Moroccan police disperse protesting teachers with water cannons

AFP , Sunday 24 Mar 2019

Young Moroccan school teachers hold banners as they protest against their current status in the capital Rabat on March 24, 2019. The banner reads in Arabic "No to contractual jobs". (Photo: AFP)

Baton-wielding riot police used water cannons to disperse teachers protesting in the Moroccan capital on Saturday night to demand better conditions.

Several thousand young teachers calling for permanent work contracts had marched peacefully through the streets of central Rabat chanting slogans such as "freedom, dignity, social justice".

As night fell, demonstrators held aloft candles and used their mobile phones as torches, before setting up a makeshift camp in front of parliament.

Police moved in to break up the gathering after the protestors refused to leave following more than two hours of negotiations, according to an AFP journalist.

The teachers on temporary contracts, who have been on strike since March 3, enjoy the same salaries as their permanent colleagues -- 5,000 dirhams ($520) a month.

But they complain they do not enjoy the same rights, especially over retirement.

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