"There is a difference between a revolution and chaos," said Said Ferjani, a torture victim and former exile, who is now a spokesman for the moderate Islamist party that leads Tunisia's constituent assembly.
In both Egypt and Tunisia, the Islamist parties leading the new legislatures - outlawed as radicals under their former governments - take a conservative, business-friendly approach to matters of law and order at odds with more left-leaning forces in the revolts.
In Tunisia, that tension has become focused on Avenue Bourguiba in Tunis - a central thoroughfare that is the symbolic core of the country's revolution, like Tahrir Square in Cairo. Labor groups, liberals, and more conservative Islamists have all used the avenue as a staging ground for demonstrations to voice their demands to the interim government. Local merchants and businesses, meanwhile, complained that the constant protests have scared off tourists, ruining any hope of economic revival.
The situation came to a head March 28, when two rival groups of liberal artists and ultraconservative Islamists both staged marches there. Clashes ensued, with the ultraconservatives attacking the artists.
In response, the moderate Islamist-led government announced a ban on protests along the avenue, directing demonstrators to march elsewhere. On Saturday, the police first used tear gas and batons to enforce the new ban. Monday's demonstration became, in effect, a protest demanding the right to protest.