Morocco Facebook group calls for protests

RABAT- A group of young Moroccans called Thursday for pro-reform demonstrations later this month via Facebook, in the latest example of Web-driven anti-government protests across the Arab world.
"We call on all Moroccans to protest February 20 for the dignity of the people and for democratic reforms," the group, which claims some 3,400 followers, said in a statement.

Its demands include reforming Morocco's constitution along with the dissolution of the government and parliament.
"We perceive this with enormous serenity," government spokesman and Communications Minister Khalid Naciri said at a news conference.
"Morocco...has engaged for a long time in the irreversible process of democracy and openness," he added.
The Internet has played a major role in anti-government movements that have grown into major revolts in Tunisia and Egypt.
While Morocco has yet to be touched by similarly violent protests, it is closely watching events in fellow North African countries, with warnings even from within the royal family that it will probably not be spared.
In the wake of the unrest in neighbouring Algeria and Tunisia, authorities here announced they would maintain subsidies on key necessities like flour, sugar, cooking oil and butane gas to stop price rises.
At least four attempted self-immolation cases also have been reported in Morocco over the last dozen days, apparently inspired by a similar case in Tunisia that led to the country's "Jasmine Revolution."

Thursday, February 3rd 2011

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