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The People Want Independence!

Author: Hamza Hamouchene

In: New Internationalist, 2020

The author notes that Covid brought a halt in March 2020 to the weekly Friday demonstrations since February 2019, and the parallel student protests every Tuesday. She notes the Hirak's achievements: forcing the Military High Command to distance itself from Boutifleka's political power centre and preventing presidential elections in both April and July 2019, because they were seen as a means to provide legitimacy for military control. The article also comments on the very broad social base of the movement, primarily led by the young, but including 'the working poor', independent trade unions, professional bodies and a prominent role for women.  It then assesses the 'counter-revolution' involving repression of the media and arrests of activists.