'Eyes to the South' studies the currents of the Algerian revolution alongside the development of French anarchist thought from the 1950s to the present. The book presents a fluid mosaic of actions, writings, and theoretical positions as it follows the shifting contexts of Algerian politics and society and the evolving consciousness and organising of French anarchists in all their diversity. The result is an engaging and fresh approach to both transnational politics and anarchist ideas.
Available for purchase at AK Press here
Here the English translation of a leaflet published by some comrades in France ("Luttes autonomes" - "Autonomous struggles").
When the Solidaires delegation paid a visit to the SNAPAP , we realised that the situation of independent trade unionism in Algeria is far more complicated than we had foreseen. When the delegate for the federation of the SUD-Education local Unions met with some of the independent unions of the education sector, he also noticed that organising in Algeria was a difficult and dangerous thing to do.
On November 28 and 29 2006 , we were invited to meet with the following unions: CNAPEST (Secondary and technical schools) CLA (Grammar High schools) SNTE (National Education) SATEF (Independent national Education) CNES (Universities) BCN CNES (administration and housing in universities), and a few other unions in the training sector, such as the field of paramedicine .
In the latest development in the rapidly escalating situation in North Africa, the Tunisian President has been forced out of power, a new government formed and a state of emergency declared in the face of what can only be described as a working class rebellion.
At the time of writing, a “national unity” government has been formed and security forces have attempted to crack down on the movement while the concessions such as the release of political prisoners are offered. Nonetheless, the demonstrations continue.
The protests against the high cost of living, unemployment and corruption have been growing since the end of the year throughout North Africa, spreading through both Tunisia and Algeria in more and more cities and involving more social sectors, to the extent that the situation in both countries has become extremely unstable - much to the concern of the United States and the European Union, the top two international guarantors of the oligarchic political systems that are perpetuated in the Maghreb, posing as "buffer states" against the advance of Islamic fundamentalism in the region.
Bouteflika in Algeria and Tunisia's Ben Ali (not to mention Mohammed VI in Morocco) are presented to the outside world as "strong men" who need a strong hand to subdue and keep out the enemy within, at the cost of plunging their populations into poverty and keeping them disciplined with an iron fist, crushing or hindering as much as possible any attempt by the people to organise themselves or seek
Poverty has been growing in North Africa since the beginning of the year. The price of food staples is soaring, there is less and less work, further reducing the pitiful spectrum of everyone’s means of survival. They are bringing out the old trick of the "crisis", making us believe that misery and revolt are new phenomena produced by it, while they are as old as money and authority. It only took a few sparks in Tunisia to set fire to the powder keg of an already explosive situation, right to Algeria.
Cops attacked, government buildings, schools, customs, warehouses, police stations, car dealerships, banks and businesses targeted, coordinated roadblocks. Contrary to what power and journalist cops are saying, these riots are not limited to a few imaginary categories ("young", "graduates", "unemployed", "extremist") but are expressed diffusely, and their targets are clear.
Friday 14 January 2011 -- After a dramatic 24 hours when Tunisia's dictator president Ben Ali first tried promising liberalisation and an end to police shootings of demonstrators and then, this evening at 16:00, declaring martial law, he has finally fallen from office. While the rumours are still swirling, one thing is clear, Ben Ali has left Tunisia and the army has stepped in. The comments after this article contain continuous updates of the uprising.
The day began with a mass demonstration called by Tunisia's trade union federation, the UGTT, in the capital Tunis. Between 10 and 15,000 people demonstrated outside the Ministry of the Interior.
Achour Idir is an organizer with the autonomous Algerian trade union, the Conseil des Lycées d'Algérie (CLA, Council of Secondary Schools of Algeria). He is 30 years old and lives in Algiers. In a country where there remain the stigmata of a Party-State, maintaining one's autonomy is not an easy thing. This is an interview with a class-struggle militant, who identifies with the red and black ideals of disobedience and resistance.
Achour, can you tell us about your organization?
The CLA is a trade union operating in the education sector and basically groups together secondary-school teachers, though in principle it takes part in the struggles of all sectors. The CLA was founded in 2003 and bases itself on three principle demands:
• 100% pay rises for teachers
• the creation of a statute for teachers
Translated extracts of a pamphlet on the 2001 Algerian insurrection.
Gringoboy poets / cutting loose
with new pinking shears bought in Paris France
snipping away the wardrobe of unfashionable imagery
Some put on the professional's frowning Lenin-mask
and lean forward to scribble historic directives
Some dress up in helmet and boots / deconstruction workers
begin tearing down rusty syntactic scaffolding