The 22ndof February 2019, the Algerian population contested the 5thmandate of AbdelAziz Boutaflika. A year later, a new president had been elected, contested by the street and The Hirak continues to reclaim a complete changement of the system. Explanations with one of the movement’s actors, Riadh Touat, founder of the project “Wech Derna”
Purposes collected by Dounia Ben Mouhamed
You are an actor since the very first hour of Hirak. Why did you chose do join the movement and through which contribution ?
The reason why I participate with Hirak is because my desire for change is profound and because Algeria has unexploited potentials and because we have to envisage our historic responsibilities. Algeria deserves a State that embraces the rule of law, individual liberties, it deserves to celebrate its wealth, its capacities, its differences and its necessary requirements to an accomplishment. The Hirak, I participate within it, first as a citizen when I descend each Friday with my compatriots in the street. I practice it as well in my daily life as I try to bring my contribution to the change into my family, persona l and professional environment. I practice it through the images that I show, the interviews that I realize via my media “Wech Derna”.
After one year, which estimation would you make of the movement, your gains, and your challenges?
The 22ndof February’s revolution freed us and the fear changed its camp. The revolution of 22ndof February decomplexed us from politics and permitted us to be conscious of the fact that we should get organized. The Hirak permitted us to know ourselves, to break the boundaries, to differentiate the pro-system from the anti-system. The Hirak permitted us to reconcile with the public space and the battle is still help us.
Meanwhile, a president was “elected” and the manifestations continue, the conversation between the street and the system is blocked?
What I claim is a radical change of the system and the change of the system can’t occur only with a fundamentally total change of the constitution. Because the elections were imposed by the force we can’t talk about conversation but negotiation started by the system through the transition period until the constitutive Assembly is settled.
What does the street claims?
All we need is to listen to the popular slogans calling out and expressing the will for a civil State not a military one (dawla madaniya machi aaskariya), independency of the justice, State of rule of law and liberties, Separation of powers, independency of the media, radical change of the system where the sovereignty returns really to the people.
Tell us about Wech Derna, which incarnates the initiatitives held by the Algerian youth that wills to change things by itself …
Wech Derna is a citizenship alternative medium that lets the active and skilled Algerian youth speak aspiring to settling an Algeria based on the work and worthiness values. The format used the video through the technique of interview or the fellowship of events. “Wech Derna?” has also taken part of Hirak and wants to be the witness of its time. I refuse that the archives of tomorrow will be constituted of only propaganda images. It is important what we are doing in sensitization in the present, we want to let the future generations know that we took part of this, unless the system intends to falsify the history. Today 145 000 followers follow us on face and I aspire to make it bigger with time. It is an independent medium, set on the 12thof January 2017, which functions with only a camera and a microphone.