Interview with Jasmina Golubovska
In the past couple of days, we have had mass protests in Skopje and all the Republic of Macedonia. What are the main reasons for these protests?
The reasons are very simple and date as far as from 2009 and the first civil resistance towards criminal or suspicious behavior of the governing coalition partners VMRO-DPMNE (which declares itself as Demo-Christian right wing party) and DUI (which declares itself as democratic party of the citizens belonging to the Albanian community) yet, both are ethno-centric parties of the two predominant ethnic groups within the country. Their coalition lasts for over 10 years in perfect harmony, although they declare difference in political ideology. The similarity between the two parties can be found only in their so-called representatives in the electorate, which are based on ethnic belonging of the voters. Their governance together has been problematic, highly suspicious and based on ethno-political mobilization and nationalism as driving force of the party members. Therefore, one needs to wonder upon the real intentions of being in politics. Well, the time has come to reveal their masks of being coalition-partners in crime and corruption deals, hiding behind their national-romanticism campaigns, owning half of the country, brought censorship and limited civil rights gradually since 2006 when they came in power.
Which is the main aim and the main demands?
The aim is simple. We’ve been on the streets as members of civil society since 2009. Many things happened in the course of these 7 years, many people got arrested, including journalists, media owners, political opponents etc., nothing has changed. Only the political crisis has only deepened, having in mind last year’s wire-tapping scandal revealing all of their crimes. They brought exploitation of the workers by reducing workers’ rights for attracting investors (in reality money laundering and provisions in pockets) murders and bullies, motivated to abuse the people for personal gain and power. After the latest attempt of their puppet President of State Ivanov to abolish all crimes based only on allegations and all possible prosecution of crimes in future, done by the Special Prosecutor Office we’ve taken the streets once more, hoping to last until the demands are met. Nothing more, nothing less… Since the movement #Protestiram is every person who protests against the government as criminal organization, we agreed on the following minimum demands:
Refraction of the fake President decision to abolish all crimes done by current and past, holding or held High public function in executive, judicial or legislative branch; and his immediate resignation as second demand; third, Opinion of the Constitutional Court about the submitted Initiative allegedly against the new institution, Special Prosecutor Office, signed and voted in Parliament by more than 90 MPs as poltical agreement to investigate all alleged crimes. The Initiative was submitted by the current Public Prosecutor who is the extended hand of the VMRO-DPMNE party in controlling the judicial system. We as citizens would like the Special Prosecutor Office to also have opportunity to investigate and prosecute the crimes on independence court since this one is obviously run by the two coalition partners in government.
Therefore the forth demand is Special department in the Criminal Court working only on the cases where there are evidence of possible abuse of power by politicians and where their party members were/are involved. The fifth demand is for their party member and President of the Assembly, to retract the decision for elections on the 05th, June where only DUI and VMRO-DPMNE will be the only contestants; number 6 goes to our involvement in current or future negotiations about our lives and future here; all negotiations to be held in Macedonia, not some European capitol where we are excluded; finally, forming of Transition government which will reform the system according to priorities and well-being of all people in the country. Since yesterday a new demand, very general one: Stop arresting our friends and comrades in battle, since you have no space in the prisons to arrest us all J.
How would you describe the social, political and ideological profile of the protests and the people who protest?
…Very colorful, as the revolution which got a new identity and name of being colorful revolution. The social, political and ideological diversity among people who are part of this resistance is amazing and invigorating. This is especially important for part of the people who’ve past most of their time protesting on the streets when people were too scared to even discuss possible crimes in the government or security and privacy bridges of citizens. We are very happy that our people are finally awaken and taken the streets, as they belong to us including the public institutions and public space as a whole.
What is #Protestiram and which is its role in the mobilization?
The movement #Protestiram came out of last year’s arrests and clash with police on the 05th of May due to revolt we had when we heard that the cover up of the murder of Martin Neshkovski in 2011 by the government top officials is true. The information was reveled in the wire-tapped materials. Then we agreed, #Protestiram is every person who protests against the government as criminal organization. Yes, the students were the driving force, however, one needs to recall on the last 7 years of various Initiatives, demonstration and protests which led to the current developments. What are, according to your opinion, the prospects and the future of this movement? Well, we are all #Protestiram, even the people who still cannot speak of the oppression, among their party members or employees in public institutions, therefore, future looks bright and colorful J.
Jasmina Golubovska is a human being, worker and activist, and sometimes (if lucky) Jedi.
Jasmina Golubovska was interviewed by Stratis Bournazos, 26.4.2016. The interview will be published in Greek on «Enthemata» of the newspaper «Avgi» (30.4.2106).
- Published in SOLIDARITY-RESISTANCE