Algeria: PST banned by the regime – down with repression!

The Algerian Council of State has banned the Socialist Workers’ Party (PST) and shuttered its offices. This scandalous act of political repression is part of an ongoing, general clampdown on left-wing activism, democratic freedoms and the revolutionary Hirak movement. The International Marxist Tendency (IMT) strongly condemns this outrageous move and sends its solidarity to the PST.

For months, the government of Abdelmadjid Tebboune has been intensifying repression against left-wing parties, opposition groups, and trade union organisations. Activists, students, journalists, and academics are being arrested on an almost daily basis, including Fethi Gares, spokesperson for the Democratic and Social Movement (MDS), and Kaddour Chouicha, an executive member of the CGATA trade union centre.

In 2021 alone, 300 new political detainees were added to Algeria’s overcrowded prisons, thousands were subject to legal proceedings and pre-trial detentions, and dissolution procedures were opened against several left-wing groups, including the PST, Union for Change and Progress (UCP), and the Rassemblement Actions Jeunesse (RAJ).

The PST was already threatened with dissolution, following a complaint lodged on 26 April 2021 by the Minister of the Interior. During this time, the PST was advocating for a mass boycott of the 12 June elections, which were overwhelmingly rejected by the masses, who refused to legitimise the rotten regime.

The party has faced systematic harassment from the government, which has faced widespread protest to its anti-people policies of austerity and repression. The regime is attempting to reverse the democratic advances won by the Algerian masses following their overthrow of the hated Bouteflika regime, and place the burden of Algeria’s economic crisis on their shoulders. The PST is being attacked for its role in opposing this reactionary policy. 

In a statement about the ban and closure of their offices, the National Directorate of the PST states:

“For us, this is a decision which confirms the intensification of repression... The hundreds who languish in prisons and face prosecution [include] young Hirak activists and social media activists, journalists and lawyers, academics and community activists, political opposition leaders like Fethi Gares, and trade unionists like Kaddour Chouicha, as well as many others. It is also a question of making our party pay for its political positions and its resolute commitments to the Hirak, against repression, and participation in the social struggles of the workers and the popular masses…

“For our party, the fight for democratic freedoms, equality and social justice... is a historic fight that several generations of militants of our current have embodied and sometimes paid for with their lives. Today, our fight continues as part of a struggle by the workers and our people against repression, for the release of political prisoners, and for the respect and consecration of democratic freedoms. This is a fight for the effective exercise of popular sovereignty, including over economic and social policies. It is a fight against liberal economic policies and against the stranglehold of imperialism and foreign powers over our national wealth and independence.”

We fully support the struggle for democratic rights, for social justice and against imperialism. Ultimately, these battles can only be won through the expropriation of the capitalists, Algerian and imperialist; and the building of socialism in Algeria and throughout the world. 

Solidarity with the PST!

Solidarity with the Hirak!

Down with repression!

Complete the Algerian Revolution!

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