Socialist Worker

Strikes spread to Algeria’s oil fields

Issue No. 2647

No more elections for you - Algerians have forced Abdelaziz Bouteflika to retreat

No more elections for you - Algerians have forced Abdelaziz Bouteflika to retreat (Pic: Magharebia/Flickr)


Huge protests continued in Algeria, north Africa, last week to demand the removal of president Abdelaziz Bouteflika and his regime.

Hundreds of thousands marched in the capital city of Algiers. And more joined protests in towns and cities across the country on Friday of last week.

“We stay here until the whole system goes,” teacher Mahmoud Timar told the Reuters news organisation.

The protests have forced Bouteflika to say he won’t stand for re-election. Elections had been scheduled for April.

Now they have been postponed indefinitely while a new constitution is approved.

Movement

Strikes have been central to the movement. And they have spread to the country’s key oil and gas industries—on 11 March strikes were reported at Algeria’s largest gas field, Hassi R’Mel.

Now international capital is backing off from deals with the state-run Sonatrach energy firm.

Unions have turned down talks with new prime minister Noureddine Bedoui. 

These same unions supported Bouteflika until the protests and strikes made that untenable.

Building the strikes and strengthening an independent workers’ movement can push beyond replacing him with a technocratic government.


Mass protests across Sudan

Mass protests continue to demand the fall of Sudanese president Omar al-Bashir.

Last Friday demonstrators marched on the presidential palace and army headquarters in the capital Khartoum.

It followed big student protests earlier in the week.

On Thursday thousands of Sudanese people joined “Marches of Justice” in greater Khartoum and across the country.

Opposition coalitions and the SPA union federation said protests will continue for the next two weeks.

Support

The groups called for boycotting firms, banks and media outlets that support the Sudanese security forces.

On 22 February Bashir announced a state of emergency. A group of protesters was sentenced on Sunday to six months in jail for “causing disturbances”.

But despite the repression the resistance continues.

Change has to go further than just replacing the dictator.


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