Does anyone remember the Arab Spring? Many Arab nations were swept by a massive wave of hope. In many countries, people took to the streets to support an end to corruption, an end to government repression, and a call for freedom. This wave was powerful, and it wiped out leaders from several states including Egypt’s Hosni Mubarak.
The democratic Republic of Algeria, born an anti-colonial revolution, was not exempt from this wave which watched across the Middle East, but as we see in nature, waves are often followed by undertows, counter-movements from the bottom of the sea.
After the bright radiant hope that shined in the light of the Arab Spring, along came the cold night of an Arab Fall, and with it, the cold seasons of state repression. The military mobilized in Egypt and struck back at the spring protesters, the Muslim brotherhood, and wiped them from the stage of power.
Similarly, the Algerian state attacked its protesters like Louisa Hanoun, the 65-year-old general secretary of the Algerian Workers’ Party. Recently, she was sentenced to 15 years in prison by a military tribunal for treason. Is it treason to work for a more open, less repressive country? Hardly.
The Arab Spring unleashed an unprecedented wave of sweet hope across North Africa and many Arab states for a brief moment in time. [Inaudible] Square in Cairo seems like the center of a new world emerging.
The rightist forces of repression could not endure such a season and tore up the flowers of resistance. Louisa Hanoun is one such flower from that spring of hope. And she, like all political prisoners, like us all, need freedom.
From imprisoned nation, this is Mumia Abu-Jamal.
These commentaries are recorded by Noelle Hanrahan of Prison Radio.