I came across this article that examines the protests and focuses specifically on the media narrative of violence and looting. It gives us a good jumping off point to further discuss points brought up in comments in some of the most recent essays on the protests.
In this article, the writer interviews
The mainstream media largely ignored the collapse of the center-left over the past decade. The ideology of "progressive on social issues, while being almost indistinguishable from the right-wing on economic issues" had died in 2008, but its zombie corpse lives on because the ruling class requires it.
Western democracy has been crumbling from within for a long time.
The world is more revolutionary today than at any time since 1989.
Did you notice? Probably not, because unlike 1989 it's the tyranny of the U.S.-backed regimes that the people want to overthrow.
A good example was what happened when Nancy Pelosi met some prominent Haitian Americans.
It's easy to forget that Iraq had it's own Arab Spring movement in 2012-2013. It's easy to forget because after the massacre at Hawija it spiraled out of control. The Iraqi government tried to brutally suppress the Sunni protesters, and Sunnis fought back in what grew into an insurgency, and then ISIS seized control of the Sunni insurgency before anyone could grasp the catastrophic consequences.
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.