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Declarations of the Socialist Workers Party of Algeria (PST)

Monday 16 July 2001, by PST - Socialist Workers Party of Algeria

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1 - Algiers - May 1, 2001 - The revolt of the youth, the anger of a nation

The tragic expression of the despair of hundreds of thousands of young people faced with a repression of an unacceptable brutality is a timely reminder to the rulers that they cannot alone decide the fate of our people. The erudite machinations invoked here and there are no aid to understanding. One is right to revolt when the situation is revolting. The responsibilities also are clearly established.

Because who is responsible for the despair of this youth deprived of a future, without work, without housing, without social life, if not this policy which has cynically decided to implement the economic suicide and the social regression decided by the International Monetary Fund of the great powers?

Who has dared to reject "forever" the official status of Tamazight [Berber language spoken in Kabyle-ed.], rejecting the national membership of a whole community of our people? Who is responsible for the humiliating narrowness of the legal and peaceful means of expressing anger, if not this regime which denies freedom of demonstration even to the thousands of workers on strike, this regime which regiments the right of association and the formation of a party even to its former ministers, this regime which monopolises the public media and threatens the press?

Who is responsible for the absence of credible representation of popular concerns if not this regime which is bent on demolishing all the gains of October 1988 and dismantling the embryonic popular organisations to the benefit of colourless representations that it humiliates at its leisure within its discredited institutions, this regime which dares to challenge the right of Algerians to diversity of opinion on language and the place of religion and which denounces the legitimate struggle for the defence of the social interests of the popular majority (...).

After his support for neo-liberal globalisation, which contradicts word for word his initial populist promises, the late and vague promises of Bouteflika cannot satisfy us.

Since the regime claims to recognise the legitimacy of the revolt of the youth, it must satisfy their demands, which combine with those of the workers in struggle and those of the popular masses who are victims of hogra and poverty.

By announcing an immediate halt to the dismantling of the public sector and the national economy and a commitment to serious reflationary measures with a massive and urgent job creation dealing with urgent social needs. By working for the official recognition of Tamazight through immediate measures. By immediately lifting all the obstacles to freedom of expression, organisation, meeting, demonstration and going on strike. By inflicting an exemplary punishment on those responsible for the repression, identified by a rigorous and transparent investigation.

2 - Algiers - June 13, 2001 - All together against indignity and injustice!

All together against hogra [Algerian expression meaning to be excluded and treated with contempt-ed.] and poverty!

At a time when the youth of Khenchela, Annaba, Ain Fakroun and Sour el Ghozlane have just reminded us that hatred of hogra and poverty can be expressed in all the languages of the country, Kabylie prepares, this Thursday June 14, after seven weeks of unarmed insurrection, the most imposing human gathering in the history of our country.

After the massive strike initiated by the oil workers against the economic policy of economic dismantling and misery, the radical and unitary revolt of the youth of Kabylie against arbitrary repression and social contempt constitutes a major historical turning, because it testifies to the awakening of popular mobilisation against the bourgeois civil and military order.

Every day in the streets of our country the right to demonstrate, the right to self-expression are painfully being reconquered. And if the regime partially opens up its television, it still prevents the public media acting as a public information service; if Bouteflika demotes the minister who wanted to sell everything and mumbles that he no longer wants to give away the factories for a symbolic dinar [Algerian currency-ed.], he continues to negotiate the liquidation of the public sector; if he buys water hoses for his thugs, he still does not understand that it is not "normal" to employ "normal" bullets against unarmed citizens which one is supposed to be protecting. As for the vague promises to deal with Tamazight later, they will not be enough for the man who dared to say "never" in the middle of Tizi Ouzou (...).

The militants of the PST, which undergoes, with the people, the social pauperisation implemented by the successive governments at the orders of the IMF and the great powers and which suffers from the dramatic narrowing of the spaces of freedom conquered by the youth in October 1988, expresses solidarity with the revolt of our youth. Engaged, in the districts, the villages, the trade unions, the universities and associations, in the formidable process of self-organisation of the popular masses of Kabylie, the militants of the PST will demonstrate this Thursday on the platform of and behind the organisational frameworks recognised by the popular movement itself.

Today, joined by Khenchela and Annaba, the insurrection of the youth of Kabylie, which holds the attention of the whole of Algeria concerned with social misery and political oppression, will not stop there. It poses fundamental problems, like that of popular freedoms, the right to social dignity and dignity as citizens, the problem of armed institutions and popular control, the problem of the bourgeois practice of politics and that of true democracy. And if the demand for linguistic freedom enjoys unanimous support, the struggle for the legal and social emancipation of the woman has begun. The struggle continues for:

 an economic policy to meet the needs of the popular masses;
 an urgent program which deals with the satisfaction of the needs of the population as regards education, health and housing through the work of our abandoned youth;
 the respect of popular liberties, freedom of expression, of organisation, of assembly, of association without constraint or agreement;
 Tamazight as a national and official language, alongside an Arabic closer to the language of the people;
 a political order at the service of the workers, the youth and the popular majority.