Stones thrown at Tunisia leaders marking revolt
SIDI BOUZID, Tunisia — Protesters on Monday hurled rocks at Tunisia’s President Moncef Marzouki and parliamentary speaker Mustapha Ben Jaafar in Sidi Bouzid, cradle of the revolution that erupted exactly two years ago. The incident began after a speech by Marzouki and as Ben Jaafar was about to address the crowd in the poor Tunisian town, where muted celebrations are taking place to mark the anniversary of the uprising. Tunisia’s marginalised interior has witnessed frequent outbreaks of social unrest amid bitter frustration at the revolution’s failure to bring material benefits.
The security forces swiftly evacuated the two men to the prefecture, or regional government headquarters, an AFP journalist reported. The protesters invaded the square where the speeches were taking place, shouting “the people want the fall of the government.” The police held back, after violent clashes in Tunisia in recent few months, often following attempts by the security forces to disperse protesters angry over the government’s failure to improve living conditions. When the president took to the podium on Monday, many in the crowd of around 5,000 started shouting “Get out! Get out!” — one of the rallying cries of the revolution that toppled the regime of former dictator Zine El Abidine Ben Ali.
5 held on bail, accused in mob action after police shooting
Accused of joining a violent mob that formed after a Chicago police officer shot and killed a suspected robber on Saturday, five men appeared in bond court yesterday. The suspects, ages 19 to 31, all face misdemeanor charges of mob action. Four of the five are also accused of other crimes. The crowd gathered midday Saturday in the Back of the Yards neighborhood shortly after a “very violent encounter” led one officer to shoot and kill Jamaal Moore, 23, of the 5600 block of South Shields Avenue authorities said. Police said two officers confronted Moore, who they believe participated in an armed hold-up of a truck driver earlier Saturday. Moore, who police say appeared to be holding something in his hand, engaged in a tussle with one officer. When Moore charged at the other officer, she feared for her life and shot him, Superintendent Garry McCarthy said Saturday. Officers didn’t find a gun with Moore. He was carrying a flashlight. As news of the shooting spread, police said relatives and friends of Moore gathered near the shooting scene in the 1600 block of West Garfield Boulevard. The atmosphere was contentious, and police reports say bricks were lobbed at patrol cars as people refused to leave the scene. These five suspects appeared before Judge Adam Bourgeois Jr. on Sunday. All are due back in court on Wednesday.
* Terry M. Walker, 31, faces five charges, including two counts of resisting a police officer. He is being held on $50,000 bail, meaning he’ll have to post $5,000 to leave jail. Walker, of the 1400 block of North Lawler Avenue, is accused of refusing to disperse and clinching his fists as if he intended to strike an officer. Police say he also swung his arms and legs to avoid arrest.
* Jeremy E. Jones, 26, was ordered held on $10,000 bail for charges of aggravated assault on police, mob action and resisting police. Officers say Jones, of the 12400 block of South Honore Avenue in Calumet Park, refused several requests to surrender to police before acquiescing. Officers attempted to use a Taser and a takedown move called an arm bar to subdue Jones, who weighs more than 300 pounds, but they weren’t successful.
* Bruce Williams, 22, is accused of ignoring a sergeant’s request to leave the area. Police say Williams made “a gesture imitating shooting” a gun at two officers and verbally threatened to shoot police. He ran from officers, but was arrested after a short foot pursuit. Williams, of the 5500 block of South Hermitage Avenue, faces charges for simple assault, mob action and possession of cannabis. Bourgeois ordered him held on $10,000 bail.
* Richard Dean Q. Lanier, 19, is being held on $5,000 bail on charges of resisting or obstructing an officer and mob action. Police say Lanier, of the 5000 block of South Loomis Boulevard, “became violent and began to yell profanities” at officers while “flailing his arms and trying to incite the crowd around him.”
* Aarion M. Pittman, 20, is accused of mob action for failing to disperse on Saturday. Pittman, of the 5600 block of Marshfield Avenue, was ordered held on $5,000 bail.