afrol News, 15 February - Organisers of Saturday's protests in Algeria have issued a statement calling on "all Algerians to massively participate in the march planned for 19 February" in the capital.
The statement was issued today, as Algerian protesters during the last few days have organised themselves in a new umbrella group for the "National Coordination for Democratic Change" (CNCD). The CNCD unites ordinary protesters, the Algerian human rights league (LADHH), an association of the unemployed, the association of missing people's family members, the pacifist movement and minor opposition parties.
CNCD members already during the weekend announced that the protests in Algiers, which had been smaller than expected due to a massive police presence, would be repeated every Saturday until their reform demands are met.
In a new statement issued today, the protest coordination group called on citizens all over Algeria to form similar groups to organise protests calling for democratic and social reforms.
In addition to its Algiers basis, the CNCD has already established sub-committees in several Algerian districts, in charge of local protest marches. Organising committees already exist in Oran, Tlemcen and Aïn Temouchent. Further now needed to be established.
"Despite the war-like situation in and around the capital, thousands of people have broken the wall of fear," the statement said, encouraging potential protesters to take to the streets on Saturday.
The decision to repeat Saturday's protest march, despite being met by armed riot police troops, was already taken during a "Marathon meeting" on Sunday, where the different groups that had called for the protests debated their demands and plans of action.
It was also decided to change the venue of the protests from central Algiers' 1 May Square to the Square of Martyrs, the latter being more difficult for police troops to control or seal off.
The CNCD statement and call for further protests is widely referred to by Algeria's independent media, but completely ignored by state and pro-government media. The CNCD denounced "the manipulations by certain media on government payroll, which are a shame to the ethics of the profession."
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