Repression escalates in Rif / No “less Jacobin France” group in National Assembly / Kanak languages on TV news

23 to 29 June

French National Assembly building.
French National Assembly building. Author: Tyler Merbler @ Flickr
WEEKLY ROUNDUP. Rif has suffered the worst episodes of violence so far since protests against marginalization by the Moroccan authorities started, some months ago, in this Amazigh-majority territory. Dozens have been left wounded, and the crisis is hitting the government. We are also reporting on advances in language issues —in New Caledonia and Sardinia— and we are also echoing the so far unsuccessful attempt to create a French National Assembly parliamentary group for “a less Jacobin France.”


Repression escalates in Rif. A demonstration in Al Hoceima —coinciding with Aïd el-Fitr— in support of arrested members of the Hirak movement in the Amazigh-majority territory has been repressed by Moroccan forces, who have again put the city in a state of siege. 50 people were detained only that day. It was the most violent action on the police side since the beginning of the protests, according to some local witnesses, which left dozens injured. On the following day, there violence pitting protesters against police officers spread to Imzouren. In total, 79 police officers were wounded over the two days, and 150 protesters were detained in this week’s set of clashes, according to the Moroccan Human Rights Association. Later on, police repression extended to Nador:

The Moroccan press is criticising a lack of implementation of development projects in the Al Hoceima area over the years, and echoes the king’s criticism of how the Moroccan government is managing the current crisis. The government is undergoing internal disputes over the issue. Five mayors of the Al Hoceima province have resigned in protest against repression.


Not yet the time for a Corsican parliamentary group. After their historic election to the French National Assembly, the 3 MPs belonging to pro-autonomy Pè a Corsica alliance had started contacts seeking to convince another 12 MPs to form their own group —15 are needed. Pro-independence Polynesian MP Moetai Brotherson supported to the creation of such a group that could work “for a less Jacobin France.” The group might have been called “Democracy and Territories.” Occitan MP Jean Lassalle had also voiced his interest in getting involved, and said that at least 10 MPs could be interested. In the end, however, talks have not succeeded. The 3 Pè a Corsica MPs, and Lassalle too, will remain non-inscrits. The Corsican MPs have stated their purpose in the Assembly to be working to obtain a “particular status” for Corsica within the French Republic.

Kanak languages aired in New Caledonia TV news. Caledonia television network has broadcast, June 27, its news for the first time ever in four indigenous languages of New Caledonia. So far, the languages of this Pacific semi-autonomous territory of France had only appeared in Caledonia TV’s “heritage” documentaries. The network’s editorial director says that “helping to develop the [people’s] regard on those languages” is now sought.

Scottish government to delay plans over second referendum on independence. After SNP’s election loses, Scottish first minister Nicola Sturgeon is going for a “reset” in plans for a new referendum on secession from the United Kingdom. Sturgeon says her government will think again of the vote in the fall of 2018, when “clarity” over Brexit consequences exists. UK prime minister Theresa May had asked Sturgeon to “completely” cancel the second referendum proposal.

First Sardinian language course at university in Sardinia... and Italy. Although such a course was already available in universities abroad, this week 10 students completed a 60-hour Sardinian language course for the first time ever at a university either in Sardinia or the whole of Italy, according to the University Of Cagliari. Rector Maria del Zompo has said it is now time to implement a certification system for Sardinian language learning.

New round of negotiations in Cyprus. The presence of between 30,000 and 35,000 Turkish troops in Northern Cyprus continues to be a major obstacle in talks meant to lead to an agreement over a federal, binational, re-unified Cyprus. The government of Cyprus (Greek Cypriot) wants the troops to leave the island, but Turkey rejects the move.