A huge victory for regular people in Algeria

Normally the skeptics can find something wrong with any protest movement.
For the McResistance and the Tea Party, it was the fact that they were astroturf'd.
For the Yellow Vests, it was the pointless vandalism.
For Occupy Wall Street, it was the failure to accomplish any major goals.
None of those things apply to Algeria today.

The “Herak” movement (Hirak Sha’bi) is everything you could ask for:

massive in size
totally grassroots in nature
peaceful
resourceful
determined
absolutely refusing to accept anything but complete capitulation to their demands.

Algerian Prime Minister Noureddine Bedoui will resign soon to pave the way for elections this year that the army sees as the only way to end a standoff over months of protests, two senior sources told Reuters on Tuesday.
Bedoui’s departure is a major demand of protesters, who in April forced president Abdelaziz Bouteflika to quit after 20 years in office, and who have rejected fresh elections until there is a more thorough change of the power structure.

To bring you up to speed, the protests started in February, and they forced out the long-time dictator Bouteflika a few months later.
Normally the story ends there. Hurrah the king has been overthrown! Everyone goes home, and quietly another crook takes his place.

However, this time the protestors did something that almost no one expected.

Students holding a weekly protest on Tuesday chanted that they would accept no elections “until the gang is removed”, a reference to Bouteflika’s power circle, an elite entrenched largely since independence from France in 1962.
...The mass demonstrations began in February and have continued since Bouteflika’s departure, with the loose-knit “Herak” movement demanding that all figures associated with him also leave and that the army play a smaller role in state affairs.

The election had been scheduled for July, but was postponed as a result of the crisis, leaving major oil- and gas-exporter Algeria in a constitutional deadlock.

Over the summer the authorities have made concessions by arresting more prominent figures linked to Bouteflika on corruption charges, while increasing the pressure on protesters with a bigger police presence at demonstrations.

However, Herak has no formal leaders, making it hard to negotiate with. “We will not stop protests, this is our chance to uproot the corrupt system,” Khelifa Saad, 20, said at a protest on Tuesday in Algiers.

One by one, the establishment has sacrificed one corrupt official after another while trying to appease the mass movement without success.

Wealthy businessmen like Ali Haddad, who made a fortune from state contracts, were carted off to jail. So were the president’s brother, two former spy chiefs and other powerful behind-the-scenes figures known as le pouvoir.

Two former prime ministers have also been arrested.
The government has cracked down harder and harder on the protestors, but there is no central figures to arrest and no violence for an excuse. Unlike Egypt, these protestors chant, “The army isn’t the solution”.

Independent trade unions have been involved since day one, staging strikes and marches.
The regime-affiliated UGTA played a reactionary role against the protest movement, but that produced in-house protests during the summer, which forced the general secretary to step down.

And now the governing elite has been forced to sacrifice their appointed Prime Minister.
We could be on the verge of actual democracy breaking out in Algeria.

Share
up
26 users have voted.

Comments

for bringing us this report and for stating it so well. The most powerful element you listed about this movement is that is has been peaceful. That must be its strength.

up
10 users have voted.
ludwig ii's picture

I'm seeing the hallmarks of a color revolution.

* glowing MSM coverage
* "Leaderless" "peaceful protests" with unclear demands beyond regime change
* "Youth movement"

Brings to mind the OTPOR handbook for "exporting nonviolent revolution" : https://www.rferl.org/a/exporting_nonviolent_revolution_eastern_europe_m...

Canvas was founded in 2003 and has trained dissidents in 37 countries, including Zimbabwe, North Korea, Belarus, and Iran, Popovic says. He declines to reveal whether the organization had trained activists in countries that are now protesting against their authoritarian governments, such as Algeria and Yemen, unless the activists do so themselves.

What does the CIA say about Algeria?

"Algeria's economy remains dominated by the state, a legacy of the country's socialist post-independence development model. In recent years the Algerian Government has halted the privatization of state-owned industries and imposed restrictions on imports and foreign involvement in its economy, pursuing an explicit import substitution policy.

up
6 users have voted.

@ludwig ii
How much have you heard about this? As compared to Hong Kong?
A couple articles on the wire service isn't glowing MSM coverage.

And the ex-president was a neoliberal

You are trying too hard.

up
6 users have voted.
The Liberal Moonbat's picture

@gjohnsit The fact that he must "try too hard" to make skepticism persuasive is a fine outcome, and the case for rejoicing is all the stronger for being challenged in good faith.

up
5 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

@The Liberal Moonbat

up
3 users have voted.
mimi's picture

@gjohnsit
you covered it. Can't make any judgements, but at least I can start with something to try.
Thank You.

up
4 users have voted.
ludwig ii's picture

@gjohnsit @gjohnsit @gjohnsit before we can predict its plot?

A quick search revealed no shortage of pro-protester results from the usual suspects, Washington Post, NYT, The Guardian, Financial Times. All pushing the same narrative that we saw in 2011 and some even referring to a new "Arab Spring." There's long been frustration with the Algerian government's so-called "resource nationalism" and resistance to "economic reform."

This article is from 2014, after the last presidential election, and sounds exactly like what you're so favorably reporting on: Capitalism’s Permanent Revolution: Is Algeria Next? https://dissidentvoice.org/2014/05/capitalisms-permanent-revolution-is-a...

What makes you so certain that this time won't be like all the others?

up
0 users have voted.

@ludwig ii

the usual suspects, Washington Post, NYT, The Guardian, Financial Times. All pushing the same narrative

this just isn't true. The usual suspects are generally ignoring Algeria.

This could all turn to sh*t, but probably no for the reasons you list.

up
3 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@gjohnsit Herak appears to be the real deal, as evidenced by the silence of the usual suspects.

up
3 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

The Liberal Moonbat's picture

Today, let us all be Algerians!

FUN FACT: The following song was first inscribed upon a prison wall by an anti-colonial revolutionary...in his own blood.

Perhaps that's why it can get away with its slight "Ernest Goes To Camp" vibe :S

up
3 users have voted.

In the Land of the Blind, the one-eyed man is declared insane when he speaks of colors.

dervish's picture

up
4 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

So the revolutionaries in The Battle of Algiers produced Bouteflika? So it didn't turn out so well, I take it?

Students holding a weekly protest on Tuesday chanted that they would accept no elections “until the gang is removed”, a reference to Bouteflika’s power circle, an elite entrenched largely since independence from France in 1962.

up
2 users have voted.
dervish's picture

@Wally have actually led to better governments, or to more prosperity.

up
5 users have voted.

"Obama promised transparency, but Assange is the one who brought it."

matter what each of us may decide about it.

I would question whether finding astroturfing is a skeptic's quarrel with a protest movement. If there is evidence of astroturfing, there is also a question whether what people have been observing is indeed a protest movement at all, or just one more tool of attempted deception by someone with money and a willingness to spend it. The Tea Party, conceived of by the Koch brothers in the early 1980s, most certainly was astroturfed. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tea_Party_movement

Despite all the hoopla by media (as contrasted with medi'a ignoring OWS until they had negative reports to publish), attendance was pathetic unless people got paid to show up (as they did for Scott Brown when he ran for Kennedy's seat).

And yeah, remember how happy we were supposed to be about the Egyptian Spring? Turned out, the ultimate result was to relieve the military dictators of their greedy civilian figurehead, who had become a lightning rod for discontent. Now, they don't have split the dough with any pain-in-the-neck civilian dictator.

That is not to say that Algeria is the same as Egypt. It is to say that we should squint. Hard. Very hard. Always.

I almost always qualify my statements with something like "IMO." However...

Anyone who is not a skeptic after the head of the CIA lies to Congress on national TV and gets away with it without so much as an insincere, tepid, public criticism is a maroon.

Not to mention:

We'll know our disinformation program is complete when everything the American public believes is false.

Former CIA Director William Casey https://www.quora.com/Did-CIA-Director-William-Casey-really-say-Well-kno... (Be sure to scroll down past the ad for the "self-avowed" source of this quote from Casey)

Me? I'm with Lily Tomlin--and for very strong reasons:

No matter how cynical you get, it is impossible to keep up.

And she's right because, as cynical as I've tried to be since Hopey Changey, the PTB has still fooled me, more than once.

up
2 users have voted.