The “Arab spring” gives birth to a new initiative in Algeria


The “Arab spring” didn’t affect Algeria in the way many had hoped. There were of course some riots here and there (note that riots have been continuously erupting in Algeria for many years now), a number of men and women attempted to kill themselves, and some political parties and civil society representatives (every word here should be put between quotations) created the CNCD and wanted to copycat the Tahrir gatherings but the Algerian people didn’t follow them and they had to stop their movement a few weeks ago.

The Algerian pouvoir told us Algeria is not Tunisia or Egypt (which is ironic when you think of the times when this same pouvoir kept telling us we’re all “identical” Arabs and part of the Arab Nation) and that the riots had only social demands. So it was easy to stop them and satisfy these demands. And indeed, during the past months, every time somebody wanted something all they had to do was to launch a strike or gather before El Mouradia and abracadabra the government finds the money and solves the issue. But despite the purely social demands, the pouvoir decided to launch some political reforms as was promised in Bouteflika’s speech. I wonder if these political demands didn’t come from elsewhere, behind the sea and the ocean. But anyway, Ben Salah and El Mokh got busy during a few weeks and met with many Algerian personalities and organisations (the list compiled here by Algérie-Politique). And now they should shortly give their conclusions to the president who will decide of the next steps. Note here that it took longer than his Moroccan counterpart but I am afraid we will reach similar results: pseudo reforms to buy time.

So let’s forget this boring establishment (pouvoir and opposition alike) and consider the other alternatives, which is the object of this post.

Rachad:
It is now an old movement which is not related to the Arab spring. But I mention it here because it was about to launch its TV channel (El Asr) but Eutelsat, according to Rachad, refused to broadcast the channel’s programs. And again according to Rachad, Eutelsat’s decision was provoked by the Algerian pouvoir and its French friend. Needless to say that Eutelsat denied everything. Remember that Rachad’s website has been blocked in Algeria for a long time now, but I heard it is accessible again since last week (confirmation by readers from Algeria is welcomed). As I am not a fan of this movement I don’t even know how they reacted to the Arab spring.

Ahmed Ben Bitour:
I mentioned Bouteflika’s former prime minister and his initiative a few times on this blog. I must admit that I stopped checking his website as I failed to see something really interesting. I have an explanation for my lack of interest but I will give it later. Ben Bitour reacted to the Arab Spring and joined the CNCD before withdrawing. This, I think, was not a wise move.

Fodhil Boumala:
I have dedicated a post to his initiative. I sometimes check his Facebook page and even watch some of the videos he posts (he interviews Algerian politicians, intellectuals, etc.) but I didn’t see anything else. Also, the way he reacted to the Arab spring kind of disappointed me: He kept wandering in all the news channels criticising le pouvoir (if I weren’t aware of the situation in Algeria I would have thought a revolution was on-going), and also joined the CNCD before withdrawing eventually.

The above initiatives aim at changing the situation in Algeria through politics, by changing the system or rather replacing it. And this is probably why I lost interest in them. They seem to think the political situation is the most urgent thing to change and I disagree with this point. Which brings me to the other initiatives which decided to leave the political arena alone.

There are already many associations of Algerians in Algeria and abroad which work on improving things in Algeria, mainly economically speaking. I am not going to mention them especially that some of their members I know use them for their own advantage.

Nabni (Notre Algérie Bâtie sur de Nouvelles Idées)
And a new initiative (which is the one mentioned in the title) just gave its report to the authorities. It is called Nabni (we build) and was launched a few months ago. At that time some said it was launched by the DRS to break the CNCD but this is a usual accusation on everything in Algeria. So the members of this initiative worked for some weeks and built a list of a 100 measures to apply in order to improve things in Algeria by 2020. They say they have no personal interest and don’t want a change in the system but are ready to work with the pouvoir in order to implement their measures.

So let us see what the pouvoir will say and how things will evolve. I haven’t yet checked the measures list but I will go through them and then share my opinion in a new post.

6 thoughts on “The “Arab spring” gives birth to a new initiative in Algeria

  1. as we turn the page that started wth the 5th of july , it’s time to turn our attention to the talk of the hour and why Arab spring didn’t in anyway affect the algerians people , I guess we’ve been bruised so badly during the last two decades all we need now is peace , plus the absence of any true political party worthy of thrust , a party really committed to serve the people , a party not afraid to tackle any bad decision made by the government , about Ra chad it’s nothing but a reincarnation of the late FIS even they won’t admit it , and the premature birth of the CNCD on springtime was proven beyond doubt how the elite in algeria conspired to insidiously stay in power forever so we have to start from the bottom and work our way up and making it a typically algerian revolution not from the east nor from the west.

    • Dahmane I don’t think that all the Algerians need is peace. Of course all want to recover this peace and keep it and wouldn’t risk to go back to the bloody decade, but at the same time people want to live decently, want el hogra to stop, want these rulers to leave, etc.

      Now one must weigh the risks/benefits and the price to pay in terms of time/energy. Revolutions are launched by people who have nothing to lose. Today most Algerians have something to lose and this is why we’re still in this status quo. I said in one of my previous comments that the pouvoir should take the Arab spring as a warning and make some real and substantial changes, but as we can see it is all khorti fi khorti. If they keep doing this, more and more Algerians will want to risk everything for a better life, because it is good to talk of working from the bottom (and I’ve always advocated for this idea) but nobody is working, and patience has an end.

  2. the peace I was talking about , mnarvidz , is not the peace where you simply lay down and die and say this is ( maktub) it’s the peace where you’re not afraid to express your thoughts , the peace where you show your frustrations about the living conditions of your fellow citizens , to find time and manifest your dissatisfaction towards the wrongdoing of the government where nobody seems to care , I know the algerians people were unhappy for a longtime and took it to the extreme we didn’t gain nothing but the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer not to mention , orphans , widows , mentally damaged people , etc, changing the system with great ideas like yours , mine and others all over because the world is a very small town and everybody under the big brother watch , yes we need changes , a decent life and happy ending to the nightmare we lived forever , guess what this social media have turned us all into some kind of warriors , by participating , this tool enable us to fight fiercely without being killed or imprisoned , I’d rather die for everybody than somebody else die for me, thanks for arguing and salam alaikum.

  3. I went to the site but couldn’t find the 100 measures they’re proposing.
    Anyway, am not in an optimistic mood at the moment so I don’t believe anything positive is going to happen in the upcoming years in Algeria.

  4. They basically scared the hell out of everybody and got people to the point of thinking, it’s either us (the regime) or the bloody decade will be back and everyone will pay. That’s the exact reason why people didn’t go out to bring down the regime. If you remember, right after the fall of the Tunisian Faro, the people that suck up to the regime all came out to tell us about Boutesrika’s accomplishment and how we are not the same as the others. There is about 500,000 Algerians who live good; really, really well and those are the ones who are the loudest when it comes to sucking up to the regime because they own newspapers, radios, and they are in the states’ TV. Add to that the Mayors, Walis, Deputees, Ministers, general and people from the military, in addition to CEOs and all their family; those are the people we need to shut up because they are the ones indoctrinating our people making them believe that the regime is good and Algeria isn’t the same as Tunisia and Egypt. These people are living good, the high life; even better than us here abroad. It’s not in their best interest to change anything and the status quo, is exactly what they need to maintain to keep their benefits and their fortunes. We need some kind of charismatic leader who will connect with the people and he needs to be honest and only act out of his love to Algeria having it’s best interest as his drive. Sincerely, Karim from Belcourt.

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