Activists Launch Corona Radio Station To Fight Govt

Story ByLee Bullen, Sub EditorJoseph Golder, AgencyNewsflash

An Algerian revolutionary has launched an online radio station from his new home in the US to keep the anti-government movement going during the COVID-19 lockdown.

Radio Corona Internationale (RCI), created by well-known Algerian broadcaster Abdellah Benadouda, 49, from his home in Providence in the US state of Rhode Island, offers listeners a mix of politics, satire and popular music.

RCI airs live on Facebook on Tuesdays and Fridays when ‘Hirak’ protesters have been taking to the streets over the past year.


However, since COVID-19 measures were introduced, all rallies and gatherings have been suspended,

The 2019-20 Algerian protests, also called the Revolution of Smiles or Hirak Movement, began on 16th February 2019, six days after Abdelaziz Bouteflika announced his candidacy for a fifth presidential term.

On 11th March 2019, after sustained protests, Bouteflika announced that he would not seek a new term and he ultimately resigned on 2nd April 2019.

Benadouda, who fled Algeria in 2014 after following out with President Bouteflika’s inner circle, said regretfully: “I missed the revolution.”

However, the protests continued and demonstrators have been calling for further changes to the political system until the COVID-19 pandemic put a stop to the movement.

From his new home in Rhode Island, Benadouda said “only my body is here in Providence” and that the online station is “a way to reinvent the Hirak movement in times of confinement”.

Operating much like a pirate radio station, RCI interacts with listeners and improvises live on air in a mixture of colloquial Arabic and French.

Benadouda said: “This programme is driven by our deepest state of mind. Freedom.”

The self-exiled journalist added: “It is in adversity that we remain united. The state must understand this.”

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