More than 10,000 demonstrators have marched in Algeria’s northeastern city of Bejaia to protest against spiraling costs and unemployment.
“The protest gathered more than 10,000 people,” Said Sadi, Leader of Rally for Culture and Democracy (RCD), told AFP on Saturday. RCD had organized the rally.
Mohamed Ikhervane, a lawmaker with the opposition RCD, said the protest was inspired by neighboring Tunisia’s revolution which forced Tunisia’s former President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali out of force.
Demonstrators marched peacefully in the city shouting Tunisia-inspired slogans such as: “For a radical change of the regime!,” Ikhervane, added.
Police were out in force around the city but protesters dispersed calmly, the RCD lawmaker noted.
Separately, pro-democracy group the Algerian League for the Defense of Human Rights (LADDH) announced a plan to organize a new march in Algiers on February 12.
The group’s leader, Mustapha Bouchachi, said the protest had been postponed from the original date of February 9 to enable workers and students to take part.
Earlier in Algeria, January riots that demanded the end of the government and its 19-year state of emergency in Algeria left five dead and more than 800 injured.
At least eight people have set themselves on fire in Algeria in the past two weeks. Officials have attributed some of the cases to mental health issues.