Fires rage throughout Algeria

Kabylia, north Algeria, the scene of many devastating fires (Image: Ikjan/Wikimedia Commons)

Once again, the Algerian people are left to fend for themselves. Since Monday, 9 August, more than seventy fires have raged throughout Algeria, particularly in Kabylia, where the regions of Tizi-Ouzou and Bejaia are in flames. To date (12 August) more than 40,000 acres have been destroyed by fire.

So far, 49 civilians have died – including families suffocating in their homes – and 28 soldiers called in to work as firefighters. Children of ordinary people are dying, while those of the criminal gang in power sleep peacefully in their villas – in Hydra and other places.

Who knows what has been happening. These fires are often started to help property developers and large landowners and agricultural groups. It is possible that the people who gave the orders are currently at the beach waiting for the fruits of their crimes.

Hospitals, schools, houses burned

For more than ten years now, every summer, fires have been started in Algeria’s forests, without the government doing anything about it. This year is particularly bad as fires burn out of control in many countries attributed to global warming.

The Algerian state has not yet bought a single Canadair water-carrying plane, which costs €25 million. The irresponsible, incompetent members of the government justify this by the impossibility of finding places that allow the Canadairs to fill their tanks! How long will this gang of corrupt, irresponsible people continue their criminal policy towards the population?

The olive plantation of the family of one of Gauche Revolutionnaire’s members has been divided into three in the last ten years, depriving her family of this small support – a legacy of several generations. And now we see people dying because of these flames. They caused the explosion of a petrol pump near Michelet (Tizi-ouzou), on Monday evening, where a whole family died. Someone in Toudja (Bejaia), trying to fight off the flames, set off a landmine dating back to colonial times.

Following what feels like a massacre, the Algerian diaspora abroad contacted several NGOs, including SIFF, which deals with forest fires, to come to help extinguish the forest fires, but they are still waiting for the approval of the Algerian government. They have had no response to this request, as yet, and probably will not get one.

People, animals, vegetation are all in danger – enough is enough! Fight back now!

As with the Covid-19 pandemic, people are left to deal with a disaster on their own. There is still an appalling lack of oxygen supplies in the hospitals, lack of equipment, personnel, or even of hospitals to accommodate the sick. The Algerian diaspora has also mobilised to buy urgent supplies and donate them to the hospitals. These donations are being refused at the border or even at the embassy because of “administrative complications”, while every day, patients are dying because they have no oxygen.

Workers have to take things into their hands! We are fed up with the crimes of the ruling class, fed up with their corruption and their subservience to the big landowning and capitalist corporations. We must fight back and lead a real working class revolt that will really change the Algerian system! Algeria will neither be free, nor democratic nor safe, as long as the capitalist mafia is in power!

We need real public health services and protection such as firemen which the Algerian state budget could largely finance rather than pouring billions into the pockets of the corrupt people in power. We need public services managed democratically by workers themselves, in conjunction with the majority of the population, employing millions of unemployed people who today are desperate to help when people are being faced with fires and criminal arson.

We have to fight, by organising ourselves to build a party that brings together youth, workers, and people who have been fighting with the Hirak regime for more than two years.

For a free, democratic, and equal Algeria: a socialist Algeria!


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August 2021