Abject Revulsion Begets A Revolution

I cannot imagine the life's road a person must have been forced to travel and endure, that would finally present an emotional cocktail so psychologically combustible as to lead a person to commit a political act of defiant self-immolation. The post's title surely fails to capture such abject rawness and violation of the senses. Yet that, apparently, is what "lit the prairie fire" of a revolution in Tunisia two days ago.



"Mohammed Bouazizi just brought down a dictator. He was seemingly nobody special; a 26-year-old man living in a small town named Sidi Bouzid in Tunisia.  He had a degree in computer science, but like so many young people in the Arab world, he could not find a job. So he worked as a fruit and vegetable vendor, trying to make ends meet.

But Tunisia was an extremely authoritarian and corrupt police state, and the police came and confiscated his wares, saying he didn’t have the right permit (a common gambit to extract a bribe). According to some reports, a policeman spit on him.

This was the last straw for a young man who had been subjected to too many indignities in his short life. He doused himself with gasoline and set himself ablaze. He lingered for two weeks in hospital with horrible burns, then died on January 5."


The full article: Revolution in Tunisia, and the Spark that Lit a Prairie Fire | Empire Notes


cross posted @ My FDL