It is the anniversary of the Tunisian revolution, which began in 2010 with mass protests a day after the self-immolation of the street vendor Mohamed Bouazizi. Bouazizi had decided to burn himself in response to persistent harassment by the police, who beat him up, stole his property and demanded bribes.
The riots, strikes and social unrest which followed, in which Tunisians
expressed their anger about high unemployment, food prices, corrupt officials,
state repression and housing problems, led to the downfall of President Zine El
Abidine Ben Ali, and triggered further mass protests across the Arab world.
Ben Ali's political party was removed from government functions and dissolved, and a new election on 23 October 2011 brought the Islamic Ennahda Party to power.
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