Opposition organisers say up to 10,000 people marched in the Algerian capital Algiers today calling for a similar change at the top that the people of Tunisia and Egypt have obtained.
But the police were out in force, and prevented the crowds from reaching the city centre or the main square.
After a few hours most had left, leaving isolated groups of mainly young people to throw stones at the police.
“We will only go home when the regime has fallen, we want a people’s regime,” said the honorary president of Algerian League for the defence of Human Rights Ali Yahia Abdenour.
At least 300 arrests were made, but it appeared police policy was to release most of them shortly afterwards.
“We have just one problem, the regime. We have only one solution; change, so we can have a peaceful transition, if that’s possible,” said the President of the Rally for Culture and Democracy Doctor Said Sadi.
Although several organisations backed the unauthorised protest it did not receive support from the main trade unions, opposition parties, or the banned radical Islamic movements.
“The large number of security personnel which surrounded the 1st of May square has succeeded in immobilising the demonstrators, who have only been able to shout slogans, and diverse demands,” said euronews’ reporter Suleiman Yassini.