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Missionary: uprising in Tunisia led by 'Facebook action'

The unfolding revolution in Tunisia has come about because of 'Facebook action' - that's the view of Father Ramon Echeverria, vicar of the diocese of Tunis and member of the Missionaries of Africa (White Fathers).

Fr Ramon said: “We could describe it in many ways, but an unprecedented aspect of the Tunisian revolution for this country and the Arab world in general, is the emerging of a new course of action and expression, which we could call the 'Facebook action' with its fundamental concept of freedom.”

“The older generations had the lay or religious models of wellbeing, while these young people that took the streets causing the flight of Ben Ali, live in a parallel world - the Internet, in which despite censorship,  they move more freely than in their every day life. It is this freedom that they demanded and continue to demand taking the streets against the members of the old guard still in the realms of power”.

Fr Ramon said:  “Generally speaking there was a true need for a change that the young generation voiced. Now a need to return to normalcy is prevailing among the population, who are relying on the army for internal security and hoping that the transition phase will transforms the country”,

Fr Ramon,  who is originally from Pamplona in Spain, said he thought the parallel between the internet, free by nature, and popular demonstrations is very evident.

“In fact no party or opposition movement was able to take advantage of the protest because of this spontaneity and unprecedented forms of organisation.  The Internet allows information to travel instantly not only from one part of Tunisia to another, but across all Arab nations”, explained the missionary.

He said it was is difficult to predict the outcome of  events in Tunisia.  “After nearly 25 years of Ben Ali, the opposition is unable to rapidly produce a political leadership. Parties and movements are beginning to take action, but it will take weeks or even months before the situation returns to normality and gives a glimpse of the new country emerging from the revolution”, he said.

Source: MISNA