By Maddy Crowell, Contributor / April 14, 2013 at 5:17 pm EDT
Avenue Mohammed V, a wide street that runs directly through Rabat’s centre-ville and past Morocco’s parliamentary headquarters, is the site of nearly daily protests against the country’s government.
Living in Morocco in late 2012, most days I saw the protesters tussle with the police, grow bored, and disperse, laughing over the chase like American children playing tag during recess.
But last November, I witnessed something different: hundreds of unsmiling protesters blocking both sides of the street, demanding government jobs in an economy with massive unemployment.
The crowd screamed as 40 or so policemen rushed at them with heavy batons. A brazen man chanting phrases in Darija, Morocco’s Arabic dialect, was hit hard in the leg and fell to the ground, his mouth stretched open in pain.
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