Tuesday, February 23, 2021

Gathering | Slate Africa


“The people will go to the end”: several hundred demonstrators gathered on Sunday in Paris on the eve of the second anniversary of the popular uprising of Hirak in Algeria to call among other things for the release of all prisoners of conscience and demand a “radical change” of the system.

“Stop the repression”, “neither forgetting nor renouncing, the revolution will win”, “system releases, sovereignty of the people over all institutions and resources”, could one read on the large white banners fixed between the trees of the place of the Republic.

This gathering was initially to be a march going from Republic to Nation but the route was prohibited by the prefect of police because of “serious risks of disturbances to the public order” and the proximity with the Algerian consulate.

“We are here to say that we are not about to stop, we are continuing the fight,” explains Hakim Taibi, an activist member of an intercollective of associations mobilized for two years in France. “We are not going to give up now, we no longer have a choice, it is not a question of changing a regime, it is a question of saving a country because this regime will lead the country to bankruptcy”.

Algerian flag on the shoulders and anti-covid mask in the colors of Algeria on the mouth and nose, Imen, 28, wants the departure of the “gang of mafia” who, in his eyes, rule Algeria.

“We are demonstrating against the system which, despite the elections of last year, has not really changed,” abounds at his side one of his friends Narmine, a 30-year-old student. “We show our support for our brothers and our sisters in Algeria who are struggling to demonstrate at the moment because the state is taking advantage of the current situation, the coronavirus epidemic, to block the demonstrations”.

Launched on February 22, 2019, the Hirak – an unprecedented popular protest movement in Algeria – had pushed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power for two decades, to resign two months later.

His successor, President Abdelmadjid Tebboune, has made a gesture of appeasement in recent weeks by pardoning and releasing dozens of prisoners of conscience, including journalist and activist Khaled Drareni, and promised early legislative elections by the end of 2021.



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