Elisa Rheinheimer-Chabbi had this story in IPS:
While the tenth anniversary of the Arab Spring has just passed in Egypt, another North African country is in the midst of its own ‘spring awakening’: Algeria. On the second anniversary of the country’s peaceful protests, tens of thousands of people took to the streets at the end of February to voice their demands for an end to corruption and despotism, and for democratic reforms and genuine political change.
In 2019, the people managed to prevent the aged President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from having a fifth term in office. Each week they had demonstrated by the hundreds of thousands: peacefully, with creative slogans and ‘cleaning crews’, who cleared away rubbish after the demonstrations. But the new government is de facto made up of the old guard, and so the Algerians continued to demonstrate in the Hirak protest movement until the coronavirus pandemic brought this to an abrupt end in March 2020.
Now they are back – with banners demanding ‘A civilian state, not a military state’, ‘Freedom of the press and freedom of expression!’, and ‘An independent judiciary’. In the capital, Algiers, people are openly flouting the official ban against demonstrations. They’re also ignoring the roadblocks the government has set up to prevent revolutionaries from other parts of the country from joining the protests in Algiers. Even the pandemic couldn’t stop them: the anger and dissatisfaction are too great.
Read the full story here.