Algeria Protests Turn Violent As Demonstrating Maghrebians In Paris Join In Solidarity

As predicted yesterday, Algeria is "next." They just don't quite know it yet. The attached clip shows the first recorded clashes between demonstrators and police in Algiers. Certainly not the last.

And possibly a bigger issue, as Zero Hedge observed some time ago, is that while Egypt and Tunisia do not have major expat populations, Algeria most certainly does. In fact, those of Maghreb descent in France are estimated to be between 3 and 5 million: a potentially dangerous mix. Which is starting to materialize: as France 24 reports 'Hundreds of protesters gathered in the historic Place de la République in Paris Saturday, calling for a "Free and democratic Algeria" in a proud show of solidarity with Algeria's budding anti-government movement."

Crowds gathered in Paris’ Place de la République Saturday in a show of solidarity with anti-government protesters in Algeria. The protests in the French capital came as thousands took to the streets of the Algerian capital of Algiers in defiance of a government ban on demonstrations to stage a rally calling for the removal of Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Saturday’s protests in Paris and Algiers came the day after Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak stepped down following an 18-day popular uprising in the world’s largest Arab nation.

In Paris, protesters called for a “Free and democratic Algeria!” and held signs demanding that Bouteflika “Get out!” From the bed of a truck, people were invited to take turns at the megaphone, while people danced and chanted as music blared over loudspeakers. Egyptian and Tunisian national flags rippled in the air alongside Algeria’s emblematic green, white and red flag, in a proud show of Arab solidarity.

Nearly a month ago, Tunisian strongman Zine al Abidine Ben Ali fled into exile, sparking speculation over whether Tunisia’s far larger and wealthier western neighbour could turn into “the next Tunisia”.

Bouteflika, who has served as Algeria’s president since 1999, has come under pressure from opposition groups and many ordinary Algerians demanding democratic reforms.

The problem with all these concerted uprisings first in north Africa and soon everywhere else, is that as countries gradually convert to "democratic" regimes (no rush there though- they will likely go through several iterations of puppet governments of the deposed administration), the great experiment in globalization, in which repressive, yet America-friendly regimes fall, is about to be turned on its head.


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