Source :…Or Does It Explode ?

Awakening a Civil Rights Movement in the Middle East

Fock !” – yes, do a double-take. It’s a transliterated four-letter word, but not what you first think. “Fock” is part of the new online protest of Tunisians fed up with the censorship imposed by the regime of Zinedine Ben Ali (for background on the man whose ruled since when Ronald Reagan was still in office, see “Stamp of Myself” and “Ben Ali Family Values”).

Ben Ali, Fock ! Ben Ali, Yezzi !” is, according to the new website, Tunisian Arabic for “Ben Ali, enough is enough.” Think of it as a local adaptation of the “Kifaya” slogan galvanizing grassroots protest in Egypt.

The website features photos of both anonymous and named individuals posing with the messages of “Fock” and “Yezzi.” The site is tri-lingual and features a brief explanation of the campaign :

Since we are physically unable to demonstrate within Tunisian public spaces, we will use the internet to organize permanent demonstration in order to express our total disapproval with the Tunisian dictatorial regime… This expression in Tunisian dialect intends to transmit a clear message to the dictator in order to give up power, because we consider it is enough. For us Tunisians, who are always banned from freely reaching independent information and who are violently forbidden from any peaceful demonstration ; this kind of demonstration is a new form of peaceful protest.

It’s an innovative approach, turning the regime’s heavy-handed censorship upon itself. Sure enough, the site was banned inside Tunisia within 18 hours of going on-line. The website is both an outlet for peaceful protest and a demonstration of the basic civil rights abuses inflicted by Ben Ali’s regime. The organizers dared Ben Ali not to censor them – but he couldn’t resist the challenge.

Check out the Fock photo gallery (and read up on why many of the faces are hidden).