A dozen republican Riffians burned and trampled on the Moroccan flag and the portrait of King Mohammed VI on Sunday 19 January in Betz, northern France. Videos and photos were posted on social networks.
On the anniversary of the events of 19 January 1984, when thousands of Moroccans protested against the high cost of living, more than a dozen of Riffian republicans demonstrated in front of the castle of King Mohammed VI in Betz, northern France. They burned and trampled on the portrait of the sovereign as well as the Moroccan flag. Images broadcast on social networks triggered a wave of indignation. Similar events had already taken place in October in Paris, when Riffian independence activists burned the Moroccan flag.
Demonstrators calling themselves “opponents of the monarchical regime” chanted the slogan “Vive le Rif“, waving flags of the Rif republic.
On 19 January 1984, thousands of Moroccans took to the streets, particularly in the cities of Nador, Al Hoceima, Tetouan, Ksar El Kebir and Marrakech, to protest against the high cost of living and the country’s economic situation as part of a “revolt for bread and dignity”. After days of riots, the forces of law and order intervened harshly caused hundreds of deaths to restore control.
Similarly in Paris
During the demonstration organised by Riffians in Paris on Saturday 26 October to mark the third anniversary of the death of Mohcine Fikri, a fish merchant whose death sparked a social protest movement in the Rif in northern Morocco, “republicans” trampled on and burned the country’s flag.
They demanded “the independence of the Rif” from “Alawite colonialism [in reference to the Moroccan royal family, editor’s note]”, waving the flags of the “Rif Republic” founded by Mohamed ben Abdelkrim el-Khattabi in the 1920s.
Faced with this gesture, which triggered an outcry in the Cherif kingdom, the Council of the Moroccan Community Abroad reacted firmly in a statement published on its official website, condemning a “childish” and “cowardly” act, which shows how much the kingdom was shocked by these acts and demonstrates its weak position. Also the regime and palace friendly news outlets like le360.ma came out with accusations and lies to condemn the flag burning, while not even daring to mention the reason of the sit-in!