Timeline of the Tunisian Revolution

17th of December : Mohamed Bouazizi, a 26 years old street vendor in Sidi Bouzid (centre of the country), had his goods (fruits and vegetables) seized by the police because he did not have the required license nor did he bribe the police controlling him. He got insulted, hit and even spat on by one of the officers. Even though he had a diploma, he was jobless and this activity was the only revenue for him and his brothers, sisters and widowed mother. After trying to get his belongings back at the siege of the local prefecture, he set himself on fire as a protest. On the very same day, tens of shop owners and young people gathered in front of the prefecture demanding to meet the governor.

18th of December : the movement gathered strength in Sidi Bouzid : a spontaneous demonstration, violently repressed by the police, turned into an open confrontation until late in the night.

19th of December : the confrontations continued in the city : the local headquarter of the RCD (Constitutional Democratic Rally, Ben Ali's party) got attacked. The police, present both in uniform and as civilians, began patrolling the city.

20th of December : the movement reached the city of Meknassis (center), near Sidi Bouzid.

22nd of December : in Sidi Bouzid, Houcine Neji, a 24 years old unemployed, climbed an electric pole and shouted ''no more misery, no more unemployment''. In spite of the fact that the crowd asked him to get back down, he ended his life by jumping off. He was the first victim. The protest reached on this day Menzel Bouzaiane (center). The delegation headquarter was set on fire and the national guard base besieged.

24th of December : in Menzel Bouzaiane, a 18 years old protester got shot by the police. In spite of his youth, he was the first victim killed by the State. His name was Mohamed Ammari. Other demonstrators were hurt, including Chawki Belhoussine El Hadri, a 44 years old man, who will die because of his wounds on December 30th.

25th - 26th of December : the movement reached for the first time the capital Tunis (North) where unemployed graduates protested.

26th of December : hundreds of people demonstrated in Souk Jedid (center) and set fire to the prefecture. In Regueb (center), 2 000 protesters took the streets and confronted the police.

27th of December : following the call of several unions, hundreds of protesters (students, unionists and human rights activists) met in front of the UGTT (Tunisian Labor General Union, who had backed the Government and the bosses in the past) headquarters in Tunis. They gathered to show their solidarity with the movement, claiming the right for a job and demanding a just development for all the regions. Lawyers, a very active profession in the Revolution, protested in Sidi Bouzid.

28th of December : Ben Ali goes to visit Mohamed Bouazizi who had been transferred to a hospital near Tunis. The press was there to take a picture of the encounter but it failed to mention that the dictator and the other officials didn't bother using any mask (the doctors and nurses around them are almost all wearing such protection) and there increased the risk of introducing germs in the room. The hypocrisy continued when Ben Ali meets Mohamed Bouazizi's family in a luxurious house. During his first speech since the start of the movement, he claimed that protesters were just a handful of agitators betraying the ''homeland''. He threatened them with heavy repression.

29th of December : a demonstration took place in Tunis.

30th of December : Chawki Belhoussine El Hadri, wounded on December 24th in Menzel Bouazaïane, died. In an attempt to calm down the rebellion, the governor of Sidi Bouzid was fired. The government claims that the agitation was limited to a local level and was not a mirror of the situation in the entire country.

31st of December : lawyers showed their solidarity in Sousse, Monastir, Mahdia, Gafsa, Jendouba and Grombalia.

3rd of January : in Thala (centre-west), demonstrators clashed with the police. Near Sidi Bouzid, 250 protestors, mostly high school students, took part in a peaceful march to express their solidarity with the movement against unemployment and the high cost of living. The protest turned violent after the police provoked it by firing tear gas, one of the bombs reaching a Mosque. Furious, the protestors burned tires and the office of the RCD. In Sidi Bouzid, high school students took the streets without any problem.

4th of January : death of Mohamed Bouazizi, in the evening.

5th of January : around 5 000 people participate in the burial of the young man, now a martyr, and expressed their anger. In Sidi Bouzid, a mother and her children climbed a electric pole and threatened to end their lives if the Government refused to help them find a job and decent housing. The repression intensified. The State blocked websites, the police patrolled as civilians in the streets, schools were closed down. The French newspaper Le Monde reports various repressed protests throughout the country (http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2011/01/05/tunisie-nous-vivons-un-...) : a peaceful demonstration became violent after police provocation in Thala, Kasserine and Hammamet. Nevertheless, the movement was still limited to the main cities. The main demands were : ''Jobs for all'', ''Down with the bribes and favouritism'', ''Tunisia free'', ''Ben Ali get lost'' (''Ben Ali dégage'' in French, slogan took up also in that language during the protest in Cairo on January 25th). According to reports sent from Tunisia to Le Monde, no one would have dared say these things a month ago. Several violent arrests took place in the night in Thala. The upheaval extended itself to the neighbouring Algeria.

6th of January : most secondary and high schools were on strike in Sidi Bouzid. In Chebba, Mohamed Slimane, 52 years old, killed himself. Father of unemployed graduates, he was sick and had asked for help to sustain his family and take care of his health in vain. This desperate act was accompanied by two other ones : a young man set himself on fire in Metlaoui and another person threatened to electrocute himself so as to denounce unemployment and corruption. The 22 years old rapper Hammada Ben Amor (known on the Internet as ''El General'', on which we can see a clip of his song ''President, your people is dead'') was arrested in Sfax (the second largest city) as well as 3 cyber- activists : El Aziz Amami, Slim Amamou and Hamadi Kaloutha. Demonstrations were held in solidarity in Canada, Algeria, Europe, as in Paris where 250 people gathered.

7th of January : demonstrators were wounded after the police opened fire in Saida and Regueb.

8th of January : a second street vendor and a 50 years old father Moncef Ben K set himself on fire in Sidi Bouzid. The UGTT manifested its solidarity with the movement during a demonstration in Tunis. About 100 people remained silent for a minute in memory of the victims fallen since the start of the revolt. The Algerian government decided to decrease the import taxes on oil and sugar so as to limit the prices paid by consumers. The prices of sugar, oil and flour had doubled in the past months.

9th of January : the Tunisian governments admitted that 8 protesters got killed (5 in Thala and 3 in Kasserine), a first acknowledgment since the start of the rebellion. By the end of the day, the number of victims rose to 14. Le Monde announced 23 assassinations in Kasserine, Regueb and Thala (http://www.lemonde.fr/afrique/article/2011/01/09/tunisie-nous-marchons-v...).

10th of January : in Regueb and Kasserine, demonstrations for the memories of the fallen protestors ended up in a street battle with the police, the latter got support from the army. The cities of Thala, Meknassi an Seliana faced the same situation. In an attempt to quiet down protestors, Ben Ali promised during a second speech since the beginning of Revolution that 300 000 jobs would be created in the next two years. All of the schools and universities got closed down as decided by the dictator. For him, those that have stood up to the police were ''terrorists''. Nevertheless, the mobilization increased after the speech. It now reached the tourist areas and Tunis, where the police besieged the university Al Manar after hundreds of students shelter themselves inside. One more suicide is to deplore. Another unemployed graduate, Alla Hidouri, hurt by bullet in a leg during the protest of December 24th in Menzel Bouazaine, ended his life.

11th of January : the former colonial power, the French State, had remained silent over the situation that its friend Ben Ali was confronting. The foreign affairs minister, Michelle Alliot-Marie proposed Tunisia the ''know-how'' of France of keeping order during riots, in the Parliament while saying at the same time that France had no lessons to give to other countries (should one remind her that the French elites did not hesitate a second in criticizing Gbagbo from Ivory Coast over the past weeks ?). The wave of riots reached the suburb of Tunis during the night.

12th of January : 2 people got killed and 4 were hurt in Douz. Among them, there is the Franco-Tunisian Hatem Bettaba. Then again, no ''lessons'' were given by the French government. In order to stop the riots in the area around Tunis, a curfew was declared. In a desperate attempt to stop the progression of the movement, the government freed the jailed demonstrators. However, Hamma Hammami, a 59 years old high ranked member of the Workers Communist Party of Tunisia, was imprisoned. The Interior minister was fired and the government announced that investigation will be undertaken against corruption.

13th of January : the situation led to looting of Casino and Carrefour (French multinationals working in relation with the Tunisian ruling elites) supermarkets in Gafsa, Gabès.
In the third – and last ! - speech, Ben Ali promised to not be a candidate for his re-election after 2014 and to grant freedom and civil rights to Tunisians, including a larger access to Internet, and to lower the prices of basic commodities. In spite of the promises, two workers are killed in Kairouan. The estimated number of victims of repression is now 66.

A top-ranked commander of the army refuses to follow Ben Ali's orders to shoot protesters. Ben Ali fires him. He will become, together with the army, very popular because many lives were saved even though the army had tried to keep order during the Revolution. 14th of January : in reaction to Ben Ali's speech, some Tunisians show their happiness. At the same time, thousands demonstrated and asked him to leave power. Protests and riots continue their progression. Police violence has not stopped. During the afternoon, Ben Ali announces the dissolution of the government and anticipated legislative elections in six months. A curfew is established during the night. The army gets its position in front of the Interior Ministry and takes over the airport of Tunis. Shortly after, official cars abandon the presidential palace and arrive at one of the terminals. Ben Ali left Tunisia for Saudi Arabia. According to certain sources. The dictator had planned to create havoc in the country, hoping that the people would beg his return. His militias did cause armed confrontation but the army, backed with self-organized neighborhood committees patrol the streets searching the armed groups. A new government will be put in place, with many old heads of the RCD. The population will continue its movement so as to stop the Revolution from being betrayed from above. By the end of January, general strikes will be called out by the UGTT. The example of Tunisia has been followed in many other Arab countries, challenging dictators serving world capitalism and oppressing their population.