The offices of the Tunisian Labor Federation (Union Générale Tunisienne du Travail, UGTT) in Tunis, Tunisia, were attacked at 8:45 a.m. today by up to 200 people wielding rocks and bottles. Union supporters, including a Solidarity Center staff member, rushed to the scene and barricaded entry to the offices. Ever since last year’s elections, the UGTT has been repeatedly targeted with vicious attacks from groups hostile to the union. Firebomb attacks during the night of June 11-12 damaged three UGTT offices in Bousalam, Bengarden and Jendouba.
As the attackers “tried to force their way into the building, they threw rocks and bottles,” said Mohamed Najjari, a member of the UGTT’s tourism workers federation. “I’m glad no one was hurt.”
After being pushed back from the union office, the attackers rallied in a nearby square, periodically sending someone to harangue the assembled UGTT activists. By then, the riot police had arrived and no further violence erupted.
The UGTT was recently honored by the AFL-CIO and received the George Meany-Lane Kirkland Human Rights Award for its fundamental role in supporting and sustaining the democratic uprising that took place in Tunisia in 2011.
Watch a Youtube video covering this morning’s violence.