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Algeria: Football Matches New Venue to Air Dissent

Categories: Middle East & North Africa, Algeria, Freedom of Speech, Politics, Protest, Sport

This post is part of our special coverage Algeria Protests 2011 [1].

Algerians have discovered a novel way to make their voices heard. Spectators in football matches are using the opportunity to voice political views, in a country which has so far shielded itself from the revolutions of the so-called Arab Spring.

On Twitter, Algerian Twitter user Baki 7our draws our attention to the new trend.

@7our: [2] Unusual in #Algeria: football fans singing political chant in stadium. ‘Regime puts bomb & then accuses Al Qaida’ http://ow.ly/6DIjx

The video [3], posted by egypteking1, shows an animated crowd singing to the tune of drums:

The words of the song, in spoken Algerian or Darijaa, say:

[Algerian President Abdulaziz] Bouteflika wants another term, and Zerhouni [former interior minister] is doing everything to make that happen, including staging bomb attacks and blaming Al Qaeda for them.

7our shares another link where spectators draw attention to the class struggle in Algeria, between the rick and poor.

@7our: [4] #Algeria: Another political chant at football game, theme is class struggle between disadvantaged & privileged. http://ow.ly/6DJtq

Here's the video [5], uploaded by Saimirsaadi, on YouTube:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fI2u-VFgJHc [5]

According to Malika Slimani, however, this venue to voice political views is not totally new:

@TanyaSlimani [6]: @JustAmira I remember in Feb/Mar them chanting “libya” during anthems

Despite protests starting from February, Algeria has so far shielded itself from an Arab Spring-like full blown revolution. Could football matches be the venue to air political, social and economic grievances.

This post is part of our special coverage Algeria Protests 2011 [1].