Category Archives: English

Join us! We are all leaders! Everyone’s voice matters!

We received the message below this morning (April 21, 2016) and we share it verbatim ahead of today’s protests and the pro-regime counter-protests hosted by the ruling party VMRO-DPMNE.

“This afternoon I will be at the protests. This same afternoon, there is an announcement of large counter-protests. I decided to make this address because I feel that the divisions between the people (the two “groups” of people – pro-democracy protests and pro-regime counter-protests) are big enough. I would like to reach out to my friends with whom I discuss less and less due to differences in political positions.

First, I want to let you know what my position is. #iProtest. #iProtest because this situation cannot be tolerated any longer; the criminal activities, the divide between people, the mocking of common sense and reason. #iProtest because I want RADICAL change, not only change of the government, I want my country – mine, yours, our Macedonia to move forward! At the moment, Macedonia is a country burdened with huge poverty levels and largest inequality in Europe, whose debt is rising and flowing in the private pockets of the politicians. Me and the others with me on the streets protesting, we are particularly angry about the pardon given by the president Ivanov to all criminals-politicians.

Some of you think that we are paid to protest. However, I have not taken any funding from any Macedonian or foreign foundation to #protest. Nor I protest because someone ordered me to do so. This is a protest aiming to open a new page. Enough with 25 years of transition, it is about time for the people to come and take what is theirs. #iProtest is not a political party. #iProtest is not an NGO. #iProtest is personal and singular. There is no leaders, no spokespersons. In fact, we are all leaders, everyone’s voice matters.

#iProtest every day with people that I know, and with those I have not met before; we get to know each other every day. We do not agree on everything. But while protesting on the streets, we can talk about everything, we can argue, debate, get angry at each other and make up again. #iProtest because I want this feeling of freedom to govern this country, I want you to feel it too, you the people that I know and care deeply for in my heart.

We have been growing up together, we had been friends with each other, and when this is all over, we would need to live together again. Do not allow that we watch each other across the police barricades, and treat each other as enemies. I know that some of you may not want to participate at the counter-protest and feel as if they have no choice. There is always choice. To start with – stay at home. Or, join us! Let’s build the future together, let’s build the new society together. Without Gruevski and his fellows, or Zaev and his, without Menduh, or Ali and their fellows; Without foreign diplomats and dishonest agreements – it is up to us, the citizens of all ages, ethnicities and backgrounds, men and women – to act together in solidarity and piece.

I do not hate you, I do not think you are stupid, nor I think you are less valuable than I am. I see you as my co-citizens with whom I want to build a new society together. I believe this is possible despite all, and that’s why #iProtest.

With love”

Proclamation for Joint Action

Skopje, April 13, 2016

Proclamation for Joint Action

Embittered by the destruction of what little remains from Macedonia’s statehood, infuriated at the autocracy of Nikola Gruevski, his collaborators and clients, that is destroying a future for generations of Macedonian citizens, unable to sit quietly and observe the annihilation of all things democratic, we refuse to compromise and bargain with the illegitimate regime.

We, who have protested on the streets of Macedonia in the name of freedom, justice and equality, send this PROCLAMATION FOR JOINT ACTION to all freedom and justice loving forces in the society under the flag of the common struggle for liberation from the corrupt despots that have pushed us to the edge of complete destruction.

We call for a mass protest, today, Wednesday 13 April 2016, which will start from the offices of the Special Prosecutor in Skopje. We demand:

  • The commencement of a process for the election of an expert government, which will prepare the groundwork necessary for truly free, credible and democratic elections to be held; and which instead of sabotaging, will help the process by which politicians and those in positions of power will be confronted with justice for the illegal and criminal acts which they have committed;
  • Resignation of the President of the Republic, for his shameful attempt to obstruct justice and to abolition the criminals;
  • Finally, we demand urgent suspension of the ongoing call for parliamentary elections.

We will protest every day at 18:00! The protest will be especially vocal on Friday, 15 April, outside of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Republic of Macedonia, when early elections are expected to be called.

We call for the joint action of all the citizens, of all the formal and informal organizations of citizens, including the Student Plenum, the Professors Plenum, the HighSchool Plenum, as well as LD Solidarnost, Ajde, Lenka, Mugra, the trade unions, the urban initiatives, the organizations that were part of the coalition “Citizens of Macedonia”, as well as all others who share the fury, but also the wish for justice and democracy, to join the protests.

We particularly call on the largest opposition party The Social Democratic Union of Macedonia to support these demands and to join in as large numbers as possible. We also call on the other opposition parties: Levica, The Democratic Union, Liberal Party of Macedonia, Democratic Renewal of Macedonia, Dostoinstvo, The Alliance for Positive Macedonia, United for Macedonia, Movement BESA, Movement for reforms, Uniteti and all others to join in large numbers.

Additionally, we call on all those supporters of the political parties in power who can no longer bear their insolent obstruction of justice and their squandering of the future of the people, to join us also, so that we can together start a process for returning the trust in the institutions and the trust in Macedonia.

These protests belong to all citizens. The protests belong to all of us, united by the fury of the current deadlock, but also by the urge for a better future founded on democracy.

IT IS HIGH TIME! SEE YOU ON THE STREETS!

 

#Протестирам #Protestoj

“People of Macedonia, help us!”

photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Short excerpt from a plea by a migrant at the Migrant Reception Centre in Gazi Baba, who addressed the citizens from Macedonia at the solidarity march for the migrants crossing the country, organised on June 15.

“We are leaving our families under fire! We need freedom to bring our families. We are not criminals. We are educated people, doctors… We are citizens, just like you! We do not have a problem with the Macedonian people. We are here just to cross the country. The police is telling us: “You are crossing illegally”. We crossed Turkey, Greece, Bulgaria, and they all gave us time to leave. But here, we are wasting our time, waiting for the law to be changed, and no one is supporting us! The police tells us it is up to the court; the court is not intervening. And we have left our families under fire, in the midst of a war… We go to Europe to help those we left in Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan. We are here faced with very bad conditions and we need your support, we need your Government’s support, we need your Parliament’s support! And we’ve been waiting for that support for so long… Our voices are not heard, we are dying here! We are in a very bad situation and you are the only people who can help us from here onwards! We are attacked by the mafia, we are attacked by the people who take our money, and they cross the border and we are here, because of what?! They are not supporting us, they support those who pay them, and we don’t have that much money to pay the mafia… You are the only ones who support us, we need your help! Take us out, we are dying here!

Help us, people of Macedonia!“

 

More pictures from the march are available here.

Basic Rights of Migrants in R. Macedonia

Basic Rights of Migrant in RM

Download: Basic Rights of Migrants in RM

The Political Androids of Styrofoam City

photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Comrades,

One month has passed since the climax of the civic indignation. One month has passed since the peak of police brutality. It is important to underline that these were not faceless and impersonal acts that collided on May 5th. One month ago we participated in the most intimate meeting between self-aware citizens and political androids. The intimate space and the integrity of the individual have long been penetrated by the government’s policies and police arsenal in this land. But, on May 5th the androids approached the ideal of intimacy set forth by their programmers: through violence, they smelled sweat and blood on our bodies under the fringes of their castle.

You remember how, after we tried to scratch that castle with bruised bodies and souls, they began to chase us through the streets of Styrofoam City. Our bare hands and book bags they countered with shields, batons, and water cannons. They even broke into our last refuge, the home of the books, to see from where we draw the courage to protest. But instead of books, they flipped through other tissues, the physical and emotional tissues of the students. This precedent was the signal for a new reform of the horizon: the consummation of knowledge – that toxin of submissive awareness – was declared a suspicious, almost a criminal act. Especially in the night hours when the enzymes of knowledge have a noticeably corrosive effect on the oppressive discipline. From the libraries, students were dragged, beaten, and later detained and unjustly convicted.

A month later, we gather to oppose the criminalisation of the authentic student and civic revolt. Instead of going to “carnival”, we are gathering to protest, because for us, it isn’t about dance, song, and fun. We are not Bedouins, we know where our home is. And knowing that they are preparing to chase us away from that home, we come out to defend it. Today we are here to tell the self-proclaimed Gods that Styrofoam City is not Eden and that the libraries are not trees with forbidden fruits, whose tasting is punished with expulsion from the pearly gates. If someone is afraid of free thought, of the consciousness that is developed through reading, then they shouldn’t come close to the home of the books. The public, and especially the academic space doesn’t allow for uniforms and weapons. There, no one has the right to harass and oppress the other. On May 5th, that is explicitly what happened when the police forces raided the public library “Brothers Miladinovci”. For this exact reason today’s protest ends at that common home, which is one of the last oases of free thought, and we remind the androids that they will not occupy this place without bruising the last eye with a thirst for knowledge. Finally, let us also remind those who look at us contemptuously and declare us separatists, that the citizen in and of himself is a political subject and has the right to choose the way in which he protests. To tell them that our real homes were and will remain the schools, the universities, and the libraries.

Welcome home!

 

– Andrej Jovanchevski, speech given on June 5th, on the occasion of one month since the brutal attack on students by the Macedonian police at the public library “Brothers Miladinovci” in Skopje.

Back on the streets! From 5th May and onwards!

photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

After a brief hiatus, protesters took to the streets again, on 5 June, calling for justice and peace, one month after the May 5th protest when law enforcement officers used violence to crackdown on protests.

Protesters rallied in front of the Government and from this already occupied space they headed towards new ones. Hundreds of people walked to the seat of the Ministry of Justice to demand responsibility and justice for the occurrences on May 5th.

Photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Shouting rallying calls, “No justice, no peace” and “From 5th May and onwards,” protestors then walked to the city public library “Brakja Miladinovcki.” Month earlier, officers violently forced their entrance into the library and arrested few students they found inside.

Rallied in front of the library, protestors voiced a message: “Schools, universities and libraries have always been and remain our true homes. Welcome home!”

Photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Photo: Nebojsha Gelevski

Од 5 мај до крај! Prej 5 Maj deri në fund! From May 5th until the end!

DO NOT LET THEM GET AWAY!

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Responsibility for abuse of office must not end with resignation only! Mile Janakieski, the former Minister of transport and communicationс and Sasho Mijalkov, the former Director of the national counter-intelligence agency must be banned from Macedonian politics and face legal actions before an independent, non-partisan judiciary. If a judgment confirms the allegations, all illegal gains should also be confiscated.

FullSizeRender (2) FullSizeRender (1)

Group of activists around #Protestiram blocked the departures entrance of the international airport Alexander the Great on 2 June, 2015. With posters that read WANTED, activists alarmed the public that in the vacuum arising from the ongoing political negotiations, Janakieski and Mijalkov are free to walk out of the country and walk away from the jurisdiction of the Macedonian courts.

Keeping on: Sealing the institutions

Sealed by #Protestiram

Sealed by #Protestiram

Public institutions belong to the citizens! Public institutions must not be put in service of small groups of powerholders to achieve personal interests! Due to the blatant disregard of citizens’ interests and lack of legitimacy, #Protestiram sealed part of the public institutions.

On June 1, 2015, we sealed:

  • Ministry of Culture for Skopje 2014,

    Ministry of Culture. Sealed.

    Ministry of Culture. Sealed.

  • Ministry of Finance for spending public money on chocolate when we have no bread.
  • Ministry of Education for the systematic destruction of public education,

    Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education. Sealed.

    Ministry of Finance and Ministry of Education. Sealed.

  • Ministry of Labour and Social Policy for being an accomplice in the violation of labour rights in Macedonia and the poverty increase,

    Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. Sealed.

    Ministry of Labour and Social Policy. Sealed.

  • Ministry of Justice for undermining the rule of law,
  • Ministry of Economy for the lack of economic growth,

    Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economy. Sealed.

    Ministry of Justice and Ministry of Economy. Sealed.

  • Office of the President of the Republic of Macedonia for reducing the position to a mere political party puppet.

We are keeping on!

Day 13: Since the 5th & until we win!

17.05.2015

For May 17, the largest opposition Party, SDSM called non-partisan antigovernment protest supported by a wide coalition of civic organizations and movements. The protest was scheduled to start at 14:00h. On that day, thirteenth since the start of the May 5th protests, part of the citizens in #Protestiram rallied first  in front of the Primary Court Skopje 1 – Skopje to support the arrested activists, still in jail custody.

At the Court, #Protestiram took one of the boulevard lanes and from there headed towards the Government, walking side by side with the student march organized by the Student Plenum. Self-organized citizens, in protest of  the central heating supply system Toplifikacija, joined the groups.

Protesters marched onto the government jointly, shouting:

“Since the 5th and until we win.”

„Freedom.“

„Who are we?” -The citizens! What do we want? – Freedom! When? -Now.

#Protestiram arrived in front of the Government according to plan, five minutes before the start of the protests at 14:00h. The timing was symbolical, meaning, in the last minute, to welcome in this way the political parties to the street and in the name of all those who have been protesting since May 5 seeking justice in public protest for years.

Over 50.000 citizens protested that day. Representatives of Student Plenum, citizens’ organizations, journalists and euro-parliamentarians addressed the crowd with powerful speeches. Zoran Zaev, the leader of SDSM had the final word. He repeated the demands for Gruevski’s (the prime minister) resignation, formation of technical government and other future plans. Together with some of the protesters he remained camping infront of the Government, in protest, until the government resigns.

At 18:00h., #Protestiram met at the usual rallying spot, the corner of boulevard Sv. Kliment Ohridski and reminded of the year-long struggle, the need for the resistance to grow further to achieve systemic changes after the fall of Gruevski.

We will endure and continue #everyday at 6pm.

17.05.2015_2