Anti-government demonstrations in Tunisia aren’t making much waves in the US press, but are being met across the mid-East with demonstrations of support in Egypt, Jordan, Lebanon and other countries. Suicide attempts by desperate young men have been triggering these actions which have been met by brutal suppression, triggering riots in Tunis.
Quoting Mona Eltahawy in the Toronto Star, January 8:
“On Dec. 17, Mohamed Bouazizi, 26, doused himself in gasoline and lit a match after police confiscated fruits and vegetables he’d been selling without a permit to make a living in lieu of a job he could not find despite a university degree.”
This neatly sums up the state of frustration. Many young Tunisians identified with Mr. Bouazizi and took to the streets. A few have even ended their own lives sparking more actions.
To highlight the disconnect, Ms. Eltahawi makes much of a phone ringing during a speech made over Tunisian TV by president Ben Ali who is ignoring the ring.
When it comes to suicide astrologers usually look first to Pisces or the 12th house. Of course, there is now a conjunction of Uranus and Jupiter in Pisces. I’ve linked this elsewhere to the recent publicity of young gay people, victims of bullying and harassment who have killed themselves. Now we see in Tunisia, young people with good education, but no opportunities to use it killing themselves or protesting in sympathy. This conjunction is in quincunx to a Jupiter-Pluto conjunction in Leo in Tunisia’s 10th house. ,  The economy is in relatively good shape, all things considered, but with Pluto now in Tunisia’s 2nd house and opposing Venus in Cancer in the 8th, they are due for economic restructuring and it is privatizing some state resources, but that draws profits and economic development to advantage the rich. Working people are getting the squeeze. Transiting Pluto is also sextile the natal Mars in Pisces in the 4th house, energizing political opposition, even to radical and desperate measures, including suicides.
The current mundane conjunction of Jupiter and Uranus is also trine the natal Saturn at 27 Scorpio, just below the Ascendant at 22 degreees. No surprise that this is shaking up the populace and the hierarchy, but that is a trine so I see them weathering through the crisis. That quincunx to the 10th house, however does demand adjustments and some power may be shifted from the president Zine El Abidine Ben Ali. Although Tunisia is nominally a constitutional republic, Mr. Ben Ali has maintained an effective dictatorship for 23 years. Pluto is squaring the natal Mercury, in Libra in the 7th house so these demonstrations may force more open elections and a shift of power towards the legislature, however merely cosmetic that may be. It will at least buy time for the regime.
Tunisia has Eris at 9 Aries, and that is sesqui-square to the Pluto-Jupiter conjunction. Uranus gets there in 2012-2014, squaring transiting Pluto, also sesqui-square the natal Pluto-Jupiter conjunction. This dynamic aspect pattern, two sesqui-squares and one square has been called “Thor’s Hammer.” I’ve seen this often with Eris triggering tumultuous changes. At the same time transiting Eris will be entering the 6th house setting the scene for labor unrest. Uranus follows into the 6th house in 2016 and they will soon conjoin, triggering labor uprisings.
Mr. Ben Ali, answer your phone!
 Data for Tunisian independence: June 15, 1956 at 5:00 PM CET in Tunis, and thank you, Nick Campion!
 I use an equal house system. Quadrant based houses will put Pluto and Jupiter in the 9th.