Messali Hadj 1928

Fight Against French Imperialism!

Source: Messali Hadj par les textes; textes choisis et presentés par Jacques Simon. Editions Bouchéne, 2000;
Translated: for by Mitch Abidor.

Nearly a century ago, with the coup of the fan, French imperialism undertook the theft of our country.

There was the conquest. There was the massacre of women and children, the torching of villages and harvests, the theft of riches by an army avid for blood and pillage.

Stolen from the natives during the 15 years of the conquest were: 18 million lambs, three million oxen, almost a million dromedaries and, during the expedition in Kabylia, 300 villages were burned.

We only relate here a few facts among thousands.

But it must be noted that while the massacres are done, the work of brigandage continues with the ferocity characteristic of French imperialism. Since the conquest, 11 million hectares of the best lands have been stolen, while the natives are pushed to the arid south and are decimated by periodic famines. Collective fines hit entire villages, sequestrations complete the ruin of the Algerian people, which is plunged into poverty.

In a few words, these are the results of the conquest.

In order to prevent us from crying out: “Thief! Assassin!” imperialism gags us with the Code de l'Indigénat, a vestige of the darkest barbarism. By virtue of this code, all the violence carried out on the natives by the colonists are legitimated in advance. Theft, torture, and murder are openly encouraged, and the guilty assured of impunity.

No political rights, no freedom to assemble or to speak.

Though 98 years separate us from the conquest, we remain the hostages of the war of 1830, and the freedom to travel is parsimoniously granted us. Even under the feudal regime — which imperialism claims to have abolished — this iniquity didn’t exist.

All of this under the hypocritical mask of civilization.

Imperialism enrolls us by force in its army.

In order to enrich a few European failures, it doesn’t hesitate to have us massacred in fratricidal struggles, we ourselves unconsciously contributing to the enslavement of our Moroccan and Syrian brothers and, through a fatal repercussion, in the reinforcement of our own oppression.

And in our own ranks this pro-slavery position finds supporters and propagators among the traitors and sell-outs. French imperialism, thanks to corruption, has known how to involve in its policies those elements through which it exercises its influence and domination. Alternatively, through the mouths of Bentami and Chekiken it allows us to hope for a so-called “generosity” of wolves towards the lambs.

Muslim! Our conduct is laid out for us before so odious a regime.

Unite your efforts in order to improve our lot. For the suppression of the Code de l'Indigénat, for the freedom of the press and assembly, for the equality of military service, for the freedom of immigration, against the sending of native troops to foreign lands, against the war in Morocco! Fight against French imperialism and for this: