Tunisia Security Updates

Fridays Are Different…

Day of Rage

If you have been following the various revolutions  throughout the region,  you probably have picked up on a similar pattern, namely the fact that  most intense protests take place on Fridays.  From Yemen to Libya, Tunisia to Syria, each have had their ‘Day of Rage‘.  With that said, we should always take extra precautions on Fridays and plan our week accordingly.  Attending an outdoor event on a Friday afternoon for example, would probably not be a good idea considering the current security situation.

Our last ‘day of rage’ was back on February 25th, when protesters demanded the  resignation of then Prime Minister Mohamed Ghannouchi.  As always the bulk of the action took place downtown, but the heighten security presence was felt all throughout the country.  As a general rule pertaining to Fridays, it would be smart to avoid major events, large public gatherings, and going downtown if at all possible.

The day of rage is not just limited to local politics, geopolitics and regional disturbances also play a major factor.  On February 25th many Tunisians were also screaming “Gaddafi out!”  While it is difficult to predict the next day of rage, we can make practical contingency plans to prepare for them. 

Day of Rage Preparation

We would like to stress that although we are focusing on Fridays, security challenges can happen on any day of the week.  As such it is important that we have the following measures always in place:

Remember that after a major crisis, the  first 72 hours are the most critical…

-Have at least 3 days worth of fresh water and wholesome food.

-Have a plan A,B,C regarding communication.

-Have a positive mental attitude.

Although not directly connected, the rage usually beings after the Friday prayers which end at or about 2:oo pm.  The timing is convenient for protest organizers and unfortunately it also benefits people who simply enjoy creating chaos.  Additionally, the rage is usually counter with either a stricter curfew or martial law, so be prepared to stay in doors for a long duration.

Another reason to stay away from protests

A 25-year-old man was killed when troops opened fire to disperse stone-throwing protesters in fresh anti-government demonstrations in Tunisia at the weekend.  (Source, news24, 9/5/2011)

As interesting as they may appear you would do best to stay away from protests and mob gatherings.  Additionally, when the rage spills over it is best to avoid government buildings, police stations, large shopping centers, and open markets.

Not all is negative…

Tunisia has set up an independent body for elections planned in July to shape the country’s post-revolution future.  According to analysts “the creation of the promised independent electoral body to oversee the vote suggests a step in the right direction.”(Source, al jazeera, 10/5/2011).

Hopefully we will avoid another ‘day of rage’ and instead begin to see more days of hope and progress as we continue our adventure here in Tunisia.

All of civility depends on being able to contain the rage of individuals.
Joshua Lederberg

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