Tunisa's 2010-11 revolution widely credited for kickstarting the Arab Spring has been halted by the rise of Islamist forces, one of the country's leading activists said at the weekend.
Dr Abdelaziz Messaoudi of the left Ettajdid movement told an international rally at 21st Century Marxism that the trade union movement had played a key role in kicking out the former dictator.
"It began with an eight-month strike and the failure of capitalist model based on tourism simply made things worse," he said.
But Dr Messaoudi said that while the "working class played a vital role in the revolution" class consciousness was not advanced enough "to give it a radical edge."
Reactionary Islamist forces took hold as a result.
He said that the Islamist Ennahda party, which formed a coalition with the help of non-religious parties, had implemented "catastrophic economic policies."
Sudanese Communist Party representative Rashid El Sheikh spoke of a similar struggle against reactionary religious rule 2,000 miles away under dictator Omar al-Bashir.
He reported that his party had formed an alliance for a "democratic alternative" - and that doctors had just formed an independent trade union after years of state oppression.
"In Sudan the people are fed up from 23 years of rule under Islamic law," he said.
"When we say we want a successful uprising in Sudan we're not fighting for the price of petrol. We are fighting to abolish religious rule."
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