Teachers in Morocco joined thousands of other protestors in Casablanca on Sunday April 6th, to protest new austerity measures as well as government repression, including torture and corruption. The government of Prime Minister Abdelileh Benkirane, who took office in 2011, has decreased subsidies on fuel, which will have a damaging impact, particularly on the poor, as well as raised the retirement age and taken other austerity measures. Benkirane is under pressure from the International Monetary Fund (IMF) to pursue these measures, but his government also has a history of violently repressing any form of dissent.

At the end of last year, striking teachers were subject to from security forces, as they campaigned for their employment rights. Thousands of Moroccan teachers are on temporary contracts and many are not paid the salaries due to them according to their qualifications. Given this history of brutality, the willingness of teachers and others to take to the streets demands much courage. Sunday's demonstrations were no exception. Motor bike riding riot police used the prohibition against criticism of the monarchy to arrest several of the protesters.

In its most recent on Morocco, the IMF said: 'the reforms of the tax, subsidy, and pension systems are important, as is the gradual reduction in the public wage bill' - this under circumstances where public servants, in particular teachers, are already hardly paid a living wage. The release goes on to demand that the 'business climate' be improved. This is the usual prescription of the IMF and is of a piece with its brother organisation, the World Bank, which posts an ease of '' index - much of which is about cutting public spending and wages for the poor and reining in taxes and regulation of corporations. 

As one of the leaders of Sunday's protest said: 'Reform should not be carried out on the back of the poor', but this is precisely the strategy of the IMF, the World Bank and their client governments.