On the eve of the date of February 22, marking the year “I” of the Hirak, very many citizens flocked from different regions of the country, to participate in the 53rd Friday of march against the system, thus defying the filtering dams and the access constraints to the capital.
By tens of thousands, the Algerians thus invested the various boulevards, squares, and alleys of the center of Algiers, to shout loud and clear how much their determination is great for a deep and radical political change.
Indeed, from 10:30 am, the demonstrators were already thousands to invest the street Didouche Mourad and to chant “we did not go out to party, but rather to bring down the system”, as if to reply to the President’s decision Tebboune to declare February 22 “National Day of Brotherhood and People-Armed Cohesion for Democracy”.
During this time, the police had already made a few arrests, mainly political and human rights activists from other wilayas, like Tizi Ouzou.
Shortly before noon, the national committee for the release of detainees (CNLD) had identified at least eleven demonstrators, including four arrested near Square Port Said, taken to the Oued Koriche police station, but immediately released.
This is not the case for the four young demonstrators from Draa Ben-khedda, in the wilaya of Tizi Ouzou, arrested in Bachdjerrah, in the south-eastern suburbs of Algiers, or the three other demonstrators arrested in Bab El-Oued, according to the CNLD.
But in the middle of the afternoon, the police force deployed in the center of Algiers was crushed by human waves coming notably from Belouizdad and May 1, the Casbah and Bab El Oued. The center of Algiers vibrated under the slogans “Civil and non-military state”, “Free and democratic Algeria”, “we said that the mafia gang must leave” … while figures of the Hirak, like Nour El Houda Oggadi, from Tlemcen, and Samira Messouci, from Bouira, demanded the release of the rest of the prisoners of conscience. The portrait of Karim Tabbou, in preventive detention since September 2019, was widely brandished by the demonstrators.
At 5:00 p.m., the center of Algiers was still full of people, and the demonstrators were meeting for tomorrow Saturday, promising to be even more numerous.