Archive for december, 2012

december 16, 2012

A message from Slovenia to the World: We take responsibility for each other!

3. MARIBORSKA VSTAJA, PROTESTI V MARIBORU

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)

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december 16, 2012

Slovensko vstajanje v krempljih predatorjev in oblastnikov

lj-protest

Slovenska vstaja vstopa v tretji teden obstoja. Ob začetnem navdušenju tisočev ljudi nad Mariborsko vstajo, so se protesti hipoma razširili po vsej Sloveniji in se še naprej.

Kaj hitro smo bili priča pojavljanju raznih skupin z različnimi interesi, ki so skušala vstopati v prostore, ki so jih protesti pričeli odpirati. Bilo je tudi nekaj slabo prikritih poskusov prevlade v tem odprtem prostoru preko “kurirjev”. Ena izmed taktik oblasti oziroma samooklicanih “liderjev”, “glasnikov” slovenskih protestnikov je bil tudi primer v Ljubljani, ko je še vedno neindentificiran “Kričač”, “Vseljudska vstaja”… postavil 21. December kot dan “Vseslovenske ljudske vstaje”, “kurir” Lubej pa se je v medijih, očitno s pomočjo najetih PR agencij promoviral kot glasnika, govornika protestnikov. Ker je med protestniki kar nekaj takšnih, ki imajo izkušnje in informacije s podobnimi poskusi “ugrabljanja” v globalnih gibanjih, so se opozorila o teh nevarnostih in poskusih vse bolj širila in slika dogajanja v zaledju je postajala vse bolj razvidna.

Torej, Ljubljano je nekdo namenoma pacificiral do 21. Decembra, skoraj za štiri tedne, v tem času pa pisal programe, manifeste, deklaracije in se tudi pogajal, pogovarjal z oblastjo, še več, protest želi speljati po vseh pravnih predpisih, torej je to sedaj legalni protest (proslava?!) in ne ljudska Agora, skupščina. Se naivno šel pogajati s policijo o izpustitvi vse h priprtih (tudi tistih, ki so bili na protestih provokatorji), ne da bi vedeli, da to ni v pristojnosti policije.

Hkrati smo v tem času priča pojavljanja posameznikov, ki so povezani z oblastjo in jim ves čas svoje kariere nudijo usluge, a hkrati moledujejo, da bi radi bili del gibanja in bi s svojo strokovnostjo prispevali k njegovemu delovanju. Drugo kar zacementirajo postopek o volitvah novih oblastnikov izmed prisotnih protestnikov na dan 21. Decembra v Ljubljani, tretji kar določajo ustroj političnega in družbenega sistema v prihodnje…

Kdorkoli ima namene po tem, da bo skušal “ugrabiti” proteste, vstaje in gibanja, ki iz njih vznikajo, ga bodo doletele enake usode kot politične, ekonomske in druge elite.

Ljudje bodo sami vzpostavili svojo mrežo po Sloveniji, se med seboj sami pogovarjali in tudi oblikovali svoja stališča. A osnovno in temeljno je bilo že tisočkrat sporočeno. ODIDITE VSI, GOTOVI STE.

Zato bodo 21. Decembra po Sloveniji trgi in ulice Slovenskih mest polne, Ljubljana pa bo tokrat na Kongresnem trgu poslušala novodobne bodoče oblastnike, ki bodo sami sebi brali Manifeste, Deklaracije, programe itd. A upajmo, da bodo tam tudi ljudje, ki si ne bodo pustili “ugrabiti” svoje vstaje in bodo prevzeli pobudo in povedali DOSTI VAS IMAMO! ODIDITE TUDI VI.

Podobne poskuse “ugrabljanja” gibanj, vstaj smo v preteklem letu in pol lahko videli tudi drugod po svetu, a so ljudje vedno spregledali poskuse oblastnikov in novih povzpetnikov in to preprečili.

Tudi v Sloveniji bomo! Zato naj bodo slovenski trgi in ulice polne ljudi!

GOTOVI SO !

Prisotnost šteje-15o-OccupyLjubljana

december 4, 2012

Slovenian uprising – Protest in Ljubljana #GOTOVISO (They are finished)

protestljubljana-za wordpress
Ljubljana, 30.11.2012

“It started at 4pm in Congress Square. A very diverse crowd gathered, equipped (amongst others things) with posters stating “You’re finished”, with the names of almost all the current politicians listed.
Many people were holding red carnations as a symbol of peaceful expression of their protest against austerity, corruption, clientelism and violation of legal and social state.

Journalist and cameraman were also present among the crowd of protesters. It was interesting to see a journalist from the national Radio and TV station that was guarded by the cameraman as well as by a security officer. The crowd slowly grew and occupied also the park and the streets near the Congress Square. Police officers kept themselves in the background. Several members of the Special Forces were positioned close to the Knafelj underpass.

Then the crowd slowly moved towards the Parliament. To emphasize the peaceful nature of the demonstrations and solidarity, the protesters gave carnations to police officers , which they attached on their uniforms.

At some point it started. Shortly after 6 pm a group of about 30 masked rioters entered Republic Square in front of the Parliament. They were wearing a banner stating “US against everyone – no to EU-servant”, with the letter “o” crossed with a cross. It is a symbol of many European neo-Nazi or new right wing organizations. These words can now be read on the front page of “Dnevnik” (Slovenian daily newspaper) in the article “They stole our country, and now the protests.”

According to eyewitnesses, then just before 7 pm the group of masked people began with a very organized attack on police officers. Those masked persons were among other, equipped also with gas masks.

The rest of the crowd was shouting loud, making it clear that they did not approve this violent behavior of the troublemakers. But the rioters increased their attacks and mixed with the peaceful protester, which lead to the withdrawal of people. The epilogue is known. The focus of media coverage oriented itself from the “festival of democracy” to violent riots. Red carnations were replaced by granite cubes in the hands of few masked rioters.

Of course, the question that arises is – who are these rowdies? Some experts on extreme right-wing groups confirmed that according to the words and posters used, they were members of various neo-Nazi groups.
From here on, according to all the events, as well as their wider context, all options are open. Let’s start with the statement of the former Chief of Police Pavle Celik, who had previously warned of provocateurs starting violent protests. As he told the newspaper Dnevnik, he is “firmly convinced that in the recent protests, intentional ringleaders appear with the aim of leading the other protesters in a certain direction, so that the government can say that the protest were violent.”

Since the predictions of Pavle Celik turned out to be true, now the next logical question follows: if the rowdies were hired, who hired them?

An interesting answer to this question was given by a comments in response to the mentioned Čelik’s statement in the magazine Mladina: The commentator wrote, that ” the initial report of the Slovenian intelligence and security agency-SOVA, (which has been withheld by the government from discussion in the parliament for quite some time) shows, that some neo-Nazi groups are closely linked to SDS (Slovenian Democratic party, the party of our prime minister Janez Janša). Individuals from these groups are even members of the SDS.”

Of course, we cannot and we must not believe just any comment.However, let’s examine this claim. What do we find?

We found the following article: “Neo-Nazis: stowaways of parliamentary elections” in which the journalist Anuška Delic, writes: “the leader of Slovenian Blood and Honour Division says that he is not a leader and has no function in SDS. Others say otherwise. “The journalist describes that she received information from multiple sources, stating that Dejan Prosen is the leader of Blood and Honour Division, also confirming his direct connection to SDS. Blood and Honour, as stated on their webpage, is an “independent, patriotic, National socialistic movement.”

Another article was found: “Neonazism in Slovenia: Tell me with who you hang out with” in which the author of the article stated that “Kristian Podobnik is a member of the Slovenian Democratic Youth (SDM) that is and offspring party of Janša’s SDS. Since the establishment of SDM in Žiri, on the 15th of December 2010, Kristian is a very active member. This is documented also with photos, taken at various SDS events and his activity on the SDM facebook page. The last event he participated in, was the presentation of Irena Tavčar, an SDS candidate for the National Assembly from Žiri. He sat in the front row. In March this year he participated also in the winter sports games organized by SDS, which took place in Cerkno. He represented the municipal SDS committee of Žiri. In addition to his loyalty to SDS, he is also a disclosed neo-Nazi and a member of the neo-Nazi group Blood & Honour. ”

If we go further – what is happening with the SOVA report on extremist groups? As the recent events show, the situation in this field is quite strange.

Three deputy members (from the opposition parties) of the Parliamentary commission for the control of intelligence and security services, in fact send a request to the government to provide them with information about what was happening with the report on the problem of extremist groups and movements in the country. This happened at the beginning of this week, a few days before the protests. They adressed the government with the demand to provide them with the information when was the first time that SOVA delivered the report for discussion and adoption to the government.

They also wanted to know when and if the government had returned the report to SOVA for completion, and when SOVA delivered the corrected report back to the government for the second discussion. The also want to know when and if SOVA returned the report for correction to the government,when this completed document was then sent into further discussion and when it was discussed by the competent working bodies of the government and if any changes were made during this process. Furthermore, the MPs state, that they asked SOVA for this report, the same that they are now requesting from the government, after the working group sessions on this topics was postponed various time, due to the fact that the neither SOVA nor the government had prepared the needed material. The mentioned report at the end figured only tree pages, and the deputies are convinced that it was prepared in a way, that minimizes and diminishes the phenomenon of extremism in Slovenia. (Dnevnik, 26.11. 2012).

All of this puts the above mentioned comment in the Magazin Mladina in a completely new perspective and following all this evidence another logical question arises; what if those neo-Nazi street rowdies are actually an extension of a concrete political interest of a specific political party?

Of course, at this point any exact answer to this question is impossible. But an answer to the question why they were present at Friday’s peaceful demonstration needs to be found, especially in the name of rule of law and without any political instrumentalisation.
We also need to remember the behavior of SDS in 2010 towards student protest. SDS, which at that time was in the opposition, requested an extraordinary meeting of the Parliamentary Committee on Domestic Policy, Public Administration and Justice, on the issue of ” suspected political interference in police work, that has led to professional errors of the Ministry of Interior affairs and GPU during the student demonstrations “, where the President of the Committee, Dr. Vinko Gorenak (current Minister of Interior affairs) tried to blame rather awkwardly and constantly Fronta Prekercev, a group of students, who at that time organized a parallel protest, for the disorders at the demonstrations.

It is really unfortunate for the rule of law in Slovenia that all the questions written in this text are not being asked. But at the same time, we have to add that all those questions have arisen also because we have a prime minister who persistently avoids hearings in his judicial proceedings and because referendum signatures are incomprehensibly disappearing in our governmental bodies.

Goran Lukic