The Government’s Approach in Theiban

By: Mohammad Aburumman

تم نشره في Sun 26 June / Jun 2016. 11:59 PM
  • Mohammad Aburumman

Decisions regarding the “Theiban” predicament were largely dominated by the assumption that the unemployment protest tent was a preface to the restoration of popular movement, and all that was entailed —from that perspective— of disobedience, chaos, and extortion of authority, for which everybody paid the price in 2011-2013. The government needed two years to restore authority and contain chaos.

To this particular perspective, tending to the demands of the unemployed, would kick start a whirlpool of movements, and entice everybody else to hold protests; something the State is also trying to put an end to, as it is considered an outlawed phenomena.

The horizon holds for us a nearer future of economic strife and difficulty, to unfold gradually, as the agreement with the International Monetary Fund (IMF) is implemented, to shrink expenditure, which may render any surrender to demand movements an imminent omen of further difficulty.

Typically, there is a general reasoning that dominates this approach, subsequent of outcome conclusions reaffirming the stereotypical perception of the official view on any popular movement, be it a political or a demand movement, and its percussions.

Further down the road, after confrontations intensified, and mediations failed, decision makers intervened, and worked to contain the situation through conversation and communication; which was successfully done, overcoming the previously dominant vilifying or fearful perception of movement. Furthermore, the government did not abide by the outlined roles drawn by the former Prime Minister for succeeding governments; described as executive of day to day affairs, with no political responsibilities.

The government decision makers trampled all over the political sphere and claimed it back, refusing to address the issues at hand as mere security matters. More importantly, they did find reasonable ways out of the suffocating situations, which infers that the views persistent on excluding the government from the political scene were catastrophically mistaken, and that the interest of the State lies indeed in the retention of a strong un-evasive political presence.

I will not discuss the official view on popular movement, which renders all the responsibility for events of the past years to the protests. This view mixes between socio-economic and political demands, on one hand, and the reactions of the government back then, on the other, which eventually led us into chaos, and gave way to extortion as a dominant means to influence official policy. This view, mainly due to weaknesses in the State, has only itself to blame for, not popular movements.

Theiban modules the scale of complex disparity between the State and society, politically and economically speaking; the State wants to instil a feud-like political relation with the people, while paving for a liberal economy through which the State would abandon its responsibilities towards the people! This economic dynamic cannot be fitted into that political environment; which is why the State’s message is so discombobulating.

Through these disparities and imbalances, we can make our way to understand and portray the recent Theiban incidents, not through the official looking glass, which views protest as extortion of the State. Over the decades, marginalisation built, with intensifying unemployment, coupled with the absence of investment and centralised labour market policy and management, given the already near dismantled relationship between State and the Citizen, woven all into a lot of confusion between the outcomes of official policy on one side, and on the other; the legal rights of expression, employment, and to a decent life; for the State to summarise it all in one word “movement”!

In short, what is required is for every situation to be addressed for what it is, exactly, through a balanced outlook of politics and security, with a legal mind and humanitarian heart, in order to navigate our way through the minefield to come!