The Algerian opposition is regrouping after thousands of police were deployed on Saturday to suppress several hundred demonstrators. They too are inspired by the Tunisian revolution. With public protests being so strongly suppressed some Algerians have turned to a more drastic demonstration of their opposition to the status quo. At least four people in Algeria have attempted self-immolation, some successfully, since Tunisia freed itself of Ben Ali.
As with Tunisia and Egypt, activist in Algeria have been able to make creative use of the Internet to organize in spite of the governments best efforts to stop them. France24 reports:
And as the Algerian blogosphere is in a fever of excitement, web users are accusing the government of taking measures to censor the Internet. They believe Twitter, Facebook and SMS services have been intermittently blocked over the past few days.
And this was all that was needed for Anonymous to launch an operation against the Algerian government. This cyber activist group that lent its support to Tunisian demonstrators is reportedly behind a series of cyber-attacks that notably blocked the web site of the Interior Ministry.
This is what they said about the rally:
Police broke up an opposition march calling for democracy in the Algerian capital on Saturday, with troops out in force and streets barricaded to prevent protests in the wake of a popular revolt that toppled the president in neighboring Tunisia.
Algeria’s capital awoke to a virtual state of siege on Saturday, with a heavy police presence and many streets blocked in order to prevent protesters from reaching the May 1 Square, where opposition groups planned to stage a pro-democracy march.
The opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD) planned to defy a 19-year-old ban against marches in Algiers, despite warnings from the authorities and in the wake of a popular revolt that overthrew neighboring Tunisia's long-time president Zine al-Abidine Ben Ali only a week ago.
The pictures below were taken by David Davidson in Algier and posted on 22/01/11 @ 22:08. We found them through the Anonymous OpAlgeria board. You can see the whole collection on his Facebook page here. I copied some to my flickr account so that I could post them here.
In co-ordination with these protests on the ground the hacker group Anonymous has launched Operation Algeria. They have been supporting the struggle on the ground my transmitting and translating materials from the struggle. They have also been getting pictures and video out on the net.
Through OpAlgeria Anonymous has launched DDOS attacks against 'Attaque DoS contre le site Internet du ministère de l'Intérieur algérien' and other government websites. Apparently they have been successful at shutting down some Algerian websites and cracked one. They put there own "Message Presse Anonymous" on an Algerian government website.
Anonymous also issued this video Press Release on Operation Algeria:
The date to watch in Algeria is February 9th, the 19th anniversary of the establishment of the state of emergency. Numerous trade unions and political parties are calling on people to take to the streets on that day.