Another US-allied Muslim country agitates. Algiers police were out in force ahead of banned demo. This is the very thing I warned of in Justin Elliot's video interview with notorious left wing blog Salon at CPAC.
Thousands of Algerian police with hundreds of vehicles mobilised in central Algiers on Saturday to head off a banned march by pro-democracy campaigners heartened by the downfall of Egyptian strongman Hosni Mubarak.
Already Friday, officers had broken up a gathering of people outside the Algiers offices for the opposition Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), as they celebrated Mubarak's downfall.
Police charged the demonstrators and arrested 10 people, said RCD leader Said Sadi, adding that several protestors had to be treated in hospital. "It wasn't even an organised demonstration. It was spontaneous. It was an explosion of joy," he said.
He said the authorities had ringed the capital in a bid to prevent people travelling into Algiers to join the march. "Trains have been stopped and other public transport will be as well," he said.
He claimed that 10,000 police were being drafted into the city to reinforce the 20,000 who succeeded in blocking the last protest on January 22, when five people were killed and more than 800 hurt in clashes. Large quantities of tear-gas grenades had been imported, he added.
Algerian government shuts off all internet access. (hat tip Kenny S)
Protests in Algeria intensified today, and the Algerian government responded by deleting Facebook accounts and shutting down Internet service providers across the country.
In a volatile situation similar to that which brought down former Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak, the Algerian government has dispatched 30,000 riot police in Algiers, and is resorting to tear gas and plastic bullets to try to discourage dissent, according to The Telegraph.
Algerians are calling this uprising the "February 12 Revolution," as they protest government corruption, massive unemployment, housing problems and poverty. They would like to oust Algerian President Abdelaziz Boutifleka, whose police forces are also trying to silence journalists, according to The Telegraph.
From what we've seen so far, shutting down the Internet and deleting Facebook accounts is not going to work. We're thinking this is just one of many revolutions that are about to sweep the Middle East.