Algeria: New Marches Countrywide to Demand Departure of System Figures

(file photo).

ALGIERS-Demonstrators went out in mass in Algiers for the 11th consecutive Friday, maintaining the same momentum and demands for radical change and the establishment of a real democracy, APS journalists reported.

On this Friday, one month after the resignation of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika and on the eve of the month of Ramadan, the demonstrators reiterated their demands for a radical change, the departure of all symbols of the political system in place and the prosecution of all those involved in cases of corruption and squandering of public property. They also demanded the consolidation of press freedom on May 3, which coincides with the celebration of the World Press Freedom Day.

The demonstrators brandished banners in which they wrote "For the departure of the other Bs" (Bensalah, Bedoui and Bouchareb), "Prosecution of all the symbols of the system", "For a government of competence", "For an independent election monitoring commission" and "Djeich, chaab khaoua khaoua" (Army and people are brothers).

The demonstrators also chanted slogans expressing their commitment to national unity, reaffirming that "sovereignty belongs exclusively to the people". The anthem of the demonstrators "Silmia, silmia" (Peaceful, peaceful) was sung in chorus, as well as the usual patriotic songs, to reaffirm their love and commitment to national unity.

The demonstrators also proudly brandished the portraits of the martyrs of the glorious Revolution of November 1, 1954, with the presence noticed among the demonstrators of the sister of martyr Larbi Ben M'hidi.

As on previous Fridays, the first groups of demonstrators began to flock to the esplanade of the Grande Poste and Place Maurice Audin, privileged places where demonstrators have gathered since the first marches on 22 February.

The demonstrators began to form in the early morning, before being joined by others in the early afternoon. They then shook their heads to criss-cross the various arteries of the capital in a calm climate and in the presence of a large number of security forces.

For the third consecutive Friday, the Faculty Tunnel at Place Maurice Audin was closed by a major security system.

Besides, thousands of demonstrators marched peacefully in the cities of the East of the country, reiterating their call for a "radical change in the system" and the "departure of all its symbols."

In Constantine, despite a slight decrease in the number of demonstrators, compared to previous gatherings, hundreds of marchers took to the streets waving the national flag and chanting "Free and democratic Algeria."

They marched in the main arteries such as Belouizdad and Abane-Ramdane before gathering in front of the Palace of Culture Mohamed Laid-Al Khalifa, demanding the prosecution of those they described as "gang."

In Batna, hundreds of demonstrators marched along the way from the Biskra street, via the House of Culture. They chanted patriotic songs and slogans calling for the protection of the Nation, including "Ahmiw bledna men el adiene" (Protect our country from enemies) and "Khawa Khawa manach adaoua" (We are brothers, not enemies).

Gathered in the centre of the Annaba Revolutionary Court, the demonstrators condemned what they described as "attempts to circumvent the people's demands."

They made proposals to resolve the crisis experienced by the country, particularly through a huge banner where they wrote "The people's solution is: a declaration constitutional, a presidential council, a transitional government and an independent national electoral body."

Same scenes in Oum El-Bouaghi, Mila, Souk Ahras and Skikda where demonstrators rejected "the holding of the presidential election with the symbols of the regime", requiring the departure of the remaining Bs.

Similar marches were organized in Bordj Bou Arreridj, Tebessa, Biskra, M'sila, El Tarf, Setif and Khenchela, where demonstrators proposed names of national personalities to lead the period of transition.

Around 5:00 p.m., the demonstrators began to disperse, giving way to young volunteers to clean up the area, showing a high sense of citizenship and good citizenship.

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