Thousands of Moroccans rallied in Al-Hoceima, in the northern Rif region, on the evening of Wednesday, May 31, for the sixth consecutive night. These anti-government demonstrations have been organized to denounce corruption and injustice, as well as the May 29 arrest of Nasser Zefzafi, leader of the “Popular Movement” that emerged in October 2016. The situation was tense, however, the demonstration did not turn violent and protesters dispersed quietly after midnight.
This movement will likely continue as further protests are expected in the north and major cities, especially during the evening hours.
Zefzafi was arrested on May 29 after being accused of “obstructing the freedom of worship.”
This current wave of demonstrations began on May 18, when thousands of protesters took to the streets of Al-Hoceima. As of May 29, 40 people had been arrested during anti-government protests in the north. Protests, which sometimes turn violent, are relatively common in Al-Hoceima, known to be a symbol of anti-colonial resistance, which is suffering from difficult economic conditions. In October 2016, violent protests broke out after a fishmonger was killed while trying to prevent his wares from being confiscated by police.
Individuals in Morocco are advised to avoid any form of public demonstration or public gathering and to keep abreast of the general climate.