2011 actually started on December 17, 2010 although none of us knew it at the time. On that provident day a fruit peddler in Tunisia decided that he was mad as hell and not going to take it anymore. In the year since then, his sentiment has been echoed by millions around the globe in the greatest show of people power that we have seen in more than 40 years.
Mohamed Bouazizi, who could find no other work and took to selling fruits and vegetables, had grown tired of the police harassment. When his complaints to city hall went unanswered, he doused himself with gasoline and lit a fire that is blazing still.
Had his act of defiance happened in any earlier epoch, it most likely would have gained little notice outside of word of mouth, but we now live in an age when word of mouth spans the globe. We have the technology, even in North Africa.
So news of his defiance spread throughout Tunisia in a flash and the people rose up to demand justice from the government. Then, via WikiLeaks, the Tunisian people found out just how corrupt their government really was and started to demand an end to the 20 year rule of Ben Ali. When they did this, their struggle took a revolutionary turn.
Current time and date in Algeria:
SATURDAY, February 26
El Watan live blogged the action in Algeria as police prevented a protest from taking place in Place des Martyrs. The NCCD tried to hold the protest.
The post describes how police swarmed the streets and occupied sidewalks and pedestrian spaces in the capital of Algiers. Said Saadi and other protesters showed up to begin the action and police divided a forming group into two smaller groups. Said Saadi tried to get up on a police vehicle and go talk to some of the protesters and the police brought him down violently.
Protesters on Che Guevera boulevard began to hold an action only to be dispersed by security forces.
At 12:00, the area was still filled with police. There were tiny pockets of protesters in the area carrying portraits of Bouteflika demanding his resignation but the police effectively prevented anything from taking place.
Here is what appears to be video from the February 26 action that was broken up by police:
Algerians that participated in a “Day of Rage” on February 12 continue to come out and protest. The news site Bikya Masr reports “Algerians pledge to continue to demonstrate until President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been removed from power.” The protesters inspired by Egypt intend to begin to engage in sit-ins that can hopefully bring the country to the brink like Egyptians brought their country to the brink and forced President Hosni Mubarak from power.
Demonstrators chant, “Bouteflika out,” but not all of them. Some just want democratic reforms. Those demonstrating have mostly been Islamists or pro-democracy activists.
They talk about the fear being gone after what unfolded in Egypt and Tunisia.
Thousands of demonstrators came out to demonstrate against President Abdelaziz Bouteflika’s regime in Algeria on February 12. Security forces arrested hundreds of protesters, including human rights activists and syndicate members of the General Union of Algerian Workers. The Internet was also shut down.
A peaceful sit-in led to 100 being detained.
Al Jazeera reported Algerians, inspired by the success of the popular revolution in Egypt, were “heavily outnumbered by riot police,” but “2,000 protesters were able to overcome a security cordon enforced around the city's May First Square” and join others calling for reform.