New social movements arise in Bosnia Herzegovina

New social movements arise in Bosnia Herzegovina

Posted: 18 Dec 2014 10:15 AM PST

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New grassroots movements, assemblies and unions are arising in Bosnia Herzegovina. Other post-Yugoslav countries experience similar returns of the left.

What’s going on in Bosnia Herzegovina ten months after the uprising? Following the violent riots in February 2014, the citizens of Bosnia have jointly channeled their rage into horizontal and self-organized assemblies called plenums, which mushroomed throughout the country and surfaced in as many as 24 cities and towns. Unfortunately, the flood that hit the country a few months later appears to have wiped out the new experiments of collective self-organization. But the protests, plenums and even the flood contributed to activate a solidarity chain that has now translated into an informal network calling for social justice.

Where have all the protesters gone?

The February protests kicked off in the city of Tuzla, 130 kilometers north of the capital Sarajevo, where the laid-off workers of five bankrupted factories staged a protest to get their unpaid pensions and health insurance back. Shortly afterwards, the protest exploded across the country, in the biggest protest wave the country has witnessed since the end of the war. Although the participation in the rallies faded away several months after the revolt, the laid off workers in the Tuzla area have not stopped voicing their rage. They still keep staging protests in front of the institutional buildings, claiming the salaries and pensions the factory owners still owe them. To this end, they founded an independent trade union called Solidarnost (Solidarity), aimed at uniting workers with various professional backgrounds and across ethnic boundaries.

As for the participants in the February demonstrations, many of them are still facing the continuous pressure and threat of the police and the authorities. Openly voicing discontent is still not an easy job in Bosnia. Some of the protesters have been invited for ‘informal talks’ about their participation in the February uprising, while others have been arbitrarily arrested and prosecuted based on police reports of dubious accuracy. A recent letter by convicted protesters addressed to the institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights expressed the concern over the systematic gross violations of demonstrators’ rights and freedoms in the country.

Building upon rage, anger, excitement and the melancholy of the empty squares, participants in the plenums have joined other activists from a variety of movements, assemblies, social initiatives and unions, in an informal network for social justice. In a recently issued communique, the so-called Movement for Social Justice claims to be composed of citizens united by the February protests, with the purpose of building

a society of the rule of law, of social justice and direct democracy — a society in which everyone has a roof over his/her head; lives on his/her own work and in harmony with the natural environment; develops in accordance with its own means and resources; has the right to free health care and education; and participates equally in all decisional processes of societal life.

The new network is grounded on the principles of equality, openness, inclusiveness, accountability and transparency. It operates at the state level linking citizens of both entities; it rejects formal registration to avoid being tamed by the same system it purports to fight.

Meanwhile, no change has taken place at the institutional level. The elections held in October did not bring about any change in the political panorama, which remains dominated by nationalist parties. The electoral results deeply disappointed those who harbored hopes for a change following the February revolt. But it did not surprise those advocating an overhaul of the constitution which, while institutionalizing ethnic partition, does not create a conducive environment for civic parties to get a foothold. The real winner of the last elections seems to be the 46% of population who refused to cast their vote and therefore to legitimize the existing system.

From the squares to the neighborhoods

Besides the Solidarity trade union and the network for social justice, both tangible results of the protests, other initiatives have been organized to reflect upon the February happenings. At the end of November, activists, intellectuals and citizens gathered in Sarajevo for the second edition of the Open University, a four-day public and interactive dialogue on topics seldom debated openly in Bosnia. The Open University stood as a collective and participatory effort to elaborate on direct democracy, resistance, gender, capitalism and debt, jointly with representatives and activists from the post-Yugoslav space and beyond.

As the organizers explained, at the time the first Open University took place, back in November 2013, nobody would have expected the outburst of the February protests. One year later, while Tuzla’s disenfranchised workers were occupying the local government building and blocking the exit of the city, the Open University launched four days of intense debate in the SARTR theater. SARTR, whose acronym stands for ‘Sarajevo War Theater’, is a place of cultural resistance founded in May 1992 while the city was under siege — hence, a highly symbolic location. During the four-year siege it hosted more than 2,000 performances, helping the people under siege to cope with the craziness and surrealism of the war. Similarly, in November 2014 it helped them to deal with the frustration following the protests.

“The Open University has been a counter-hegemonic moment, and it’s great it happened in Sarajevo,” said one of the organizers. It has provided for the opportunity to tackle the questions of ‘what’s next’ and what to do when the squares are empty. In the aftermath of the protests, frustration appears to be the dominant feeling. How to face the melancholy of the empty squares? Costas Douzinas, author of several books on human rights, incited to transfer the spirit of the squares into the neighborhoods, starting with organizing social and economic alternatives. “Dissolve the squares and reassemble them in the neighborhood”, said Douzinas; “the spirit goes there where it can make a change.”

But unlike Greece, “where the squares dissolved and reassembled in the neighborhoods”, to put it in Douzinas’ words, nothing similar has happened in Bosnia yet. And no comparison can be drawn with other experiences like the Greek squares or the Zapatistas communities. Different cleavages exist in a traumatized post-war society that is waking up after twenty years of oppression.

Although some argue that the plenums de-radicalized the protests, taking them away from the working class to the intellectuals-led assemblies, it seems that the direct democracy practice had a politicizing effect, beyond a merely therapeutic one. As a participant in the last Open University said, “during the plenums we did not feel awareness, we felt euphoria.” However, such a feeling of excitement can ground the basis for shaping a conscious collectivity whose members are no longer bounded by national kinships but rather by the shared willingness to take the power back in their hands. The protests and the plenums opened up a space for people to talk and to express the anger accumulated in twenty years of disempowerment and exploitation. Now time has come to realize they are part of the same mass of oppressed, no matter their national belonging.

Rehabilitating the Left in the post-Yugoslav space

Beyond Bosnia, grassroots and party alternatives are mushrooming in the post-Yugoslav space. In Serbia, at the end of November, a group of film students reopened, cleaned up and occupied the cinema ‘Zvezda’ in Belgrade, a once prestigious cinema closed since 2007 after an unsuccessful attempt at privatization. The students gathered under the initiative ‘Movement for the cinema occupation’, and organized free projections and open debates in the repossessed space.

Along similar lines the civic initiative ‘Don’t let Belgrade drown’ opposes in an active and creative way the project ‘Belgrade on the water’, an urban plan aimed at transforming a disused area by the Sava river into the biggest shopping mall of the region without having consulted or informed the citizens. Both initiatives highlight the increasing need for common and free cultural spaces, as well as for the people to have a say in the matters that concern them.

In Croatia, the Workers’ Front emerged as a political initiative of workers, trade unionists, unemployed and students aiming to converge into a political party that fights for the rights of working people and the oppressed. The Workers’ Front, founded this year, expressed the intention to run at the parliamentary elections in Croatia, as their Slovenian peers did. In a similar note, the Initiative for Democratic Socialism was founded in Slovenia this year, and ran for both the European and parliamentary elections in the United Left list. The list managed to attract 5,5% of the preferences at the European elections, but no seat, while at the national level it reached 6% and gained access to the parliament: it was the first time a leftist party entered the parliament since the end of Yugoslavia.

At the time of writing, in Macedonia the students are blocking the streets of Skopje in opposition to the government plan of having state-supervised external exams for graduates, which, in the students’ opinion, poses threats to university autonomy and limits the right to education.

It is the first time that such massive protests, civic initiatives and leftist parties blossom all together in the territory of former Yugoslavia. The Bosnian protests, in their particular aspect of articulating concrete demands through the plenums, challenged all the expectations and scholarly theories asserting the unlikeliness of an uprising in a deprived and divided post-war society. Not only did people mobilize, they also started to create an alternative.

It is hard to predict whether the Bosnian network for social justice will develop into a fully fledged social movement, or whether it will pave the way for the formation of a political party as happened in Slovenia and in Spain. For the time being a new powerful multitude seems to have emerged in the region, drawing from both the Yugoslav experience and the real democracy movement, and it is walking towards a sort of emancipatory, collective YUtopia.

Chiara Milan is a PhD researcher on civil society and social movements in Southeastern Europe at the European University Institute in Florence, and an editor at East Journal.


68,24 85,33 61,55; quotation from Michael R. Kraetke, Steuern und Grundrechte: Das Recht auf ein Existenzminimum, Wer Steuern zahlt ist ein Unfreier

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Rogue ruble

»Militarismus und Antimilitarismus unter besonderer Berücksichtigung
der internationalen Jugendbewegung«. Darin prangerte er den
Militarismus an, den er – auch heute aktuell – den »Würgeengel der
Kultur« nannte: »(E)r barbarisiert die Zivilisation und frißt, das
Volk aussaugend, alle Mittel auf, die einem wahrhaftigen Fortschritt
dienen könnten«.1 Am 17. April 1907 verlangte der preußische Kriegsminister
von Einem in einem Schreiben an den Oberreichsanwalt die
Bestrafung Karl Liebknechts wegen der genannten Schrift – am
9. August 1907 beschloß das Reichsgericht, ein Verfahren wegen
Hochverrats gegen Liebknecht zu eröffnen. Vom 9. bis 12. Oktober
1907 fand vor dem Reichsgericht in Leipzig der Hochverratsprozeß
statt – Liebknecht wurde zu anderthalb Jahren Festung verurteilt.
Vom 24. Oktober 1907 bis 1. Juni 1909 saß er auf der Festung Glatz
ein. Dies ist der historische Hintergrund für Bebels Brief.2
Schöneberg-Berlin, den 10. Nov. 1908
Hauptstraße 97
Lieber Karl,
während der Krakehl im Reichstag mit Bülow3 vorbereitet wird,
sitze ich hier, um an Dich zu schreiben.
Ich denke, wir werden im Frühjahr, wenn Du wieder frei bist, einmal
eine Stunde haben, uns auszusprechen. Das ist nötig, denn
schriftlich läßt’s sich schwer verständigen.
Für mich handelt es sich darum, daß Du eine Position hast, in der
Du am freiesten und unabhängigsten für die Partei wirken kannst.
Wir brauchen tüchtigen Nachwuchs. Leider ist derselbe sehr rar, Du
bist der einzige, auf den ich meine Hoffnung setze. Solltest Du aber
einmal eine führende Stellung in der Partei bekleiden, so mußt Du
vor allen Dingen finanziell von der Partei unabhängig sein. Dazu
bietet Dir die Anwaltspraxis die Mittel. Nebenbei kannst Du als Anwalt
in politischen Prozessen der Partei große Dienste leisten, denn
wir haben sehr wenig Anwälte, die einen politischen Prozeß führen
Mag sein, daß man oben danach trachtet, Dir die Advokatur zu
nehmen, um so mehr Grund hast Du, Dir sie nicht nehmen zu lassen.
Und das kannst Du denn doch mit einiger Klugheit durchsetzen,
1 Karl Liebknecht: Rekrutenabschied,
in: Die Junge
Garde, Organ des Verbandes
junger Arbeiter und Arbeiterinnen
Monatsschrift, Mannheim
(1906-1908), Nr. 7,
22. September 1906.
Siehe in Ders.: Gesammelte
Reden und Schriften, Bd. I,
Berlin 1958, S. 277.
2 Der Brief wurde in
Band 5 (1905-1914) der
ursprünglich geplanten
Reihe I der »Dokumente
und Materialien zur Geschichte
der deutschen
Arbeiterbewegung« aufgenommen,
der (938 S.) 1962
ausgedruckt und gebunden
vorlag, aber eingestampft
wurde. In den 1967 erschienenen
Ersatzband IV
(1898-1914, 535 S.) der
»Dokumente und Materialien«
wurde der Brief nicht
aufgenommen, wohl des
brisanten – hier in die Überschrift
aufgenommenen –
Halbsatzes wegen, ein
Gedanke, den ähnlich
Friedrich Engels in einem
Brief an Bebel 1892
geäußert hatte. Nur einige
wenige Exemplare des
eingestampften Bandes
wurden den beteiligten
Forschern überlassen. Eins
davon ist in der Bibliothek
der SAPMO einzusehen
(Sign. 57/7721-1,5). 1997
wurde der Brief in Bd. 9
von Bebels Ausgewählten
Reden und Schriften,
München u. a. 1997,
S. 164/165, abgedruckt.
UTOPIE kreativ, H. 196 (Februar 2007), S. 101-102 101
»… vor allen Dingen finanziell
von der Partei unabhängig sein«

Putin, the Rouble Crisis and Ukraine: 68,24 85.33,61,55?

vh Taal & teken.

Mark Galeotti posted: ” A worrying thought. The Western sanctions are clearly not the deciding factor in the rouble crash, that accolade goes to the oil price slump, but they are undoubtedly a factor. So Moscow would want them lifted, but the political cost of simply backing”



Participate! This evening at 19:00H in studio …image
A benefit is being organized for our favorite radiopatapoe:
Coming to you at the end of January , beginning February 2015…

e-Residency launch information

We are happy to announce that we went live with e-Residency on the 1st December 2014! From now on, you can join the crowd of e-Estonians by applying for a secure digital identity provided by the Estonian government. > > We have updated the e-Residency website with practical details on how you can do just that, what services will be open, etc. > Our government is launching e-Residency like a good start-up would – with beta version or pilot stage to begin with. In this first stage, > > • you have to visit our lovely country to apply, as it can be at first done only physically in Estonia – we are working to add our embassies as places of issue soon and further simplify the procedures; > > • you will have access to first set of core services, from digital signing to online business registration and banking – at first they might still be easier to use with local partner or help (e.g. a correspondence address in Estonia is needed to set up a company), but we are working to clear the bumps on the road soon for next stages. > > We hope to have you onboard soon! With your and the fellow e-Residents’ feedback, we strive to make e-Residency truly work for your benefit. Thanks goes to all those of you, who sent feedback to our last set of user survey questions – do know that we are already putting these to good use. > > The option to become a beta tester for the initiative’s first phase is also still open, provided that you can visit us in Estonia to apply for the e-Residency. > > Estonia is launching e-Residency in order to make everyday matters for you and doing business with us more efficient and hassle-free. We hope to make our economy and community also bigger in the process, at least in the digital sphere. We are excited to have you join the most digital society in the world, e-Estonia! > > Digitally yours, > e-Residency project team > Reply to this letter or write us directly at > ============================================

Mobilisation nationale contre les CRA !

consensusdecisionmaking posted: “ Un retour sur la mobilisation du 15 novembre : A Calais, Lyon, Rennes, Sète, Palaiseau, Toulouse… Les centres de rétention sont l’outil principal de l’Etat dans sa politique de harcèlement, ”




Antidiplomate, trafique les statistiques
Plastique l’Élysée, destitue le maire
Combien de fois tu m’as entendu
T’aurais du savoir que c’était pas la dernière
Ce manque d’affection quand elle séduisait Clark Kent
Surprise t’as découvert que j’étais superman
Arrogant je mets pas les gants pour t’insulter
A Aquapulco j’voudrais t’catapulter
Tu lis mes textes t’as un œil sur le butin
Mais putain, pourquoi tout ses singles de merde
C’qui t’reste à faire descend d’ta selle
Tes chevaux sont partis en tranches de steak
7 centimes tout ce que valent tes rimes à Wall-Pucc
Pas de ma faute j’ai la gaule-touch

Et si t’aimes pas le refrain t’as qu’a pas le répéter
Les flics vont m’arrêter je serai pas acquitté
Cette fille m’a pas pipé, je l’ai kické
On m’a dit t’es pas cap, j’y étais

Ton mec est vex’, l’Etat décrète que t’es trop sexy
Que ton pantalon moulant attire les garçons
Comment t’a-t-il connu c’est quoi ces façons
C’est pas ton père, t’es pas en sa possession

Trop d’histoire d’ex dans le sexe
Si tu penses à lui, pourquoi t’es sexy
Sors danser et me séduit?
Dans cette jupe, senti pour (eux) la trique, sans être des sadiques

C’est vrai qu’il m’est arrivé de croquer du steak cru
Sans sauce roquefort, plutôt rap fort, rapport hardcore
Chirurgien dentiste pour mangeuse d’homme
Mes nécrologies font deux tomes
T’es qu’une tass qui t’es fait passé pour une belle dame
On te mate et te zob’, négociations (no question)!
Si naïf Pucc, God bless you


On m’appelle catastrophe, j’ai la strophe dramatique
Mon type mes dix types dans la même clique dans la même tombe
J’t’élimine comme un convoi qui fait des films au Philippines
Zéro pellicule poto, les dégâts sont topographiques

Moi je sais joué le gue-din,
J’emmène le copain, le gue-flin
J’emmerde le un contre un
J’suis ce mec qui conduit fonsdé
Bédo au bec, roule à fond et crie nique les condés
Ramasse une pute, l’attache à la laisse de mon pit
Le son en marche je la baise sur du MOP
Dans mon ste-po je suis sans respect, (Antidiplomate)
Ma sauce plait au b.boy pas au play-boy
Au people de rue, je fais du hip-hop brut
Flics, je t’insultent dans mes raps en général
Hypocrite tu me frappe si y’a plus de caméra
Tu mérites la garde à vue, la cellule
CRS lynché et le RMI pour le meilleur élu
Marre des blabla, armés et braves
On mets des bases sur notre façon de trinquer on trace


Ca passe ou ça casse
La pétasse, ça s’attrape
Les rapaces à la trappe
La pétasse, ça s’attrape
Les rapaces à la trappe
Rien à battre, Antidiplomate
Puccino, ça casse!


RADIO PATAPOE PROGRAMME SCHEDULE [CET]. Constanly evolving, always subject to last-minute changes, there is no “definitive” weekly patapoe schedule, but here’s a rough guide to who and what you might hear when you tune in…..

16:00H:20:00H Evil!
Cire net lepan On mixcloud
20:00H till 22:00H: Drum and Bass Connection Show
22:00H till late : Feddo’s psychedelic show
the best of alchemical radio
??:00H : 20:30H Gapend gat
Gapend Gat…
20:30H : 22:30H: C2000
C2000 on facebook
15:00H : 18:00H The Precinct of Reggae!
Ramses on Facebook ..
21:00-23:00:het programma
23:00-..:.. BSE!
BSE on mixcloud
17:00H till 20:00H S.T.R.O.N.T
Stront on facebook
21:00H till late: LOW-PITCHED
LowPithchedPl3asure On Facebook
13:00H 15:00H traveling on horseback
playlist and more
22:00H:??:??H Action
Garage freakbeat punk from all over the world
16:00H:18:00H vega selecta
vega selecta On mixcloud
18:00: till late  Strange fridaynight:respect! Them Rockers
zen rockers On facebook
20:00H : 22:00H
Burgerwaanzin, Ongecontroleerde socio-pathologische verkenningen met sub-muzikale en poetische ondersteuning BURGER WAANZIN
22:00 till late:
surprise dj
late till much later:
klas-zieke herrie