againstIt was a heavy week. She lived Liberty’s last moments in pain. It is difficult to publish the latest issues of a newspaper whose fate has been decided. The heart no longer works.
The lively atmosphere of the editorial staff soon gave way to the inevitable advance at last to shake off the veil of grief. To the end, journalists and other staff members clung to a little hope, a hope that was waning over the articles, which were delivered with tweezers. They fought one last battle with the same force that has characterized the newspaper for three decades. Their association with Liberté is unparalleled. It was their life in the full sense of the word. But they could not do anything about it, those who faced difficult trials. Those who nevertheless survived hard times. Yesterday’s last editorial meeting was a heartbreaking moment. A wound that opens and is difficult to heal.
In turn, each journalist testified his own experience of glorification, anger, helplessness, hope, but above all conviction. That “carry the pen in the wound”. That mission in service of the ideal is backed by a base of value. Each in his own way fiercely defended civil liberties, the right to be different, freedom of conscience, gender equality, and the right of the marginalized. They cannot imagine a happy Algeria without its values. They did not hesitate to face difficulties to highlight a country that we are trying to hide. A constant struggle against denial and lies. A relentless battle for the facts. civic duty. For this citizen in his diversity, our thoughts are transformed in these times.
Far from journalists and the frustration caused by the closure of their newspaper, this disappearance will hurt Algerians from all over the country who will now be deprived of a space that guarantees them a social, intellectual and political existence.
Many of the battles fought by men and women in the vast Algerian territory whose identity will be hidden and the successes of a forgotten country will be “invisible”. Erasing the free space that carries the idea of Algerian pluralism will have a huge impact on important segments of society in a state of perpetual rebirth. Women organized in agricultural cooperatives in the Serraudi Mountains would not have the opportunity to demonstrate their ingenuity. No more reports on the cleanest villages in Kabylia that our reporters rushed to cover. The next Racont’Art would be done without Liberty. The great will not be Lounis Aït Menguellet who will be performing next week on the front page of Liberté. The little hands that make the country with the passion of Sisyphus, almost everywhere in Algeria, from Biskra to Mascara, from Setif to Tlemcen, will have no media coverage.
Don’t let her down!
The struggles of women leading each other in indifference will be unheard. Worse, they risk being stigmatized by proponents of a reactionary media system resistant to libertarian ideas. Yesterday’s demons are back in force with the disappearance of modernity’s spaces. The struggle of the 1990s suffered from the repercussions of disturbing social and societal decline.
Yesterday’s resistance fighters have been pushed to the margins of a history written by those who carried the black banner of fundamentalism. Thus, the memory of the victims of terrorism and abuse runs the risk of entering a long tunnel of oblivion. I’ve already started with a skilfully organized popular review. In this mysterious context disappears a newspaper that worked to continue the path followed by Maamari, Jawat, Labas, Matoub, Lounes, Balkhanshir and Boukhbba. It will not stand the test of time. It disappears when Algeria needs it most. Three years after the citizens’ uprising in February 2019 that restored the charm of Algeria and captivated the whole world. The end confirms the return to the time of political freeze and intellectual drought. Leap into the unknown.
But should we give in to it, should we despair? no. Out of devotion to the memory of the men and women of this country who sacrificed their lives so that republican Algeria could live, out of its connection to democratic ideals, it is not permissible to despair. Liberté and its journalists, of all generations, should be proud of what they have accomplished. The history of the newspaper merges with the history of fighting Algeria. A story that lived in his body in pain. Two of its journalists were killed under the deadly bullets of barbaric terrorism.
Like the thousands of Algerians killed, they did not die for nothing. Their death will not be in vain. That is why we must continue this adventure in other forms to reinvent it. If Liberté is completed, her journalists will not disappear into thin air. They will know how to reinvent themselves. This is the meaning they give to their lives. Admittedly, the Algerian moment is particularly difficult, as it weighs fear for the country, for all of us. But now is not the time to give up. The story never ended, the words of Mujahid Zubaydah Amerat, who visited us a few days ago, still resonate with us. It is she who has borne the weight of decades of struggle, first under colonialism, then under the one-party system, that gives us the courage to persevere, not give in to our winning. never quit! Its founding generation, who took part in the decisive battle, must inspire us every time we falter. We have to take our share of the story. We must cultivate and refine life, and quickly emerge from this collapse in the future.
The words of our regular columnist Mostafa Hammouche motivate us with hope, and push us towards a better tomorrow that we must build. There is no point in blaming the elderly for leaving us with a chaotic legacy.
In extreme conditions, in the time of black and white, without television or social networks, they were able with rare courage to break the chains of enslavement. They were definitely a minority, but their model was more powerful than all the tyrannical arsenal they encountered. We have always followed this line. They paved the way for us, they showed us the way. It is up to us as journalists, but also as free citizens, to continue the mission. With or without freedom.