The turn of Algeria

Like a Tsunami rolling ever farther inland, the Arab Revolt continues to spread. Today, it is Algeria, a not inconsequential player in the oil game and featuring a western-friendly government,that is being rocked to its foundations by massive demonstrations for reform.

The crowds have yet to match the throngs of Egyptians that helped bring the Mubarak regime down, but that could be because there are 30,000 riot police in the streets firing plastic bullets and loosing tear gas on the crowds.

That, plus the Algerian government has blocked entrances to the city of Algiers, shut down the internet, deleted Facebook accounts, and allowed thugs to beat up and intimidate journalists.

The Telegraph:


"The government doesn't want us forming crowds through the internet," said Rachid Salem, of Co-ordination for Democratic Change in Algeria.

"Security forces are armed to the teeth out on the street, and they're also doing everything to crush our uprising on the internet. Journalists, and especially those with cameras, are being taken away by the police." President Hosni Mubarak had tried to shut down internet service providers during 18 days of protest before stepping down as Egyptian leader on Friday.
Mostafa Boshashi, head of the Algerian League for Human Rights, said: "Algerians want their voices to be heard too. They want democratic change.

"At the moment people are being prevented from travelling to demonstrations. The entrances to cities like Algeria have been blocked."

I imagine that the effect of these countermeasures will be about the same as when they were tried in Egypt; near zero. At the moment, the situation is still retrievable for the government. But if the demonstrations grow, they will soon be beyond the capacity of the riot police to manage. Once the dead start piling up - martyrs to the cause - the snowball effect takes over and before you know it, the country is paralyzed.

We'll see what kinds of "reforms" the Algerian government will offer. It seems impossible to satisfy the crowds who have poured into Arab streets, so whether the movement to democracy can be managed or not remains to be seen.



Like a Tsunami rolling ever farther inland, the Arab Revolt continues to spread. Today, it is Algeria, a not inconsequential player in the oil game and featuring a western-friendly government,that is being rocked to its foundations by massive demonstrations for reform.

The crowds have yet to match the throngs of Egyptians that helped bring the Mubarak regime down, but that could be because there are 30,000 riot police in the streets firing plastic bullets and loosing tear gas on the crowds.

That, plus the Algerian government has blocked entrances to the city of Algiers, shut down the internet, deleted Facebook accounts, and allowed thugs to beat up and intimidate journalists.

The Telegraph:


"The government doesn't want us forming crowds through the internet," said Rachid Salem, of Co-ordination for Democratic Change in Algeria.

"Security forces are armed to the teeth out on the street, and they're also doing everything to crush our uprising on the internet. Journalists, and especially those with cameras, are being taken away by the police." President Hosni Mubarak had tried to shut down internet service providers during 18 days of protest before stepping down as Egyptian leader on Friday.

Mostafa Boshashi, head of the Algerian League for Human Rights, said: "Algerians want their voices to be heard too. They want democratic change.

"At the moment people are being prevented from travelling to demonstrations. The entrances to cities like Algeria have been blocked."

I imagine that the effect of these countermeasures will be about the same as when they were tried in Egypt; near zero. At the moment, the situation is still retrievable for the government. But if the demonstrations grow, they will soon be beyond the capacity of the riot police to manage. Once the dead start piling up - martyrs to the cause - the snowball effect takes over and before you know it, the country is paralyzed.

We'll see what kinds of "reforms" the Algerian government will offer. It seems impossible to satisfy the crowds who have poured into Arab streets, so whether the movement to democracy can be managed or not remains to be seen.



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