ALGIERS (Reuters) - Thousands of people demonstrated in central Algiers on Friday for a second time this week, confirming the resumption of street protests that had been in abeyance for nearly a year because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Weekly street protests from February 2019 prompted the army to force a veteran president from power in the biggest shock to Algeria's political system in decades, stopping only for a COVID-19 lockdown in March last year.
The protesters are demanding a complete overhaul of the old ruling elite, an end to corruption and the army's withdrawal from politics.
Marchers chanted "peaceful, peaceful" and "our demands are legitimate" on Friday as they walked through the city centre amid a large police presence.
"We are still able to achieve all our goals," said Farida Rechichi, a 25-year old student at the Algiers law faculty.
While thousands of people took part in Friday's march, however, the numbers were smaller than those involved in the protests before the lockdown last year, when tens of thousands regularly took part.
A first protest after the lockdown took place last week in the eastern town of Kherrata. The first protest to take place again in Algiers was on Monday.
(Reporting by Hamid Ould Ahmed, writing by Angus McDowall; Editing by Gareth Jones)