Algeria: Socialist Workers’ Party Suspended. No To Repression!

January 20, 2022. Translated from Convergences Revolutionnaires, site of the Etincelle fraction of the New Anticapitalist Party (NPA) in France, Comrades of Speak Out Now.

This Thursday, Jan. 20 in Algeria, the Council of State decreed the suspension of the activities of the Socialist Workers’ Party (PST), a party of leftist activists, which has existed since the 1970s, and whose crime in the eyes of the regime is to have actively participated in the Hirak movement of 2019 [against the corrupt government] and to have supported since then the social struggles and strike movements that followed, including the Numilog workers’ strike (a port logistics company in Bejaia, Algeria) in the summer and fall of 2020. Numilog is owned by one of the richest bosses in the country. The Algerian regime aims to prevent any social protest.For months now, the Algerian regime has been trying to put an end to any social protest, and the arrests of activists are multiplying. Some are arrested for a few days as a form of intimidation, others incarcerated for several months even before any trial. There are said to be nearly 250 activists detained for their opinions.

Last December, the spokesman for the MDS (Democratic and Social Movement, heir to the former Algerian Communist Party), Fethi Ghares, was put on trial, six months after his arrest. The sentence was handed down on Jan. 10: two years in prison under the bogus pretexts of “insulting constituted bodies” and “disseminating information that could harm the national interest.” He had written in defense of a journalist from the newspaper Liberté, who had been imprisoned for six months for a report on social movements in the south of the country, the oil- rich region where people are so poor and young people are unemployed.

On Jan. 5, another party, the RCD (Rally for Culture and Democracy), which is just a classic bourgeois party, received a “warning” from the courts for “using its headquarters for activities that do not comply with the objectives set for it by law.” What was their criminal activity? To have hosted on their premises a meeting of parties and associations calling for the formation of a front against repression and for the release of prisoners of conscience.

The suspension of the activities of the Socialist Workers’ Party, which has just been announced, and the closure of its premises, in addition to the fact that this suspension aims to paralyze all activity of this party, is a direct threat against the comrades of the PST (some of whom have already been arrested several times) who could now be condemned for “illegal activity” when they express their opinions or participate in a movement.

They need our full support.