Monthly Archives: February 2014

Video

‘Bosnia today is a plenum’

Subtitled programme about the plenums in Bosnia-Herzegovina with activists Damir Arsenijević and Šejla Šehabović, moderated by Senad Hadžihafizbegović on Face TV. Originally broadcast on 14.2.2014. Subtitles by Kole Kili and Amila Bosnae. Posted by Bosnia-Herzegovina Protest Files

 

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Novi Revlot Radnika I Nezaposleni

Serbo-Croat translation of the article ’New revolt of workers and unemployed’ (first published on 10/02/14)

J. Hird, Socialismo Revolucionario (CWI iz Spanije)

Bjes od lose ekonomske sitvacije, politicke korupcije, nezaposlenosti I neimastine je prokljucao u Bosni I Hercegovini. Posle tri dana intenzivne I herojske borbe radnika i omladine, drzava je potresena do temelja.

Prvi Dan, Sreda, Peti Februar

Otpusteni radnici iz privatizovane I sad zatvorene kemikalne tvornice DITA, u severnoj Bosni, i tri durge fabrike su krenuli u demonstracije. Oni su optuzili politicare za nemarnost zato sto du dozvolili da nekoliko drzavni preduzeca colapsiraju posle privatizacije.

“Izbori nece promeniti nista I samo akcije kao ova, I plasim se, cak I radikalnije akcije, mogu naterati politicare da postave otkaz”

Omladina I nezaposleni se uskoro predruzili radnicima. Protestanti su bacali kamenje na policiju I zapalili gume. Naj manje 20 ljudi su bili povredjeni I oko 20 uhapseni.

Dan 2, Cetvrtak, Sesti Februar

Radnici su nastavili demonstracije u Tuzli. Zestoka bitka je planula izmedju demonstranata I policije u kojoj 130 ljud i su ranjeni, od njih 104 clanova policije.

Policija je odgovorila suzavcem kada preko hiljadu ljudi su pokusali da okupraju drzavne zgrade.

Tuzla ja uticala kao fitilj koji je aktivirao nezadovoljstvo cele Bosne. Udruzeni protesti su odrzani u glavnom gradu Sarajevu ali takodje u Zenici, Bihacu i Mostaru.

Nermin Niksic, precednik vlade Federacije, je odrzao sigurnosni miting na kojim je obtuzijo “huligane” kao uzrok nereda.

U istini, radnici su vodili ovaj pokret. U samom pocetku protest se sastojao u glavnom od otpustenih radika iz fabrika koje su colapsirale zbog privatizacije. Neko vreme kasnije, hiljade nezaposleni ljudi I omladine su izasli na ulice u podrsku radnika. Nezaposlenost u Bosni je preko 44% I jedan o sveki pet osoba zivi ispod granice neimastine. Cak I oni koji su zaposleni zive od 250 do 450 Convertabilni Marka. Raditi za nista je sasvim normalo u Bosni, I vecina radnika iz DITA tvornce nisu placeni vec dvije godine!

“Nasa vlada je prodala drustvenu imovinu za skoro nista I ostivila ja narod bez penzija, posla I zdravstvene zastite,” rekla je Hana Obradovic (24), jedna od nezaposleni diplomirani studenata u Sarajevu.

Sitvacija je naterala vladu da zatvori skole u Petak.

Dan 3, Petak, Sedmi Februar

Do Petka, protesti su se prosirili na preko 30 gradova u Bosni I Hercegovini I sa nima rastao je bjes prema sadasnjoj vladi. Demonstranti us zapalili drzavne zgrade u Sarajevu. Statinu cetrdeset ljudi su povredjeni u glavnom gradu, od njih 93 clanova policije.

Polica je koristila gumene metke I suzavac u pokusaju da raznese protestante, ali radni ljudi I omladina je odgovorila sa napadom na Precednistvo koje su osvojili od policije i kasnije zapalili.

U Zenici, tom bivsom rudarskom gradu, preko 50 demonstranata su povredjeni. Fecebook je koristen da oganizuje akcije I informise demonstrante. Na ulicama narod je vikao “Lopovi!” I “Revolucija!”

Sakib Kopic, jedan od representativaca radnika je rekao da ovo je “odgovor naroda” vladi koja nije sposobna da nadje resenje za ekonomsku krizu.

“Ovo je uzvik gladi, siromastva I beznadja za buducnost koji je tek sad explodirao posle mnogo godina” objavi le su lokalne novine, Dnevni Avaz.

Nekoliko hiljada demonstranata u Mostaru su napali dvije drzavne zgrade I zapalili zgradu gradske vlade. U ovom slucaju policije nije intervenisala.

Jedan mladi demonstranat iz Bihaca je izrekao opsti stav mrznje za corumptiranu politicku klasu i nepotism: “Zasto nema seksa u drzavnim institucijama Bosne I Hercegovine? Zato sto su svi familija!” Jedan plakat je pisao: “Ja nemam posla. Dosao sam ovde da unistim vladu.”

Kada su demonstranti zapalili drzavne zgrade u Tuzli, clanovi specijalne policije su skinuli svoju opremu I pustili demonstrante da prodju. Kasnije policija ja dobila aplauz i neki su se pozdravili i rukovali sa demonstrantima.

“Ja mislim da je ovo pravi Bosansko proljece. Me nemamo sta da izgubimo. Bice sve vise I vise nas na ulicama jer ima oko 550,000 nezaposleni u Bosni,” rekao je Almir Arnaut, nezaposleni economista i activista is Tuzle.

U Zenici i Tuzli politicari koji su proveli privatizaciju drustvene imovine su dali otkaz.

Zasto Sad? I Gde Sad?

Bosanski radnici zive pod neimastinom, masivnoj nezaposlenosti i opstoj miseriji vec 20 godina. Djeljenje vlasti u Federaciji izmedju etnicki entiteta je dozvolilo corumpirane politicare da se odrze na vlasti u jednoj od naj siromasiji zemalja evrope. U strahu od etnicki tenzija radnici do sada nisu u vecom broju preduzeli politicke akcije. Ali posoji limit. Massivna i kriminalna privatizacija i zatvaranje fabrika je bila zadnja kap u prepunoj casi.

Postoji zahtjev za unjedinjenost radnicke klase, koja se reflektuje u plakatima demonstranata i na Facebook. Jedan plakat je piso: “Ustaj Tito! Vidi sta tvoji pioniri rade!”. Na Facebook cirkulirala je jedna slika u kojoj Tito gleda na sat i kaze “Vreme je da se vratim.”

Razumljivo je da postoji nostalgia za Titovo vereme izmedju omladine. Roditelji pricaju svojoj deci o vremenu kada je skavo imao posao, niko nije gladovao i svako je mogao da ocekuje dobru buducnost, iako je bio Stalinisticki, jedno-partiski rezim koji je presjedo Yugoslovenskoj centralisticko planskoj privredi. Ali kapitalisam je izrastao u Bosnia od contra-revolucije ranih devedesetih godina I krvavog etnickog gradjanskog rata, I ovaj sistem je donijo radnicima Bosne i Hercegovine nista osim neimastine, corupciju I opasnost novog etnickog sukoba.

Ovo su rani dani Bosanskog ustanka ali cak i sada radnici i omladina su ujedinjeni. Oni su unedinjeni u svojoj zajednickoj mrznji za corumpiranu drzavu. U ovom vremenu ni jedno politicka partije u Bosni i Hercegovini ne prestavnja interese radnicke klase.

Virlo vazna istoriska promjena su mirni protest u Banja Luci, centralnom gradu Republike Srpske, gde oko 300 activista i gradjana su zatrazili jedinstvo svi etniciteta Bosne.

Oni su proglasili: “Me smo svi drzavljani Bosne i svi trpimo iste teskoce.”

Activisti su postavili sledece zahtjeve:

• Aboliciju cantona;

• Da ze smanje parlamentarne plate za 50%;

• Otkaz directora PIO (fund za penzije I socialnu pomoc);

• Povecanje penzija i plata za 500 Convertabilni Marka;

• Poslove i benificije za nezaposlene;

• Abolicija illegalnoga rada i crnoga trzistea.

Protestanti su isto postavili zahtjeve za nacionalizaciju privatizovanih firma, limitaciju plata politicara, protiv nepotisma i pravo na minimalni standard zivljena i obrazovanja. Policia i veterani is armije su isto postavili svoje zahtjeve.

Radnici i socialisti oko sveta pozdravljaju Bosanske radnike i omladinu u svojoj borbi protiv privatizacije i za bolji zivot. Ali ova borba moze da se uspesno vodi samo sa anti kapitalistickom perspectivom, na bazi radnicke demokratije i socialisma.

Pozdrav iz Komiteta za Radnicki Internacional.

SOLIDARNOST I REVOLUCIJA!

www.socialistworld.net, 18/02/2014
website of the committee for a workers’ international, CWI

Struggle of the DITA workers in Tuzla

The Voices of DITA

Short film on the struggle of the workers at DITA in Tuzla. This is the factory which sparked the Bosnian protests taking place at the moment. The film gives a taste of the anger which has spurred Bosnian workers into action.

Bosnia-Herzegovina Protest Files

beograd

Excellent ongoing account of unfolding events in Bosnia

News, statements and documents about protests in BH …. translated!

Bosnia-Herzegovina Protest Files

BOSNIA RISING – SOLIDARNOST I REVOLUJICA! (Latest 10/02/2014)

Bosnia Protests

THREE DAYS THAT HAVE SHAKEN BOSNIA

Seething anger at the dire economic situation, political corruption, mass unemployment and poverty has boiled over in Bosnia. In three days of lightening speed struggle by workers and youth the government has been shaken to its foundations.

DAY 1 Wednesday, February 5th.
Laid off workers from the privatised and now closed chemical works DITA in northern Bosnia and three other firms demonstrated. They accused the government of standing idly by as several state firms collapsed after privatisation.

“Elections will change nothing and only actions like this, and I’m afraid, even more radical actions, can force our politicians to step down,” said one protester.

Football fans joined the workers, as well as the unemployed. Stones were thrown and tyres set on fire. At least 20 people were injured and over 20 arrests made.

DAY 2 Thursday, February 6th
Workers continued to demonstrate in Tuzla. A ferocious battle took place as 130 people, including 104 police officers, were injured.

Teargas was used as thousands tried to storm government buildings in the town.

But Tuzla was only the spark which ignited protests in the whole of Bosnia. Solidarity protests were held in the capital Sarajevo and the towns of Zenica, Bihac and Mostar.

Prime Minister Nermin Niksic held a security meeting and inevitably blamed hooligans for the unrest.

In reality it was workers who led the way The protesters were initially made up mainly of workers laid off when state-owned companies that were sold off collapsed under private ownership. Later thousands of jobless people and youths joined in. Bosnia has an unemployment rate of 44 percent and one in five people are living below the poverty line. Even those in work are getting by on €250 – €450 a month. Many workers in DITA had not been paid for over two years!

“It was our government that sold state assets for peanuts and left the people without pensions, jobs or health insurance,” said 24-year-old Hana Obradovic, an unemployed graduate from Sarajevo.

The government ordered schools to close on Friday.

DAY 3 Friday, February 7th
By Friday protests had spread to over 30 cities in Bosnia and with it the anger at the corrupt politicians. Demonstrators set fire to government buildings in Sarajevo. 145 people were injured in the capital, including 93 policemen.

Police used rubber bullets and tear gas to disperse protesters as demonstrators stormed a presidential office, which was set on fire.

In the ex-mining area of Zenica thousands demonstrated and 50 were wounded. Facebook was used to organise the protest. The people chanted “Thieves!” and “Revolution!”

Sakib Kopic, one of the workers’ representatives, said they were “the people’s answer” to the government’s failure to address the ongoing economic decline.

“This is the shout of rage, hunger and hopelessness about the future that has accumulated for years since the conflict and is exploding right now,” local newspaper Dnevni Avaz said in an editorial.

Several thousand protesters in Mostar stormed two local government buildings and also set fire to the city hall. Police did not intervene.

A young demonstrator in Bihac joked and summed up the disdain Bosnians have for the corrupt political class and their nepotism: ‘Why is there no sex in Bosnian government institutions? Because they are all family!’

A home-made placard in Tuzla read simply: ‘I don’t work. I’ve come here to destroy the government.’

On Friday people finally burnt down government buildings in Tuzla. Eyewitnesses have told us that the Special riot police took off their helmets and protective clothing and let the demonstrators get on with what they had come to do. Later the police were applauded and handshakes were exchanged with demonstrators.

“I think this is a genuine Bosnian spring. We have nothing to lose. There will be more and more of us in the streets, there are around 550,000 unemployed people in Bosnia,” said Almir Arnaut, an unemployed economist and activist from Tuzla.

In Zenica and Tuzla the politicians in charge of privatisations were forced to resign by the protesters.

Why now? And where now?
Bosnian workers have endured 20 years of misery since the civil war. 20 years of mass unemployment. Power sharing quotas along ethic lines has enabled corrupt politicians to enrich themselves in the poorest country in Europe. Workers have been reluctant to struggle for fear of provoking ethnic tensions again. But there is a limit. The privatisations and closures have been the last straw.

There is a yearning for working class unity in Bosnia and even nostalgia for the times of Tito which is reflected in the placards on demonstrations and postings on Facebook. One placard read: ‘ARISE TITO! SEE WHAT YOUR PIONEERS ARE DOING!’ The ‘Pioniri’ (Pioneers) were the Young Communists in the time of Tito and the Socialist Federal Republic of Yugoslavia which was dismantled during the Bosnia Civil War in 1992.

In Facebook there a a photo doing the rounds. Tito is looking at his watch and the caption says: ‘Time to return.’

The centrally planned economy in Yugoslavia during the post war period developed industrial areas such as Tuzla where the recent protests began and there was a general raising of living standards, guaranteed jobs and housing.

Although Tito clashed with Stalin and placed Yugoslavia outside the Soviet bloc the system was nonetheless based on Moscow’s bureaucratic undemocratic version of socialism.

It is however understandable that there is a certain nostalgia for Tito even amongst the youth. Parents tell their kids of the times when everyone had a job, a home and a future to look forward to. Capitalism was born in Bosnia through a horrific ethnic civil war and has offered nothing to the Bosnian working class except poverty, corrupt politicians and the threat of further ethnic conflicts.

Today socialists stand with Bosnian workers who have risen to kick out the corrupt politicians and urge them to renationalise companies like DITA, take over the banks and plan the economy in the interests of the working class but with the added guarantee of full worker’s democracy at all levels of society.

These are early days in the Bosnian uprising but already the workers and youth are striving for unity. They are united in their utter contempt and hatred for the corrupt government and their hangers on. No political party represents the working class in Bosnia at this time.

It is significant that in Banja Luka, the capital of Bosnia’s Serb half, some 300 activists and citizens staged a peaceful march to call for unity among all Bosnia’s national groups.

They said: ‘We are all citizens of Bosnia and we all have the same difficult lives here,”

Workers and socialists around the world salute the Bosnian workers and youth in their struggle against privatisation and corruption and for a better life. In the coming weeks and months Bosnian workers will be dealing with the questions of class unity amongst all ethnic groups and what kind of society is needed to provide full employment and how to end the nightmare of poverty and misery which capitalism has forced upon them.    SOLIDARNOST I REVOLUJICA!

LATEST NEWS 10/02/2014

Today protesters in Sarajevo gave the Prime Minister of the FB&H Nermin Nikšić until 19’00 to resign. He did not.

They pledged to blockade the city until the government resigns. Further demonstrations are called for noon tomorrow (11/02/2014)

Activists also demanded:

  • Abolition of cantons
  • Parliamentarians to give up 50 percent of their salaries
  • Dismissal of the director of PIO FB&H (Government department of pensions and social security)
  • An increase pensions to 1.000 BAM (500 Euros)
  • Provide work and benefits for the unemployed
  • Abolish illegal work and the black market economy

beograd

Today a solidarity protest was also held in Belgrade the capital of Serbia. One banner read: ‘’Support to the people of B&H, today Tuzla, tomorrow Belgrade.’’

The protest was made up mainly of young people who chanted: ‘’Greetings to antifascist Tuzla’’, ‘’Stop repression’’, ‘’Brave Bosnia, We are With You.’’

Latest videos of struggle in Bosnia