risk their lives every day, independently mining coal in unsafe conditions for a pittance. Both were married; Houcine leaves behind two children and Jedouane one.

In 2011, protests erupted in the former phosphate mining basin of southern Tunisia that ultimately led to revolutionary struggles that brought down President Zine El Abedine Bin Ali. Six years later, the ruling elite in North Africa and its imperialist allies in America and Europe have proved unable to resolve any of the problems that provoked the Tunisian uprising and the subsequent revolutionary mobilization of the working class in Egypt.

Houcine, Jedaouine and their surviving brother Abderrazak, age 22, all went on December 22 to gather coal to sell to local traders. Abderrazak, who was with his two brothers when they were killed, recounted the story of their deaths.

“We went down to 85 meters underground,” he told AFP. “Houcine and Jedouane were just under me. One of them was digging horizontally and hit a well of water. We were totally flooded. I held on very tight to the rope and I managed to come back up to the surface.” Tragically, his two brothers did not.

Abderrazak added that after the deaths of his two brothers, he will be alone in facing the financial burden of supporting his 80-year-old father, a former miner, together with his six brothers, his wife and his daughter. Abderrazak said that poverty…

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