RABAT: Thousands of teachers flooded the streets of the Moroccan capital on Sunday to demand better conditions after a nighttime protest dispersed by riot police left dozens wounded.
Teachers on temporary contracts have been on strike since March 3 demanding permanent employment arrangements that would improve their rights and benefits, especially over retirement. On Saturday night baton-wielding riot police used water cannons to disperse a protest by several thousand young teachers who marched peacefully in central Rabat chanting "freedom, dignity, social justice".
As night fell, demonstrators held aloft candles and used their mobile phones as torches, before setting up a makeshift camp in front of parliament. Police moved in to break up the gathering after the protestors refused to leave following more than two hours of negotiations, according to an AFP journalist. Around 60 people were lightly wounded and taken to
hospital, according to Othman Zeriouch, one of the organisers of the protest movement.