And in the neighbourhood—revolution

za slobodu i za pravdu

For freedom and justice we’ll topple any government

This text by Nikola Ćupas originally appeared on 9.2.2014 at

It was quiet in Kruševac this Sunday. Nothing remarkable happened. No doubt people are waiting for the election campaign to kick off. Election campaigns, as we have learned, mean politicians peddling a great big bag of lies and promises to the people. These promises are always tailored to the broadest possible interest of the people. And then, in spite of it all, we find ourselves yet again struggling with deficits, bills, poverty, unemployment. How are people then supposed to fight for themselves?

Across the river Drina, 350 km from Kruševac, on Wednesday 5th of February, a few hundred workers and inhabitants of Tuzla gathered in a protest in front of the building of the Tuzla Canton. This would have probably ended up like any other protest with the authorities handling it according to the same old plan: by promising to find a quick solution. Except something unexpected happened, something the authorities were wholly unprepared for. The protest gained mass support.

Like a force of nature, other workers, the unemployed, and the students filled the streets in solidarity in the struggle against the system that had robbed and wronged them. They chose to fight for social justice. What followed was an awakening of all the peoples in Bosnia-Herzegovina, and a revolution that spread across the entire country.

The authorities in Republika Srpska tried to spin the protests as anti-Serb and instigated from outside in an effort to maintain the supposed national unity. However, their actions only showed how little they care about the people in this region, and how important they feel it is to maintain status quo and the dominance of the national bourgeoisie. But their cheap shots flopped when the people denounced them. This is a struggle which transcends any ethno-racial, religious or national concept. The people took to the streets because their bellies were empty. Hunger forced them to fight for justice. But there is no justice as long as there are classes! Not as long as there are oppressors and oppressed; those who exploit and those who are exploited; those who know no hunger and those who are starving. The power holders in Bosnia-Herzegovina showed with their actions that little, indeed, does the fat man know what the lean one thinks.

Realising the anger and the threat from the suffering people, they brought police out on the streets who clashed with the protesters. There was tear gas, rubber bullets and beatings, but the people stood together and firm in their resolve to take on the robbing and thieving ruling classes. At least for now. They occupied the building of the Tuzla Canton. The police in Bihać admirably joined the protesters. They refused to obey a system that manipulates them in order to sustain itself and chose to stand with the working class.

The events in Bosnia-Herzegovina are our lesson of the week. They are proof of how powerful the working masses actually are when they raise a unified fist. They also show how much the ruling political structures fear a working class that unites. I am not insinuating anything and I won’t rattle on about poverty, unemployment, harassment, exploitation, corruption, thieving etc. No, I only have one question for you: How hungry are you?

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