Moroccan Police Use Water Cannons against Striking Teachers
Police in Rabat, the capital of Morocco, used water cannons overnight between Saturday and Sunday to break up a mass demonstration by young teachers seeking better working conditions and benefits. The teachers, estimated to be about 15,000 in number, had gathered outside the country’s parliament building and were prepared to remain there until linking up with an even larger protest to be staged by unions and opposition parties. The teachers have been on strike for about three weeks and say their contracts – which were negotiated in 2016 – should include benefits and pension plans similar to those received by other public sector workers. They have been employed on contracts negotiated in 2016 and represent about one-fifth of the country’s quarter-million educators. Police in full riot gear moved in on the demonstrators after discussions aimed at having them disperse for the night broke down.