The New York Times had a fantastic story on Saturday about how an insult to a single man helped touch off the street protests that drove out Tunisia's dictator. The man, a street vendor, set himself on fire in the street after he was slapped by an inspector and had his scale confiscated. He later died. Tunisia's inspectors are known for demanding bribes to avoid costlier fines. I thought this quote in the Times story was particularly striking:
- Bilal Zaydi, 20, saw the vendor’s relatives and friends outside the governor’s office that afternoon, throwing coins at the gate. “Here is your bribe,” they yelled.
The Tunisia revolution is really amazing, and I hope it brings real democracy to the country.