ALGERIA Organising Committee of Internationalist Socialists of Algeria (COSI) Our Position…

Revolutionaries base their militant activities on principles. These are the generalization of the experience of workers’ struggles. This is the case with the struggle for the defence and/or conquest of democratic freedoms. They are indivisible. 

In our epoch, that of imperialism, freedoms and democratic rights are only really defended by workers. Imperialism and his agents in dominated countries cannot tolerate the full exercise of democratic freedoms because this would place in jeopardy the safeguarding of their system, which is based on the private ownership of the means of production. 

By denying democratic right to all the people, they are first and foremost denying the right of workers to organise, demonstrate, and strike. In a word, what they are seeking in the end is to prevent the workers from fighting to establish their own political power. 

Lenin established as a principle the need to pay close attention to « everything that happens in the Tsar’s court » in order to measure the depth of the crisis in the class enemy. On 23 September in Blida, a trial began in relation to the charges of « conspiracy » involving four people: two former intelligence officials, the brother and advisor to 

former President Abdelaziz Bouteflika, and the general secretary of the Workers Party (PT). 

Let’s underscore the fact that it is a military court that has been called upon to adjudicate the case; hence it’s a trial that is taking place behind closed doors. A military court always involves « exceptional jurisprudence », and its closed sessions in fact exclude the people from its proceedings, even though it’s allegedly in the name of the people that a sentence is issued. 

From the very beginning of the uprising, the Hirak [the popular movement -Editor’s note] has always demanded that the proceedings of this trial – as all other trials of concern to the oligarchs – be open to the press and to the public. The Hirak has also demanded loudly, « Civil Status, Not Military Status. » Revolutionaries have supported these demands without any illusions about « the independence of the civil justice system. » On this point, we can only agree with Nouredine Bouderba, former national secretary of the General Union of Algerian Workers (UGTA), who writes: « The people must know in order to believe. Without the presence of the press at the Blida trial, this will be 

nothing but a settling of scores of those at the top. » 

Finally, let us note that in the seat of the accused is the general secretary of the Workers Party (PT). She is charged by the military with « wanting to overthrow the regime » for having met on 26 March with two people also charged in this case: Said Bouteflika and Toufik. From the standpoint of democracy, the person in charge of the PT is only accountable to her party and not to the military hierarchy; otherwise this would be nothing more than criminalizing 

political activity. The degree of democracy in a society is measured by the conditions with which it manages its « criminals ». Without giving the slightest political support to the secretary general of the PT and to her party, the Organizing Committee of Internationalist Socialists (COSI) from the very first moment of her incarceration called for her unconditional release. It reiterates this principled position today. It will continue to take action, together with others in unity, to demand her release. 

Algiers, 24 September 2019.