Allison Drew
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‘Our people will overcome’
To the cities and the prisons
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With the Battle of Algiers, armed struggle moved to the cities. While the Soummam Congress promoted the primacy of the political struggle over the military, the war had its own logic. Posing the political and military in opposition accentuated the tension between the FLN’s political and military wings. Nonetheless, the FLN’s ruthless drive for unity masked its internal power struggle, and waves of young people joined. The FLN’s ascendancy seemingly left little political space for the PCA, which was seriously weakened by mass arrests – although the arrests and trials kept its name in the press. Nonetheless, Communists fought in the ALN, organised in prisons, exposed torture and continued their underground propaganda. Concerned with the FLN’s primarily military emphasis, they called for civil society organisation The December 1960 protests that swept across Algeria’s cities in response to Charles de Gaulle’s visit that month reinforced the Communist belief in civil society’s potential.

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We are no longer in France

Communists in Colonial Algeria


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