3

Call for Solidarity with Macedonia’s Protesters

Addendum to the Call for Solidarity with Macedonia’s Protesters

Macedonia  is currently in the spotlight of media attention. Last weekend (9-10th May) over 20 people, including police officers, were killed in violent clashes  in Kumanovo, a city 20 km to the north of the capital Skopje. We, the citizens, activists, and scholars who initiated this call, join the national mourning and express heartfelt condolences for the deceased and injured officers, their families and loved ones, and stand in solidarity with all citizens of Kumanovo. Yet, many uncertainties that surround the incident have led citizens to suspect the validity of the official  government rendition of the events.

We reject offhand speculations that frame the incident as interethnic and we invite the public to refrain from doing so and instead to systematically analyse  the motives. We also remind here that the incident in Kumanovo happened in the midst of citizens’ protests calling for the resignation of the government. These calls have followed after years of protests and activism against discriminatory law reforms, almost total media control and continuous privatisation of all segments of living . In the past, we have protested for the freedom of the press, in support of media employees, and demanded  the hijacked public broadcasting service returns to servicing the interests of the  citizens. We demanded accountability for the ruined public health system. We have persistently fought for life with dignity and labour rights and we protest against the theft, impoverishment, and humiliation of the people.

At the forefront against any injustice, the protests have been gaining momentum after a series of leaked wiretapped phone calls were publicly broadcast by the largest opposition political party. The leaked phone calls allege unlawful and anti-constitutional dealings by top officials at a mass scale and abuse of state power for personal gains. In the wiretapping scandal, over 20.000 citizens were being wiretapped, all allegedly ordered by top government officials that used surveillance equipment purchased from Israel in 2008. The state control does not end here. Macedonia is one of 36 countries worldwide using software to surveil internet-based communication, according to a list published by University of Toronto.

Moreover, in this addendum we remind of the alarms we raised in our call for solidarity about possible violence. The government will continue to resist calls for resignation even now, when amidst all dilemmas about its ability to safeguard the security of its citizens and despite the large-scale surveillance it has unleashed,  it is firm in its resolution to maintain grip of state power and avoid responsibilities.

We urge the global public, kindred movements, and people across the globe to support this Call for Solidarity as we fear a violent institutional repression of citizens’ resistance in Macedonia. In the past couple of years, the government has been purchasing equipment for mass control, including rubber bullets and water cannons, the former very likely via a Turkish company, producer of TOMA vehicles, that lists Macedonia’s government as its customer, among those of Kenya, Sudan and Mali. Macedonian citizens’ can only defend themselves with the number of supporters they have on their side. As those protesting in Macedonia are now uniting in a broad movement for justice and peace, clear demands and under the name #Протестирам (#Protestiram – meaning “I protest!”), YOUR solidarity is paramount!

 

Call for Solidarity with Macedonia’s Protesters (originally written on 6 May)

The call is also available in FrenchItalian, German, TurkishPolishDutch, and Bulgarian.

On Tuesday night (05.05.2015) thousands of citizens of Macedonia protested outside of the government headquarters calling for resignation of the Prime Minister Gruevski and his cabinet. Audio tapes of wiretapped conversations between government officials, which were aired hours before, revealed direct involvement of the Prime Minister and the Minister of Internal Affairs in concealing the truth regarding the murder of a 22-year-old man beaten to death by a police officer while on duty in June 2011.

What started off as a peaceful protest against police brutality soon escalated as the protesters broke the police cordon and moved right in front of the government building. In a couple of hours, hundreds of fully armed special police forces cracked down on the protest using brute force, shock bombs and tear1 gas to disperse the crowds, and also threatened to use, but eventually refrained from using water cannons. By the end of the police action, dozens of citizens were detained – some of them after being chased far into downtown Skopje. In the hunt of protesters, the special police forces even raided a public university library, harassing the students who happened to be there at the time.As a result of the violent crackdown, a small number of police officers and passers-by, and a higher number of protesters were seriously injured. An estimated number of 40 activists have been detained. Protests have been scheduled to resume every day at 18:00.

Alarmed by Tuesday night’s indiscriminate use of force by the police forces in Skopje, we fear that the confrontations are likely to escalate further. We have no doubts that Gruevski will resist the calls for resignation and is prepared to push the police forces to tragic extremes in an attempt to maintain his grip on state power and resources.

The audiotape which sparked the protest is only the most recent one in a series of leaked wiretaps, which the main opposition party, the Social Democrats, has been broadcasting to the Macedonian public. What began with evidence of the surveillance of over 20,000 citizens orchestrated by the Prime Minister and his cousin, the Director of the Security and Counterintelligence Agency2, Sasho Mijalkov, continued with ever more scandalous revelations. In over 30 sets of leaked wiretaps the conversations revealed election fraud, complete control over the judiciary and media, actions of direct pressures and threats towards non-supporters, embezzlement of vast quantities of public money and public property for private gain, corruption on a massive scale. They have demonstrated how over a period of 9 years, since Gruevski has been in power, the state has been turned into a criminal network fully dedicated to defending the personal interests of the governing elite, their families and friends, and to maintaining a complete system of control of the public through the incessant use of propaganda. The nearly total control over the media has resulted in limited information available to the Macedonian public regarding the wiretapped materials, the protests and the brutality of the police. Social media and a few media portals have been the only sources of information.

This letter, coming from citizens, activists and academics concerned by the recent developments in Macedonia, is an attempt to draw attention to the events in the country. It is also a plea for your solidarity with the citizens who are seeking justice and freedom. We, the undersigned, support the protesters’ requests for the resignation of the Government. Moreover, we urge the Macedonian Police Forces to demonstrate solidarity with their citizens, to restrain from the disproportionate use of violence and to refuse any orders that are against the Constitution and in violation of the rights and liberties of the protesters. Finally, we call for an unbiased and professional reporting by national and international media on the ongoing events.

If you would like your name and/or that of your organization to be added to the list of supporters, please write to prekugranicenkomitet@gmail.com, with the following as the subject line: SOLIDARITY WITH MACEDONIA’S PROTESTERS.

Signed by:

  • Cross-border Committee, Macedonia
  • LD Solidarnost, Macedonia
  • LeftEast
  • MARKS21
  • Pokret Occupy Croatia
  • European Alternatives
  • Levi Front Srbija
  • Centar za politike emancipacije, Serbia
  • ODRAZ- Organizacija za demokratsku reakciju i asocijacija udruzenja
  • Macedonian Centre for European Training
  • MJAFT! Movement – Albania
  • Civic Initiatives, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Kappa Delta Rho National Fraternity
  • Open University Sarajevo
  • LadiC — LadilnicA Macedonia
  • Project 2020, Cardiff, Wales
  • Validebag Volunteers, Istanbul, Turkey
  • Taksim Gezi Park Association
  • Urban Movements Istanbul
  • Türk Mimar ve Mühendis Odaları Birliği İl Koordinasyon Kurulu (TMMOB IKK)
  • Initiative for Democratic Socialism (member of The United Left coalition)
  • Zelena omladina Srbije (Serbian Green Youth)
  • Socijaldemokratska omadina Srbije
  • Life After Capitalism, Bulgaria
  • AnarresBooks, Bulgaria
  • Adela Gjorgjioska, LeftEast
  • Elena B. Stavrevska, Central European University, Hungary
  • Anastas Vangeli, Polish Academy of Sciences, Poland
  • Goran Lazarevski, Columbia University
  • Ljubica Spaskovska, University of Exeter, UK
  • Mila Shopova, Anthropologist, Thailand
  • Trajce Panov, European University Institute, Italy
  • Leonora Grcheva, Macedonia
  • Ana Aceska, Humboldt University, Germany
  • Marjan Ajevski, NYU
  • Tomce Runcevski, Max Planck Society and University of California Berkeley
  • Ognen Vangelov, Queen’s University, Canada
  • Rory Archer, University of Graz, Austria
  • Ana Tomicic, Croatia
  • Emin Eminagic, Lijevi BiH
  • Sanne van den Heuvel, The Netherlands
  • Mina Baginova
  • Philippe Bertinchamps, Le Courrier des Balkans
  • Teresa Forte, Portugal
  • Mariya Ivancheva, LeftEast, Bulgaria
  • Katerina Anastasiou, transform!europe, change4all.eu
  • Sava Jokić, Marks21, Belgrade
  • Maja Savevska, Harvard Law School
  • Olimpija Hristova Zaevska, Institute for Social Innovation and Research – Impact, Macedonia
  • Tanja Milevska, journalist, Belgium
  • Alexis Cukier, Ensemble-Front de gauche, France
  • Dr. Rudolf Gabriel, physician, Austria
  • Jana Gajic, student, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Elena Veljanovska, Curator, Berlin
  • Jose Reis Santos, Contemporary History Institute, New University of Lisboa
  • Alexander Lambevski, Sextures Institute, Sydney, Australia
  • Josipa Rizankoska, University of Siena, Italy
  • Neda Genova, cultural theorist, Bulgaria
  • Gareth Davies, MPhil candidate in Sociology, Trinity College Dublin
  • Borjan Gjuzelov, University of Flensburg, Germany
  • Alen Zekovic, PhD student of Laws, Serbia
  • Anna Chung, PhD in Political Science
  • Roska Vrgova, Poland
  • Biljana Kotevska, Human Rights researcher and activist, Alumna of the Universities of Essex, Bologna, Sarajevo and UKIM
  • Zoran Gjorgievski, London, UK
  • Alfredo Sasso, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Spain
  • Radomir Trajkovic
  • Marija Radoman
  • Vesna Milosavljević, SEEcult.org
  • Erka Kosta
  • Ron Salaj – Human Rights activist & campaigner – Italy
  • Ana Marija Najdova , Macedonia
  • Drivalda Delia, Student, LMU, Munich
  • Martin Naunov, Middlebury College
  • Paula Jojart; gender expert and activist, Slovakia
  • Neda Tozija
  • Aleksej Demjanski, Elliott School of International Affairs
  • Biljana Vuchovska-Vörös, University of Fribourg, Switzerland
  • Slobodan Tomic, PhD Candidate, London School of Economics and Political Science, UK
  • Vladimir Bogoeski, German Trade Unions Confederation (DGB), Berlin, Germany
  • Wendy Lyon, Human Rights Lawyer, Dublin
  • Tanya Kimova, Belgium
  • Elena Presilska, EU Info Centre, Podgorica, Montenegro
  • Srdjan Djurić, Socijalistička Narodna Partija Nove Jugoslavije
  • Deni Sanxhaku, Organizata Politike, Albania
  • Miguel Rodríguez Andreu, writer, Spain
  • Miguel Alonso Ortega, Spain
  • Zsófia Lóránd, CEU, NANE, Hungary
  • Osama Salem, PhD Candidate, Europa Universität Flensburg, Germany
  • Evgeny Belyakov, human rights activist, Moscow, Russia
  • Helena Lopes Braga, CESEM, FCSH, New University of Lisbon
  • Natasha Wilson, University College London
  • Yulia Karpova, Central European University, Hungary
  • Zoltan Gluck, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York, Graduate Center
  • Ana Margarida Esteves, Center for International Studies, ISCTE – University Institute of Lisbon
  • Gabriel Richard-Molard, European Secretary from the French Socialist Party abroad
  • Luke Kelly, Central European University, Hungary
  • Adriana Qubaiova, Central European University, Hungary
  • Piotr Wcislik, Central European University, Hungary
  • Dr. Naum Panovski, Professor of Humanities
  • Zsuzsa Selyem, writer, Romania
  • Sandra Mardin, UK
  • Nikola Dimitrov, Distinguished Fellow, The Hague Institute for Global Justice
  • Elena Marchevska, London South Bank University
  • Nikola Kjurchiski, Russian Presidential Academy, Moscow, Russia
  • Mirjana Milenkovic
  • Kire Vasilev, Political Scientist
  • Eva Duchkovska, Université Charles de Gaulle, Lille, France
  • Tijana Katushevska, Harvard University
  • Tanja Hafner Ademi, Balkan Civil Society Development Network
  • Gaetan Homerin, Valenciennes, France
  • Dan Collier
  • Natalia Telepneva, London School of Economics, UK
  • Corina Mavrodin, London School of Economics, UK
  • Marko Milošević, Radnička fronta (Workers’ front), Zagreb, Croatia
  • Elma Demir, researcher
  • Lela Rekhviashvili, Central European University
  • Rebeka Veljanovska, student, The Netherlands
  • Andreas Hummler, Germany
  • Julia Lechler, Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität München & Universität Regensburg
  • Jelena Zhivkovikj, Sweden
  • Tina Tanurovska
  • Ana Bojadjievska, Berlin
  • Elena Micajkova, Utrecht University
  • Predrag Terzioski, Eurocontrol, Brussels
  • Bojan Marichikj
  • Monika Stadnicka
  • Ana Todorovska, Central European University, Hungary
  • Martin Galevski, MPhil (Cantab), MSc (MaRIHE), DPhil Student, Faculty of Education, Green Templeton College, University of Oxford
  • Ana Bobić, MJur (Oxon), DPhil Candidate, Faculty of Law, St Cross College, University of Oxford
  • Sasa Stankovic
  • Robert Alagjozovski
  • Dimitar Minovski, University of Helsinki, Finland
  • Ermira Kamberi, Utrecht University
  • Iskra Duchkovska, King’s College London
  • Fabio Mattioli, PhD Candidate, CUNY Graduate Center
  • Angela Kochoska, PhD student, University of Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Kalia Dimitrova, student, Krakow, Poland
  • Darja Stoeva, Maastricht University
  • Andrew Graan, Center for International Studies, University of Chicago, USA
  • Lisa Gross
  • Jessica Greenberg, Assistant Professor, Anthropology, University of Illinois
  • Rojhat Turk, Well Engineer, Diyarbekir, Turkey
  • Maja Stojanovska, Stockholm, Sweden
  • Maja Djundeva, University of Groningen
  • Djoshkun Shengjuler, Pennsylvania State University
  • Loran Bajrami, Anadolu University, Turkey
  • Milena Crnogorčević, Middlebury College
  • Benjamin Kinney Harris, President, Alpha Society of Kappa Delta Rho
  • Dave Wilson, PhD Candidate, University of California, Los Angeles
  • Catherine Samary, economist, Paris
  • Maggie Nazer, Middlebury College
  • Maya Panova, USA
  • Anastasija Siljanoska, Faculty of Arts, Charles University, Prague, Czech Republic
  • Marija Sidorenko, Fakultete za arhitekturo, Univerza v Ljubljani
  • Mitre Georgiev, Centre for Peace Studies, Zagreb
  • Cagdas Özbakan, Journalist, Berlin
  • Alma Krantic, Bosnia and Herzegovina
  • Abraham Fuentes Gomez, Primary Education student, Spain
  • Zorica Matkovic, Belgrade, Serbia
  • Igor Stiks, University of Edinburgh, Scotland
  • Andrew Graan, Center for International Studies, University of Chicago, USA
  • Waqas Mirza
  • Paul Stubbs, The Institute of Economics, Zagreb
  • Tijana Radeska, University of Cambridge, UK
  • Ersin Şenel, Journalist, Istanbul
  • Dimitris Dalakoglou, Senior Lecturer in Anthropology, University of Sussex
  • Liliana Sousa, New School for Social Research
  • Rossen Petrov, New Bulgarian Unversity, Sofia
  • Salman Hussain, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York, New York, NY
  • Anja Šerc, Msc, Ljubljana, Slovenia
  • Duygu Parmaksizoglu, PhD Candidate, Department of Anthropology, City University of New York, New York, NY
  • Gligor Micajkov, Utrecht University
  • Dimitri Barbera
  • Ana Kotevska, Harvard University
  • Katerina Dimovska, IED Milano
  • Thomas Schad, PhD candidate, Humboldt University Berlin
  • Karin Golaski
  • James J. A. Blair, The Graduate Center, City University of New York
  • Mevhibe Gozcelioglu
  • Iris Kronauer, Cologne, Germany
  • Luisa Chiodi, Osservatorio Balcani Caucaso
  • Jasmine Elezi
  • Ayten Alkan, Assoc. Prof. PhD., Istanbul University
  • Irena Šentevska, Belgrad
  • Nihat Ucukoglu
  • Michele Vianello, Italy
  • Luca Manunza, University of Naples
  • Imre Azem, Director, Ekumenopolis
  • Ivan Stefanovski, Scuola Normale Superiore di Pisa (sede di Firenze), Institute for Social Sciences and Humanities, Florence, italy
  • Pola Cebulak, Global Studies Institute, University of Geneva
  • Ersoy Tan
  • Marta Maja Lipińska, Youth Worker, Poland
  • Filip Lech
  • Bartosz Mindewicz, cultural activist from Warsaw/Poland
  • Michał Grosz, University of Warsaw, Poland
  • Marek Nalikowski, Poland
  • Robert Statkiewicz, University of Warsaw
  • Aida Bagić, Zagreb, Croatia
  • Catherine Samary, Economist, France
  • Matias Janvin, University of Oxford
  • Andrea Varriale, Bauhaus University of Weimar, Germany
  • Luka Z. Božović, potpredsednik Socijaldemokratske omadine Srbije
  • Filiz Mut
  • Pelin Demireli
  • Daniela Gavrilova
  • Afirdita Zeynep Kuka Bak
  • Zvonko Dimoski, Adam Mickiewicz University of Poznań, Poland
  • Francesca Valsecchi, Italy, China
  • Noa Espino
  • Mirjana Kosić, TransConflict, Serbia
  • Dan Collier
  • Katinka Lansink Dodero, activist, Food Frontiers, the Netherlands
  • Spyros A. Sofos, Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Lund University
  • Vanja Savic, PhD candidate, Faculty of Political Sciences, University of Belgrade, Serbia
  • Gentiana Cani
  • Martin Petrov
  • Goran Janev, Sts Cyril and Methodius University,  Skopje
  • Safet Ahmeti, Center for Visual Studies Skopje
  • Keith Brown, Watson Institute for International Studies, Brown University, USA
  • Bernard Green
  • Natasha Russo, Psychologist, London

 

Photos: Kire Galevski and Vancho Dzambaski

Comments

comments

5 thoughts on “Call for Solidarity with Macedonia’s Protesters

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *