Thousands of Algerian activists mark second year of protest

Today thousands of people stormed the Algerian streets to mark Algeria’s pro-democracy movement’s second anniversary. Security forces were waiting but then stepped aside to let marchers pass.

The Hirak movement’s protesters helped force long-time President Abdelaziz Bouteflika from power in 2019. While many heads from the Hirak arrested and imprisoned but after marching for 53 consecutive Fridays, it was a formal ban on demonstrations with the coronavirus’s arrival that forced protesters off the streets a year ago. Officially vaccination has not started yet in a country rich in oil and gas, so the number of COVID-19 infections will probably double.

President Abdelmadjid Tebboune declared last week that they would free 30 protesters jailed at the beginning of the Hirak, though many remain behind bars. The president also dissolved parliament to pave the way for new elections, among the Hirak movement’s demands.