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Algeria tense as workers plan march for democracy

Algeria tense as workers plan march for democracy
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After the fall of Ben Ali in Tunisia and Mubarak in Egypt, in the Algerian capital Algiers there is a sense of the calm before the storm, as workers prepare to take part in an illegal demonstration against the regime of President Abdelaziz Bouteflika.

Salim Mecheri is a trade unionist organising the protest:

“We want an end to the corruption that is rife in Algerian business, we want strong unions and political pluralism.”

Algiers is on edge with more than 30,000 security personnel deployed on the streets in order to prevent chaos, according to the authorities.

It is an idea rejected by Said Sadi, President of the Rally for Culture and Democracy:

“The regime wants chaos on the streets to scare people, they claim they stay in power to prevent fundamentalism and chaos, yet the regime created the fundamentalism and chaos.”

Algerian’s must now wait and see if the protests trigger instability in a country still smarting from years of violence.

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