Creative Protest Signs from Algeria

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Based on the massive turnout over the last few days, it’s no longer a matter of debate; Algeria is in the midst of an  uprising against Bouteflika and the Algerian deep state.

Arab regimes are often very bad at gauging the popular mood. For years, we have advocated paying attention to protest signs in the MENA region as a window into the grievances, aspirations, and values of the protestors – and how they’re likely to act as events unfold.

Here are some of the best signs we’ve seen:

The Demands are Radical: Native Regime Change

The Demands are Radical: Native Regime Change : “The People Want: Ctrl Alt Del” – reboot the system!

The people feel empowered, and want a system centred around them

The people feel empowered, and want a system centred around them A clever double entendre that can be read as “Here is the people’s majesty” or “Its Excellency The People speaks”

Absolute rejection of a 5th term for Bouteflika – his time is up

No faith in the regime, its establishments, or its symbols

Warnings against protests as being “disobedience of the ruler” by regime-aligned Islamic clerics are falling flat

Disenfranchised youth are finding their voice and want to be heard

A real sentiment of patriotism and pride – the people feel empowered, and are assuming ownership of their own country and its destiny

“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” – quoting MLK.

And as we’ve seen elsewhere – expressions of solidarity with the struggle of other Arab nations against tyranny

And as we’ve seen elsewhere – expressions of solidarity with the struggle of other Arab nations against tyranny: Algerian protester sending a solidarity message to Egypt: “Don’t worry you’re not alone” – a reference to a hashtag campaign in which Egyptians consoled each other, asserting they all feel the pain of tyranny.
The moment Algerian and Sudanese protesters bumped into each other at a protest in Europe – joy and solidarity

Rejecting Foreign Intervention, asserting the native nature of the uprising

The sentiment that Algerians are fighting a second battle for national liberation – the first being the struggle again French colonialism

Bonus: Some English translations of Algerian protest songs are available here.

The power of symbols: Take in all of the above, and you’ll understand how the protesters have already won the battle of narratives. This is a genuine patriotic reform movement, 100% made in Algeria. That’s why the Algerian regime is so cornered, and close to panicking.