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A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on Protesters

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Washington, Morocco Board News-- An impressive security apparatus with more than 35000 police officers and an unknown number of undercover security agents forced democracy activists in the Algerian capital to scale back a march that was scheduled for Saturday and aimed to protest and denounce the government of Bouteflika. This unprecedented security plan put in place by the Algerian government succeeded in derailing a peaceful gathering in other cities in Algeria including Oran in the west  and Tizi Ouzou in Kabylia region.

The ramifications of the Algerian government heavy handed and violent response to peaceful marches will be felt in the near future as Algerian opposition groups already started to reorganize   in anticipation of future marches to come in the near future. In the last couple of years, outbreak of civil unrests has been frequent and more violent making the Bouteflika regime unstable and the future of Algeria volatile and unpredictable. The heavy and robust police presence during Saturday’s march is a sign of a nervous and a fragile Algerian government.

Several thousand protesters who gathered Saturday morning in central Algiers were met with a massive police presence.  An organizer complained to an Algerian newspaper “the Police intimidation and bullying worked. We could not march”. While most of the protesters were unable to leave the “May 1 Plaza”, few young protesters escaped the human wall established by the Police and gathered outside the security corridor chanting "Bouteflika out!” and “long live free and democratic Algeria”. According to the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights more than 400 protesters were arrested by the police.

In the city of Oran a smaller march was violently dispersed by aggressive riot police officers. Several Algerian journalists, human rights activists and union militants were summarily arrested and in some cases harassed and beaten by security forces. The police  heavy presence in major streets did not stop a small group  protesters to break away and march on the center of Oran  chanting “enough is enough” and “Bouteflika get out”. President Bouteflika has ruled Algeria with the backing of the Algerian military for more than 12 years.

Pictures and videos of Algerian police beating unarmed protesters are going viral on the Web. Several news agencies are also reporting on cases of police brutality against peaceful protesters and arbitrary arrests of Algerian journalists by plain cloth police officers during protests in smaller cities across Algeria.

 By HASSAN MASIKY

Comments (20)  

 
Morcelli
0 #1 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersMorcelli 2011-02-12 21:20
just like I said in my previous posts, the butchers of North Africa are well organized to defend their turfs and fortune. If they kills 250,000 of their own, few thousands showing up to oust their midget is a piece of cake.

We need to keep in mind that majority of Algerians love Bouteflika, they credit him with ending their civil war. Just like the majority of Moroccans love their king.

If Algerians want to topple their president, you have seen millions in the streets just like they did in Egypt.
Many Algerians also think that things are getting better, just like we do in Morocco.
Algeria spent many of their oil revenues on improving the lives of many of their citizens
but it is not enough because they could have done much better if it id not for the theft that is taking place on the hands of their rulers.
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Morcelli
0 #2 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersMorcelli 2011-02-12 21:41
bouteflika has his supporters too, the same egyptian trick that did not work
www.youtube.com/watch?v=mEEClxc_bq8&feature=player_embedded
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man en blanc
0 #3 The Cradle Will Fall!man en blanc 2011-02-12 23:37
The size of the security apparatus deployed by the junta, and the brutality in suppressing peaceful demonstrations, clearly demonstrate the level of panic being experienced by the ruling cabal.

I fear that our Algerian neighbors will pay much steeper price for their freedom than Tunisia or Egypt.
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Djamal
0 #4 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersDjamal 2011-02-13 02:14
what is it about Algeria that Moroccans in this blog are so Obsessed With?
What happens in Algeria only concerns Algerians, look at you trying to lecture us about Algeria this Algeria that, while ignoring the big elephant in the room, which is the current situation in Morocco.
I can sit here and talk all day long about Morocco's problem, that are by the way worst than Algerian one's, but its none of my business, your Hypocrisy has no limits.
Again, you can wish us all the trouble of the world and even hate us all you want, but Algeria will always be here,standing tall:-)
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Morocco101
0 #5 To DjamalMorocco101 2011-02-13 04:22
Please do not use this old argument.Algeri a hosts the Polisario, ALgerian Newspapers are obssessd with Morocco and the Algerian gov. has its policy centered around Morocco. Beside here at MB you will find news pro and con Morocco, Algeria, Egypt... what ever is news worthy. Now Algeria is all over the news including here. I do not think Algeria's coverage by MB is bad, maybe the coverage of Boutef and Co?
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Moroccan Dude
0 #6 Algerian are less prone to democracyMoroccan Dude 2011-02-13 05:38
We are all getting carried away and swept off our feet by the jasmine and Nile revolution and we are all asking the question: Who is next? However, not everyone in the Arab world is ready for "democracy". I put democracy between quotes because we need to define what kind of democracy they want. There are several...Alger ians for instance are less educated than their Tunisian and Egyptian counterpart and therefore they are not ready for democracy they don't know anything about. Be careful what you wish for, it may come true and you will live in chaos like you did in the early 80s with the "front du salut national" where innocent Algerian were literally slaughtered by other Algerians. God bless...
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Djamal
0 #7 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersDjamal 2011-02-13 05:49
, its not the first time that our Moroccan "brother" wishes "well", During the 90's, Hassan 2 was talking about " laboratoire algerien", nothing new under the sky, the same hateful wishes:-)

Now, Algeria and Algerian went through a lot of tragedies , but guess what we are still here standing, and as the french say "Chacun à son tour chez le coiffeur Mamadou!! let's wait and see what will happen in Morocco, or wait.... i forgot, Morocco is heaven on earth.

As for the disputed territory of the W. Sahara ( ACCORDING TO THE UN), its a matter that is being managed by the UN.
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Morocco101
0 #8 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersMorocco101 2011-02-13 06:17
Djamal, it is obviously hard for you to believe that most Moroccans wish well for the Algerians. Clearly, Moroccans despise Boutef and his cronies and masters in the DRS. Moroccans do not need to compare themselves to the Algerians to feel good. We have our own sh%&t to worry about. In Morocco, we view what Tunisian and Egyptian did as a badge of honors for all Arabs and it will push Moroccan gov to hurry reforms.
I am sorry to say that you are an exception. Most Algerians do not give a dam.. about Morocco,theKing or the Polisrio; they want to know what happen to the billions stolen by the generals unless you think somehow almakhzen is hiding DRS money in a Bank in Casa?
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Djamal
0 #9 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersDjamal 2011-02-13 07:45
Moroccan dude.

"Since early 2000s the gross enrollment rates have been rising steadily for all levels of education[2].Co mpletion rates at the primary level have increased from 57.8 in 2004 to 61.7 percent in 2006. Despite this improvement, Morocco’s education system needs to tackle gender disparity at all levels, high dropout and repetition rates especially at primary and secondary levels, and increased pressure on the higher education to absorb the rising number of secondary graduates. Throughout Morocco,female illiteracy rate is higher than men's.They reach 83 percent in rural areas,even 90 percent in some communities"

"Six million Algerians or 22% of the population are illiterate, according to a study by the Algerian Literacy Association (IQRAA), ANSA reported on Wednesday (September 15th). Speaking at an El Moudjahid conference on Monday, association chief Aicha Barki called for more government funding, 'a better media campaign about IQRAA's activity' and expanded literacy classes, especially in rural areas.
"

Egypt
Literacy Rate:---------- - 51.4% of total population
Males: 63.6%
Females:38.8%

Try to get your fact straight, before talking ........
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man en blanc
0 #10 FACTS, SHMAX! ALGERIANS ARE BEING SCREWED TO THE MAX! TEAR GAS AND HARASS!man en blanc 2011-02-13 09:16
This reeks of desperation! As in : how many people in Egypt can read? Are you for real? how about Yemen's illeteracy rate?
Do I care? Hell no!
No one does!
Semantics are a luxury for us. Hello!

Numbers mean crap at this point. Except that the Italian Government is unraveling thanks to Ruby Rubacuori. Talk about a sexy coup!

And Italy might have to deal with the thousands of Tunisians who are fleeing Tunisia for the nearest northern rock!
Soon to be followed by Hundreds of thousands Algerians, no doubt!

I still don't care!
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Bab elhed
0 #11 soubhan alahBab elhed 2011-02-13 09:53
Muslims insulting one another. soubhan alah. religion aside.

So Morocco is even better than switzerland. Lot of swiss leave their families behind to find job In Morocco alhamdolah. Lot of North Americans as well drive yellow cab in Casa Blanca. We even support tons of them with food stamps,unemploy ment benefits etc

in Morocco, Women don't even have to work. Women from the middle east come care for our sexual needs.

Freaking immigrants steal more than 5 billions dollars from our beautiful Morocco so they can help their families back in their home land.

We have a great democracy. we even know how much the palace spend. and we the people in Morocco even apporove the palaces badget.
The king In morocco is not involved in any business dealing since he knows it's a conflict of interest(politi cs and business don't mix). Our judges are independent.
we run our businesses. we don't have french or spanish companies running garbage removal services or water sevvices.
unemployment is around 4 %, and even those who can t find jobs are supported by monthly benefits to help their families.

Morocccan poor are taken care of.we don't have anyone dying in the moutains and other rural areas just because they can't afford to buy wood to warm their bodies.
Moroccan consume a big amount of red meat and fish and that s why we export the excess of food to other countries.

Our ministers are voted in office by educated citizens. out ministers are held accountable for everything they do. we even know how much assets they own.

Taxi medallions are distributed to the needy.

public auctions are public lol and we know about them

Out public institutions are not sold to the connected businessmen.

our phone companies never charge us for calls we don't make.

our airlines provide the best services in the world. they even lower the prices by 50% to the poor and charge twice the fare to the rich.

wake up Algeria or Morocco heta wahem mamtefrou
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Moroccan Dude
0 #12 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersMoroccan Dude 2011-02-13 09:59
Djamal,

Don't be defensive. My statement about Algerians not ready for democracy I will also apply it to several other Arab countries. You can't just expect a population that has been living under a rock, with oppressive regimes on top of that rock to embrace democracy over night because they happen to topple a tyrant. Democracy is more than just a free elections and speech. It's a whole way of life, culture and mindset. That set, I will not argue the figures of literacy and education because they are just numbers and numbers are subjects to corrections and margins of errors. The fact is, history speaks for itself. Algeria descended into darkness and chaos right the Election was cancelled and a guerrilla war began. Between 150,000 and 200,000 innocent lives were lost. What guarantee do you have that there won’t be another repeat of the Islamic Salvation Army rise and demise again…

Cheers
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Azim
0 #13 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersAzim 2011-02-13 20:33
Some people in this board hit the nail right on the head. Not everyone in the arab world is ready for democracy. We are not saying that there should not be a change but we need to ease into it and not rush. sundden change may confuse people and can cause chaos. Imagine heating up a piece of glass to an extremly high temperature and puring some cold water on it; it will shatter and so will societies that have been living under dictatorships for decades and all of sudden are exposed to a different political and economic landscape. Let's all educate ourselves and prepare for change that in inevitable.
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Lalgerian
0 #14 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersLalgerian 2011-02-14 06:44
Funny!!! Moroccans are causing the collapse of the italian governoment just with one belly dancer. Maybe you should do the same to bring down your own corrupt covernoment and stop telling us algerians what to do.
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Morcelli
0 #15 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersMorcelli 2011-02-14 07:26
You know we are not ready for anything?
When people metaphorize gaining freedom from a ruthless dictator to pouring hot water on a glass.
Many people think that others are too ignorant to deserve to be free and those are the ignorant themselves.
It is shocking in this day of age that they are people who simply cannot let go their egoistic self indulging thoughts, If the western world waited for its population to educate itself before embracing democracy, they will never see democracy. When The US constitution was drafted by the forefathers, it was never stipulated to educate the citizens of this country before applying it.
Let me just say that some comments are just out of this world. Very sad.
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Morcelli
0 #16 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersMorcelli 2011-02-14 08:04
L'algerian,

......but we tell you what to do because we love you. We are not allowed to love you?
We even supported when you played against Egypt and you won. We think the world of you. We are brothers and sisters aren't we?
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man en blanc
0 #17 non sense.man en blanc 2011-02-14 08:49
We have a young, highly educated and tech-savvy population in Morocco. How would you justify telling it it is not ready for democracy?
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Azim
0 #18 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersAzim 2011-02-14 09:48
From reading some of the comments here, it looks like the only things algerians are ready for is more decades under the reign of bouterleka. More decades to be screwed out their oil revenues and land resources. More decades to see boutefleka and his entourage get richer and richer while the average algerian lays happy under a rock. yet again, ignorance is a bliss...
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Djamal
0 #19 COMMENT_TITLE_R E A Nervous Algerian Government Cracks Down on ProtestersDjamal 2011-02-15 07:35
jUst a question to our Moroccan "brothers"
If you guys feel so superior to us, and
Want nothing to do with us, as most posters in this blog claim, how come your GOv. Won't stop
Asking for the reopening if the borders, please have some dignity and leave us alone.
المغرب يعلن عن اتصالات مع الجزائر على مستوى عال بشأن فتح الحدود بين البلدين

الطيب الفاسي: لو كان الاتحاد المغاربي قائما لما وقع ما حدث في تونس

الرباط: نعيمة المباركي
كشف الطيب الفاسي الفهري، وزير الخارجية المغربي النقاب عن اتصالات تجري حاليا بين المغرب والجزائر على مستوى عال، وعلى جميع الأصعدة، على حد قوله، مشيرا إلى أن «قنوات للتواصل» فتحت مع الجزائر بهدف فتح الحدود بين البلدين، وقال إن تبادلا للزيارات سيتم بين مسؤولين حكوميين في البلدين.
ولم يحدد الفاسي الفهري على أي مستوى تمت الاتصالات بين الرباط والجزائر، والوقت الذي جرت فيه. وكانت الحدود المغربية - الجزائرية أغلقت في صيف عام 1994، في إطار رد جزائري على قرار المغرب فرض تأشيرات دخول على جميع الجزائريين، عقب مهاجمة حافلة للسياح في ساحة فندق «أطلس أسني» في مراكش، حيث اتضح أن المهاجمين الذين لم تعرف دوافعهم آنذاك فرنسيون من أصول مغربية.

وقال الطيب الفاسي الفهري، خلال برنامج خاص بثته القناة التلفزيونية المغربية الأولى، الليلة قبل الماضية، في بادرة لافتة وغير مسبوقة، إن «هناك قنوات للتواصل مع الجزائر، ونحن الآن على استعداد لاستقبال أعضاء الحكومة الجزائرية كبداية، خصوصا أن هناك إرادة من طرف الجانبين لتبادل الزيارة على مستوى الحكومتين قريبا».

وأعرب الفاسي الفهري عن أسفه لاستمرار إغلاق الحدود بين المغرب والجزائر مما يعيق الاندماج المغاربي «العنصر الأساسي في الاتحاد من أجل المتوسط»، على حد قوله. وأضاف الفاسي الفهري أن فتح الحدود بين المغرب والجزائر أضحى ضرورة حتمية، وأن المغرب ظل يطالب به رسميا إلا أن الجزائر كانت ترفض ذلك.

وناشد الفاسي الفهري الجزائر «نسيان الماضي لما فيه مصلحة الشعبين خاصة بعد تغير القيادات في كلا البلدين»، في إشارة غير مباشرة إلى تولي العاهل المغربي الملك محمد السادس الحكم في المغرب، وكذا التغيرات التي عرفتها الحكومات الجزائرية.

وشدد وزير الخارجية المغربي على ضرورة إعادة إحياء اتحاد المغرب العربي، وقال في هذا السياق «إننا نؤدي جميعا يوميا ثمن عدم قيام اتحاد المغرب العربي»، مؤكدا أنه «لو كان الاتحاد المغاربي الذي يعد ضرورة حتمية قائما، لما وقع ما وقع في تونس». وفي غضون ذلك، أكد الفاسي الفهري مجددا أن المبادرة المغربية للحكم الذاتي في الصحراء تمثل الحل الوحيد لتسوية النزاع في الأقاليم الصحراوية.

وقال الفاسي الفهري إن هذه المبادرة تمثل «أفضل جواب ديمقراطي، وتوفر كل الضمانات السياسية والاقتصادية والثقافية والأمنية»، مؤكدا «قدرة المغرب على تطبيقها». وأشار الفاسي الفهري إلى أن هذه المبادرة التي تمت بلورتها بمشاركة شيوخ القبائل الصحراوية والقوى السياسية، ولقيت ترحيبا من طرف مجلس الأمن، تتطابق مع الشرعية الدولية، وتنسجم مع دعوات المجلس والجمعية العامة للأمم المتحدة وهيئات أخرى من أجل السعي إلى التوصل إلى حل سياسي للنزاع غير خيار الاستفتاء الذي اعتبرت المنظمات الدولية أنه أصبح متجاوزا.
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kadiro
0 #20 Carpenterkadiro 2011-03-13 19:18
Yes people in Algerian rebelled against those in power in 1992 and many were killed. And also many were killed during the 1954 revolution and many more were killed defending their land and rights in 1832 when the french invaded Algeria. This is NATURAL human nature: humans fight to bring changes. Look at the civil wars in Europe, how many people were killed just in the second world war? 60 millions Kho!!
The problem is with those who instead of fighting, kiss the hand of their leaders for EVER. Whatever amount of so called democracy they "have" will not erase this black spot.
Kader taa Mascara
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