Protests in northern Morocco swell with calls for royal intervention

Thu Jun 15, 2017 12:40pm GMT

* Gruesome death of fishmonger provokes protests

* Tens of thousands march through capital

* Movement echoes wave of rallies during Arab Spring

* King accepted limited constitutional reforms in 2011

* This time the royal palace has remained silent

By Samia Errazzouki

AL-HOCEIMA, Morocco, June 15 (Reuters) - Under the banner of the People's Movement, Moroccans have just staged the country's biggest political protest since the "Arab Spring" and some now say that only intervention by their king can defuse a deepening crisis.

For months, demonstrators have taken to the streets in Rif region around the northern city of Al-Hoceima to vent their frustrations over the economic, social and political problems of a kingdom that presents itself as a beacon of stability in a turbulent region.

Authorities have responded by arresting as many as 100 leaders and members of the movement, called Hirak al Chaabi in Arabic, since the end of May.   Continued...

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