Jan 12, 2011
A week ago we noted that the first Fed ‘excess liquidity’ inspired violence of the year broke out in Algeria, where following the recent release of FAO data confirming food prices have just hit an all time high, rioting broke out “over rising food prices and chronic unemployment… with youths torching government buildings and shouting “Bring us Sugar!” To be expected, this event received no coverage in the US. In the meantime, the violence has escalated and spread to neighboring Tunisia, where weeks of clashes have left 14 dead. The reason for the lethal violence- “high unemployment and the surging cost of living.” One would think that excess economic slack from pervasive unemployment would bring about a plunge in the cost of living… Unfortunately, that is not the case in a centrally planned world.
Al Jazeera summarizes the tragic developments in the following report:
More from Al Jazeera:
The Tunisian government has said it will listen to protesters, after weeks of unrest over high unemployment and the cost of living left dozens of people dead and raised the tensions.
Samir al-Obaidy, the country’s communications minister, told Al Jazeera that the government was responding to the unrest.
“The message has been received by the government and all political channels,” he said.
“With the backing of the president, we have already put in place urgent measures and allocated $5bn for the development of various areas.”
Government officials reported that 14 people were killed since Saturday in clashes between the security forces and protesters in the towns of Thala, Kasserine and Regueb.
However, Tunisian union sources said that the number was at least 20.
Unfortunately, high cost of living is starting to translate into deaths:
Lina Ben Mhenni, a Tunisian blogger and university assistant, told Al Jazeera that “a lawyer confirmed that more than 20 people were killed in Thala and Gassrine alone”.
“Last night I went to the hospital in Regueb, a town that is 38km from Sidi Bouzid, and can confirm that at least five people were killed,” she said.
“Among them was a young woman of 26 years old, who is a mother of two children. I went to her home and her family said that she was not taking part in the demonstration – she was just walking past the area.”
Al Jazeera was unable to independently verify the death toll in Tunisia.
Belgacem Sayhi, a teacher and trade union activist, said that the victims in Tala were between 17 and 30 years old, and were killed when the police opened fire on the crowd.
Protesters had set fire to the offices of the ruling political party, and the government said that police only fired back when warning shots failed to disperse the crowds.
Ben Mhenni told Al Jazeera said that she tried to visit Kasserine as well, but police had cordoned off the town and did not let her in.
Union sources said that security forces surrounded the headquarters of the Federation of Labour in the city, trying to break into it.
As always, we can hope that these very unfortunate developments do not manifest themselves in the US.
And those who can stomach graphic content, the following site shows the casualties of ongoing rioting direct from one of the receiving hospitals. Again, we warn that this video is very graphic – link.
This article was posted: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 at 5:24 am