Messali Hadj 1956
Source: Messali Hadj par les textes; textes choisis et présentés par Jacques Simon. Editions Bouchene, Paris, 2000;
Translated: for marxists.org by Mitch Abidor.
Nineteen years ago, on March 11,1937, the Parti du Peuple Algerien succeeded the Etoile Nord Africain, which was dissolved by the Popular Front Government on January 25 of the same year.
From its birth, the PPA was the object of violent repression, in France as well as Algeria. In fact, the government hoped that in thus acting it would prevent the Mouvement National Algerien from taking hold on the soil of the country. The press, in the service of imperialism, didn’t fail to set public opinion against us. Imperialism went so far as to incite certain of our compatriots against the Mouvement, in the hopes of seeing the Algerians themselves put an end to its existence.
It’s in this atmosphere of struggle, repression and adversity that the MNA was born and developed.
During that period a vast movement of assimilation threatened to depersonalize Algeria. The PPA fought against that perilous policy of abandonment with vigor, and called on the people to cause these attempts at national suicide to fail. Despite an opposition of unheard of violence, the call of the PPA was heard by the popular masses, who immediately attached themselves to it.
The people, fooled for a moment, pulled itself together. It progressively regained confidence in itself and in its destiny.
On a moral plane, this change of conception in the midst of a great political battle was a great realization. Little by little the people rid itself of its inferiority complex, and all its great qualities, like the sense of initiative, courage, discipline, and the spirit of sacrifice, had the occasion to manifest themselves.
He who had been cast aside, underestimated and considered a negligible quantity, and who had been led to believe that his liberation depended on certain insiders of reformism gave, from the time of his first contacts with the MNA, proof of his vitality, his will and his bravery.
Nevertheless, the more sympathy the MNA met with from the people, the more repression was increased by colonialism, and intrigues and hatred were fomented by adversaries of all kinds..
The attacks have never stopped, and continue to our time. If the MNA is today the object of so many slanders, perfidies and intrigues, it is because it has, against all obstacles, continued the struggle in conformity with its political line. It is also because it has rejected every compromise with neo-colonialism.
Whatever the difficulties, the government or the regime, the Mouvement National has never swerved from its goal: THE INDEPENDENCE OF ALGERIA, for which it continues to struggle, without abandonment or demagogy.
The obstacles we are currently encountering aren’t new, and they prove that we are on the right path. Just as the PPA defeated its adversaries in 1937, the MNA will defeat those who slander it in 1956. The Algerian people, who reject with contempt those who attempt to attack its unity, gives its total support to its vanguard movement, which gave it reason to live again.
At a moment when the entire Algerian people is engaged in the supreme struggle for its liberation, my thoughts go out to those who gave their lives for Algeria’s freedom, and to those who suffer for her in prisons and concentration camps.
It is to them that we consecrate the 19th anniversary of the Mouvement National, it is in order to be worthy of their sacrifice that WE WILL FIGHT WITH EVER MORE ARDOR TO GAIN VICTORY OVER OPPRESSION AND COLONIAL DOMINATION.