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Thousands March for Democracy in Morocco

Moroccans joined in the battle for Middle Eastern democracy Sunday, as demonstrations in major cities measured in the thousands. In Rabat, the capital, and in Casablanca, the largest city, there were an estimated 3,000-5,000 protesters, and smaller demonstrations were reported in Marrakesh, Tangier and other cities. While most of the demonstrations were peaceful, there were reports of some violence in Marrakesh. Since taking over in 1999, Morocco’s king, Mohammed VI, has instituted reform, but many Moroccans are calling for a more legitimate democracy. Many of the factors inspiring Moroccans to take to the streets—high unemployment, illiteracy and corruption—are similar to those in Egypt and Tunisia.