Allison Drew
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Algerian communists and the new Algeria
in We are no longer in France
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In the first heady days of independence, the PCA quickly re-entered public political space. The ferocious state repression had left its ranks severely depleted through arrest, internment, imprisonment and death; some Communists had joined the FLN. The PCA had suffered extremely heavy losses relative to its size. Nonetheless the moment was politically fluid, and young people wanted to discuss Algeria’s future development. Disenchanted with the FLN’s lack of democracy and interested in socialism, some of these were attracted to the PCA. For the FLN’s factionalised leadership, any potential opposition was a threat. This included the PCA, which was showing signs of reviving and which stressed its intention to continue as an autonomous organisation. When the FLN banned the PCA on 29 November 1962 the PCA claimed 8,000 to 10,000 members and sympathisers. The FLN, born to unite the Algerian people through war, had now come full circle. The absolute unity promulgated during the war as necessary for victory became a model for the new Algeria. The army, formed to wage a merciless war premised on this unity, now controlled the party. Force became the arbiter of all matters political – as it had under the militarised French state.

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We are no longer in France

Communists in Colonial Algeria


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