First off, I am in no position to tell anyone what to do, but I can't allow myself to sit back and relax without stating the obvious. The current state of the February 20 movement.....after taking a serious beating at the hands of the Makhzen in the last couple of weeks, the situation has become alarming and confused, to say the least. Just when everyone cautiously started believing that perhaps Morocco really is that exception in the region that everyone is talking about, the authorities declare that the movement is no longer legitimate. They say now that leftist extremists along with Islamic extremists have hijacked the movement, everyone needs to stay home, no more public protests allowed.
Of course I can only go by what's reaching my eyes and ears through the grapevines, the latest of which has drastically reversed the process towards progress in the following sequence:
1 Just before the nationwide protests that were scheduled to take place on May 22, authorities issued a ban on the protests in major cities, without explaining as to why this ban all of a sudden.
2 Protesters took to the streets en masse anyway and received a brutal beating at the hands of the Makhzen for disregarding the ban, followed by a sequence of press releases by authorities justifying the use of excessive force against peaceful civilians. Now the natives are restless and increasingly leaning towards revolution instead of reform as a result.
I think Morocco does a very poor job with its PR apparatus btw. If I were king and supreme leader of my country, I would grab the mic and go on screen myself instead of using that annoying communications minister and what have you.
If I were king and I do really care...
I would for once ignore official protocol and do something outrageous to get in touch with my people and explain the status quo.
I would definitely NOT give a stuffy televised speech that would be understood by less than half the population as usual.
I would make a casual recording instead, from the comfort of my home, speaking in plain Darija and then upload it to YouTube like every Moroccan seems to be doing these days.
I would start out by saying, dear folks, dear boys and girls, let's not waste time and get right down to business. First I would like to apologize for the heavy-handedness with which we've dealt with the latest developments in our country and I sincerely ask for your forgiveness. Let's talk about the state of our union and discuss openly how we can all work together to avoid a mess, which evil forces are working hard to impose on us....
I would use clear and concise language, identifying those evil forces by their proper name so that everyone who wants to help the situation, can be on the lookout and do what's right.
I would reach out to our youth especially, not only because they ARE the driving force behind this change movement, but also because historically it's the youth who tend to drive popular trends, whether it's political, cultural, fashion or otherwise.
I would do everything I can by the power vested in me, to reverse the violent trend we are currently facing and empower our youth to be equal partners in bringing meaningful lasting reform towards real democracy.
Sighhh...but I'm not king.
Just a concerned citizen dreaming out loud.
PS ~ If I were king, I wouldn't want to be known as the "cool king", I'd want to be known as "the king of cool" instead, because it's kings of cool who give power to trends that often go viral and become unstoppable, while the youth drive it home. And we all know that trends are $erious business. Bottom line, in the end I would still be king. Let's face it, he who understands youth has the future in the bag. Just ask the extremists, they know this all too well.
PPS ~ Moroccans are perfectly capable of reasoning if you give them a chance. They don't need to be beat up senseless to be reasoned with, so please give it a try sometime.