TUNIS, Tunisia — Tunisia's once-feared police staged a
rally of their own Saturday, demanding better salaries and insisting
they're not to blame for shooting deaths among protesters who forced the
North African country's longtime autocrat to flee.
At least 2,000
police rallied in downtown Tunis, an epicenter of protest and clashes
between youths and police that forced President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali
to quit the country he ruled with an iron fist for 23 years.
was a significant development for Tunisia, where police under Ben Ali
were widely feared. The rally took place near the hulking Interior
Ministry, a symbol of the dread that his regime inspired for many
Saturday's crowd on Avenue Bourguiba, where daily
protests have been held, drew many plainclothes and uniformed police
with red armbands. They sought to press demands like the creation of a
labor union, better pay and — like other protests in recent days — the
ousting of any members from Ben Ali's party from the government.