Maribor, Liberty Square
We demand that the irresponsible and the unpunished government officials, bankers and CEO’s withdraw from the democratic process we are creating at this moment in Slovenia.
We know exactly what we don’t want. Let us speak to each other what we want; what we desire as individuals, what we desire as a community. We need to open all the possibilities, all channels, all flows to talk about pain, oppression, violence, as well as hopes and visions. We need to listen to each other and to know that we are able to take the steps and enter the path of building such a democratic society, where even the weakest voice is heard, and one’s pain everyone’s pain.
Violence, injustice, intimidation and arrogance can no longer find refuge in our country. Theft and economic looting must be punished, and undue oppression of the people put to an end. We have to put the concepts of equality, reciprocity, fairness and dignity into action. Only through action and activity we can find our way to where we want to go and how to get there. Strategy and vision development can not be generated or delegated by the few; we must all make an effort to determine our collective future.
We have risen! We have conquered fear. In exactly two weeks, Slovenia has had a total of 54 uprisings in 28 cities: Maribor, Ljubljana, Ptuj, Gornja Radgona, Jesenice, Kranj, Bled, Koper, Nova Gorica, Novo mesto, Velenje, Ajdovščina, Trbovlje, Celje, Dravograd, Ravne na Koroškem, Krško, Brežice, Izola, Murska Sobota, Bohinjska Bistrica, Lendava, Trebnje, Slovenske Konjice, Litija, Kočevje, Radenci. Over 77,500 people took the streets, according to reports from all over Slovenia, though of course media, police and politicians counted our numbers several thousand less. They trivialize our fight and they will continue to do that. They can’t hide our numbers, because the streets belong to those who care about the country and want to change what has been forced upon us over the last 20 years. In order not to lose the future, we have to take back the freedom and power of our votes!
Repressive authorities have detained 254 people in Slovenia, some of them still remain in custody. Young people are locked in jail because Minister of Interior Gorenak claims they will return to the protests. Thousands return regardless, for we are not all in jail! We are the mothers of the arrested children, we are all the friends, families and supporters who will return to the streets and participate in the uprisings until we achieve change. As long as there are children confined, no one is free! Young people can not be criminalized by the very people who have stolen all the prospects of their future, by those that violently choke the protests that are the only channel available for the people to express their collective will. The never ending violence of capitalism goes unchecked, and meanwhile the attacks of rulers and marshals continue in impunity, without responsibility or accountability. What they call riots have emerged from the state of fear and poverty, into which we as citizens were pushed. We demand tears of joy, not tear gas!
We have a responsibility to judge and condemn these corrupt powers for the intentional destruction we still suffer as we stand up alone and almost unheard as they continue to attempt to render us mute. Slovenia stood up with such vehemence, and now, as we taste a rare moment of freedom, denied to us for so long, we will not shut up. We must connect, communicate, organize, promote and move forward – toward a solution. We must set goals, seek consensus, establish strategies, and create a shared vision. We must not be silent and must not give up. Now is the moment, we must seize it! We must break free of the tenticles of corruption that extend from Maribor to Ljubljana, crisscrossing across Slovenia and extending into Europe. Janez Janša, Slovenian prime minister, carries the objective responsibility for overhearing what has been said in Maribor, Ljubljana and the other uprisings. The authorities who thought nothing of having stolen all the flowers in the garden should listen now that their roots are being pulled out. Janez Janša, you are finished.
We are gathered against the nepotism, corruption, impunity of those responsible for the theft, destruction of our futures for the profit of the few, saving at the expense of the impoverished and the needy, political manipulations, making a mockery of the state, the lives, the people. We hold 20 years of smothered cries in our lungs. To replace humiliation and oppression we have stood up and demanded a different, alternative common creation of our communities. No one can do this but ourselves. This is not just a resistance, this is a class struggle. We raise our hands, our fists in solidarity. Fists of freedom!
We will not pay for your crisis! We have a long and difficult path ahead of us if we are to continue our achievements of the last several weeks and continue to nurture this miracle uprising. The resounding cry “THEY ARE FINISHED!” must be followed by the even louder cheers that will accompany the resignation of all who denied the will of the people, who manipulate them for personal gain, who have brought this country to the brink of collapse. We are now faced with the task of finding solutions. Slovenia will be choked if we merely delegate new faces to represent us and manage our lives. We must persevere to ensure we take a permanent step forward, if not for ourselves, for those that will come after us. Failure is leaving for the future what we have inherited from the past. Let’s search for new systems, new mechanisms. They have destroyed our country, we shall rebuild a much better one with the foundations of principles and the advancements of collective invention. Even as we gather, various nationalist initiatives and rising party leaders are sniffing about for opportunities to privatize and monopolize on the anguish of the humiliated and impoverished. We recognize that every uprising opens a possibility for negative consolidation of forces to attempt to seize control; we must guard vigilantly against these people who sit back and wait to co-opt our efforts. Jankovic is not an alternative for Slovenia, nor any of the other tired faces of the established quasi-left parties. We have been let down and robbed by them just as often as by those who now form the coalition. Our parliament has been filled by those who wanted to delegate: some have no education, others have false degrees or diplomas, some have just an empty bag that they would like to fill with millions. It has been filled by those who want to subjugate others. But we must not let them! This isn’t the time for parties, nor for new leaders, new faces.
This has been a clear message of the uprisings. Now is the time for resignation of the government. Now is our turn.
We must organize ourselves in formal an informal networks. We must begin in our streets and communities, organize where we feel at home and where we are most exploited. In our streets, our buildings, our squares, in neighborhoods, in our workplaces, in pubs if necessary. We must carry the uprising in our hands like a precious jewel. We must not surrender it to anyone until we are ready to find the people among us who will not let us down. People we can trust and can be proud of. People who will be able to collaboratively create with us our cities, our country, the world.
We must form people’s assemblies on the level of communities, made up of citizens instead of government, to give voice to civil society. We must engage the public institutions, the university, cultural and social institutions, education and health care. They are on our side, and we must find a way to awaken them to participate in the struggle for a better future. These institutions must play a key role in the development today. They should be the first to raise their voice and not keep silent as they did 20 years ago. We have all been fighting for our existence, but divided into separate categories of workers, university professors or pensioners. We are finished with that! Let’s look beyond our own gardens and create our communities together. Where are you, trade unions? Where are you, civil society movements? We must reach out and connect with the workers, with the unemployed, with the retired, with farmers. We must all wake up ! We must break all the barriers ahead of us. We will move forward even if we must risk our paychecks, our jobs, even violent attacks from these privileged groups who are tying to retain control despite the cost to us all. We are already risking everything; we have nothing to lose. They have already almost destroyed our companies, our environment, our social services; our young people have been forced to go abroad to survive. Together we shall make Slovenia the place they can come home to; they will return with options and a life of dignity.
We must move from the digital reality of online organizing into real Assemblies, committees should initiate concrete proposals to deal with the issues of the common needs in each community. We need to accomplish the most difficult task – achieving consensus agreement, the intersection where needs and interests meet. We must begin at the point where our common needs meet and build from there. There are examples of both struggles and accomplishments all around us. Iceland is a successful example. Egypt shows us uprising can result in an even more closed system, with increased delegation and dictation. We must beware of the pitfalls that Greece has suffered,where a decade of general strikes, university occupations, and global initiatives for justice have failed and the population finds themselves partitioned into the left/right party options, which continue to function as mechanisms for oppression. We must stop relying on the media, which has stolen truth, locked it away, and bombards us with a barrage of sensational topics that are at best cheap diversions. We must take responsibility for ourselves and each other, and communicate the truth and news through our own channels.
There are several groups who are already working on preparing operational, strategic and organizational methods, and searching for new approaches for achieving consensus. Many have not yet found the means or opportunity to make their voices heard; we must begin in the streets and look for solutions. The general public has initiated a conversation, and we must insure that all voices are heard, the elderly, the poor, the desperate, the isolated. We do not want banners, we want transparency! But until transparency is achieved we shall carry banners!
The uprising must not take place only in the evening, it must flourish in the full light of day. What we have seen so far is merely a rehearsal for the 21st December, when people from across the country will stand together as one and raise their voices. Our weapons are art, creativity, and word of mouth communication. We know we will face the same mechanisms of oppression once again, which forces us to radicalize, but not to retreat. The government has been clear that above all, they seek to silence the cries of “THEY ARE FINISHED!” that are ringing through their streets. We shall not be silent. The old is finished, the mafia is finished. We are starting anew. We are going to build a new country. The government must resign, the parliament must resign. They will be held accountable for the consequences of the actions they take against their own people, for the disappearing documents that are turned into ashes even now. There is no turning back. We choose life, we choose courage!
We have only just begin our uprising, and it will only intensify and grow as we build an alternative to the corruption and economic despair offered by the officials of Slovenia.
We reject your methods: we don’t intimidate, humiliate or use force, we will deny them the repression they try to impose on us. We are different, ordinary people, the crowd in the street. If their only communication is using violence and oppression, we will respond by playing music and dancing in liberation. If they use the army, they still will not take away our voice. We do not destroy, we collaborate and create. We want to create a society of welfare, trust, justice, equality. We shall achieve that. Their water-cannons and pepper spray are useless. They must open their eyes and ears to the messages of each and every uprising. We will show them what we can accomplish without them.
Together we know, another world is possible…
They are finished! (GOTOVI SO)