There is a building on my street that does not look like it belongs in Tunisia.
It is brightly colored and has a design that what look more comfortable in Southeast Asia then in North Africa.
It clearly took a lot of money to build.
I learned this week that relatives of Ben Ali live there. Someone at the barricades told me that the head of the family worked as a traditional musician, a career that would not generally support the construction of such an ostentatious building.
The people at the barricades assume that the family who lived in this house paid for their life style in a corrupt manner. They were angry about this, and angry because the presence of Ben Ali's family here could bring looters, or worse.
A few minutes ago there were well armed pro-army/government police going in and out of the house. Many people at the barricades last night hopefully speculated that these people would have some of their money and/or property confiscated. Whether this process is starting is anyone's guess.
Even though the police are local, and therefore presumably on the up and up, after the events of this last weekend it was still a little nerveracking to see police with assault rifles on my street.
"Would you define "pro-army/government police"?
BBC's coverage today indicated that there is still a lot of sporadic violence in the capital as well as confusion as to the composition of the interim government. Please comment."
The worst violence of the last few days involved the army and local citizens groups fighting (unidentified and partially identified) well armed and well organized cells of terrorists.
I generally have referred to these people as "terrorists" and Tunisians have been using the term "militia." They are the ones going around shooting random people and soldiers and burning down government buildings.
This "militia" is almost definitely made up of former security forces, and most likely certain elements of the presidential bodyguard and/or high ranking "special police" linked to the interior ministry. (these are two groups Tunisians have mentioned, but they could be the same organization)
In the first day of the violence these men kept their uniforms on during the day, and my friend saw a bunch of non-military security forces in black uniforms open fire on a group of people peacefully celebrating the end of the regime.
At night they changed into plain clothes and drove around killing soldiers and civilians and generally doing nasty things.
These are the anti-military/government police.
However, it seems that most local police were not involved in this terrorism and they are currently working with the army, especially during the day. These are who i mean by the pro-army/government police (ie. they are not shooting at soldiers and they are not trying to terrorize the new government out of existence.
The clashes in Tunis have been protests, and I haven't heard of anyone being shot at them yet. As of yesterday my friends in Tunis were seeing machine-gun toting Militia exchanging fire with Army helicopters. As far as I have heard those pitched gun battles are over.