The day Tunisia turned on its leader

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The day Tunisia turned on its leader

The day Tunisia turned on its leader
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Friday the 14th of January began much like any other morning over the last four weeks.

But the day will go down in Tunisia’s history as the culmination of unprecedented protests.

Protests which ultimately forced a president from power; an office he had held firmly for 23-years.

The Interior Ministry was the initial target of the day’s demonstration.

A symbolic gathering point for the thousands opposed to the government.

Mayy Jribi, Secretary General of the Progressive Democratic Party was hoisted on the shoulders of her supporters.

“Tunisian people are on the streets. Tunisian people aren’t afraid. Tunisian people demand liberty, equality and dignity,” she said.

President Ben Ali was disliked by many Tunisians not only because of his government but also because of members of his family and hangers-on, whose ostentatious wealth people found suspicious and distasteful.

“I hope that the Tunisian people get what they want, not only regarding jobs but also the fight against corruption and nepotism and the people who live above their means,” said one protestor.

Another demonstrator added:“This is a message to people all over the world, don’t fear dictators, don’t fear dictators, don’t be afraid of dictators.”

The unrest was originally sparked when police prevented an unemployed graduate from selling fruit without a licence and he set fire to himself, dying shortly afterwards of his burns.

Although security forces were told to show restraint, things rapidly got out of hand.

The declaration of a state of emergency coincided with a rise in violence as protestors clashed with police.

It is unclear how many people have been killed over the past month. Officials say 23 people have lost their lives but some human rights groups say more than 60 people have been killed.