4th October 2019
Algerians’ aspirations for change: two sociological theories to understanding and intervening in the conflict
On February 22, 2019, Algerian people began regular peaceful demonstrations in all of the 48 regions. Unlike past demonstrations in the MENA region, known as Arab Spring, these sustained rallies have been about political, not social demands. Millions of citizens have been chanting slogans asking for the total departure of the political system that has ruled Algeria for the last 57 years, following the independence from France. After four weeks of protests, the people of Algeria were able to topple the president who led, what the demonstrator’s call ‘the mafia regime’ for the last twenty years. These protests are particularly unique in a sense that their organizers have shown their ability to 1) mobilize millions of people to peacefully march in all big cities, 2) cycle demonstrations, where ordinary citizens including women, men, and elderly invade streets on Fridays and students parade on Tuesdays, 3) unite peoples’ demands so they are consistent and formulated via chanting, dancing, and brandishing placards tinted with humor and jokes, 4) prevent the regime from holding fake presidential elections twice.