Tens of thousands of demonstrators gathered across Algeria on Monday, February 22, 2021 to celebrate the Hirak’s birthday and insistently ask the regime and its symbols to leave power.
The scene is imposing this Monday, February 22, 2021: Thousands of demonstrators chanting anti-regime slogans and against the pauperization of Algerians and a massively deployed security device. A demonstration of this large scale was expected. This is the second anniversary of Hirak, this popular movement which had pushed President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, in power for two decades, to resign two months after his birth and which has since contested the popular legitimacy of the regime in place and its symbols, starting with President Abdelmajid Tebboune.
In the center of Algiers, Algerians have returned to the streets to express their fed up with the explosive social and political situation in the country. Among the slogans repeated in chorus to the address of the power embodied by the military junta, the demonstrators sang: “We did not come for the anniversary (of the Hirak), we came for you to leave”. This is the most important procession in the Algerian capital since the suspension of the Hirak marches on March 13, 2020 due to the Covid-19 pandemic. There were also marches in the provinces, notably in Annaba, Oran, Béjaïa, Sétif, Bouira, Mostaganem and Constantine.
Placed by the generals
Since the early hours of the morning, the police vehicles circulated with flashing lights and sirens, creating a climate of fear. Filter dams on several roads leading to the capital have been erected. Better still, helicopters flew over the city for deterrence. But all this mobilization has not prevented Algerians of all ages, young people on the front line, from taking to the streets to denounce a power that has led the country, rich in hydrocarbons, to the brink of financial collapse and implosion. social marked by the high cost of living, unemployment and youth suicide.
On the official level, the declaration of Sabri Boukadoum, Algerian Minister of Foreign Affairs, was to say the least, diplomatically speaking: “The right to demonstrate is a constitutional right. Except that we are in a health crisis due to Covid-19. The top priority is the health of Algerians, ”he said. What health is he talking about when many Algerians struggle to make ends meet? The day before this anniversary, President Tebboune carried out a partial ministerial reshuffle, while refraining from ejecting the Prime Minister and the heads of sovereign ministries: Justice, Foreign Affairs, Interior and Finance.
Friday, February 19, Tebboune released more than 30 detainees from Hirak. These two actions failed to appease the popular rally on Monday. He is always in search of legitimacy. But in vain, because in the eyes of the people, he is the man placed by the generals who have made rain and shine in Algeria since independence.
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