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Algeria

"We got the cup, now we want to get the system out of here"

Thursday 25 July 2019, by Wissem and Lemnouar

Football has always played a role in the working class neighbourhoods of Algeria. The victory at the CAN (Coupe Afrique des Nations) is an encouragement for the people, who see it as a hope for Algeria.

On Friday, July 19, the mobilization continued, as people used to march each week with slogans in response to the speeches of Gaďd Salah and Bensalah.

Against repression

Lawyers’ mobilizations have resumed their strength. At the beginning of the movement, they demonstrated every Wednesday. Then it was smaller. Recently, with the repression, lawyers have begun to mobilize more strongly, on Wednesdays but also on Fridays with their own contingent. They have formed a collective, from the beginning, against the system, but also against repression, which is now the system’s tactic to intimidate the movement. The action of lawyers helps to combat this policy by removing its legitimacy. Hadj Ghermoul’s release after 6 months in prison is not proof of the decline in repression: his verdict was 6 months, so he was released at the end of his sentence. But on the other hand, the others are not released.

The government arrested Haddad and other corrupt people, not because they stole public money, but for bogus reasons. For example, Haddad was arrested on the pretext that he has two passports. At the same time, they arrest demonstrators and activists to intimidate and disperse mobilizations.

Fortunately, the broad masses of the people continue to mobilize on Fridays. But without giving an alternative. In Bejaia, in the "left contingent", mainly led by the PST, the Constituent Assembly has been put forward from the beginning. Then, the teachers’ and students’ contingent did not hesitate to use this slogan in the marches on Friday as well as on Tuesday. The contingents are organized by neighbourhood and some are demanding a Constituent Assembly.

Personalities to save the regime

For its part, the government is looking for a way out of the crisis by bailing out the system. It has called on organizations and collectives for social dialogue, with a view to organizing a presidential election.

Their “national dialogue conference” took place on 6 July, with representatives of various organizations that are not representative of the movement. Their aim was to establish a roadmap for organizing the election. This does not really have any legitimacy, but personalities have been suggested to negotiate with the government. However, if they are really representatives of the people, who appointed them? The appeal speaks of an egalitarian society but there are only 4 women among the 14 personalities... Djamila Bouhired has been appointed, but she denied it by saying that she is with the Hirak, does not want to negotiate with the government and calls for the people to remain mobilized.

Continue to fight to end the system

The people reject these negotiations, like the presidential elections of 5 July; they want the whole system to leave. The movement has taken on a permanent character. It is to be expected that there will be demonstrations from other layers of workers, in addition to Friday. In any case, this is what we want, in order to impose another approach, another perspective, the sovereign Constituent Assembly as a perspective for the nomination of representatives of the people, workers, the unemployed, students, for the interests of the popular masses. In addition, we are calling for continued mobilization, for the lifting of banking secrecy to be promoted, so that those who have taken the money of the Algerian people will pay. We want social justice. In this sense, the Constituent Assembly is a step towards legitimizing popular demands and opening up the prospect of a change in society.

P.S.

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