Tunisians launched an all-out assault on Barack Obama’s Facebook page this week, posting thousands of comments making fun of the U.S. president and supporting the “occupy” protests across America.
Among the comments, Tunisian Facebook users circulated “Arab Spring” jokes, such as: “Tunisia is the first country to recognize the American Transitional National Council,” referring the revolutionary upheaval in Libya and the global recognition of the Libyan transitional council.
The Facebook users described it as a “virtual surprise attack.” Many of the recent entries on his 2012 presidential campaign page were bombarded with as many as 20,000 comments each.
“Tunisian people are calling the U.S. authorities to respect freedom of expression and not to resort repression and assault on the rights of American citizens,” read one comment, which was reposted by several users.
Another comment read: “Tunisian people denounce violations against the American people by the security forces, which affect the freedom of expression.”
The Facebook assault was in part organized through Twitter, with the hashtag #TrollingObama helping spread the world, reported social network-inspired news site Storyful.com.
The horde of comments, which came after photos of police brutality against “Occupy Wall Street” protesters were released on social media sites.
“To overthrow any corrupt system in the world, please contact the Tunisian people,” one comment read.
Another comment mimicked Obama’s previous statements about the embattled Arab leaders: “Fouad Mbaza (the current Tunisian president) says that Obama should start the change immediately, or leave power.”
Members of the Occupy Wall Street movement, who are continuing to protest against social and economic inequality and corporate greed in the U.S., have even been offered advice from Arab Spring.
“All protesters take the same risks, from Tunisia to Egypt,” Ramy Raouf, communication officer at Front to Defend Egypt Protesters, told GlobalPost.
“When police react with violence, the protesters also need to understand the official laws of the region to understand what they can and cannot do. If they ever get arrested, they should always have a lawyer ready,” he advised.
“Protesters should always go to the streets carrying a bag. In that bag, they should carry a can of Pepsi, a bottle of water, and a bottle of vinegar. They should also carry plastic bags and extra clothes. If the police shoot tear gas during a protest and it gets in their eyes, they can immediately smell the vinegar. Then splash the water on their face. After that, add pepsi to wash out the eyes. It will reduce the effects of the gas,” Raouf added.