Tag McEntegart has a history of careful, detailed and passionate work in Bosnia going back to 1997. She has sent us this vital update to help members understand what is going on and just how we can get involved.
“In Tuzla – where I was between 7th– 14th Feb – workers, war veterans, pensioners, students, academics, public services workers, entrepreneurs and owners of small and medium-sized enterprises and many other citizen and civil society groups and citizens in general are all involved in this struggle to prevent the forces of reaction from filling the political vacuum left by the resignation of the Cantonal government on February 6th.
Here are some links that you can explore:
Letters with multiple signatories in the Guardian:
Many people are asking what they can do to assist the peaceful protests and Plenums. Below are some ideas that I hope will give you some pointers and guidance. Please don’t wait to ask to be told what to do!
Inform your networks of what is happening in BiH and about the Plenum movement to which it has given birth. Though Bosnia’s situation is particular to its recent history, it isn’t just a Bosnian ‘thing’. The pauperisation of whole populations is happening across Europe and other parts of the world. As Dominique Moisi writes in ‘The Geopolitics of Emotion – How Cultures of Fear, Humiliation and Hope are Reshaping the World’, fear and humiliation are powerful drivers of rage and the hopeless that fuels despair – the feeling of ‘nothing to lose ’ – the void of the ‘shapeless future’. It is these emotions that are the prime catalysts of societal collapse, violence and war.
UK GDP per capita: $36,569 / Euros 26,587 / GBP £21,898
Bosnia GDP per capita: $8,127 / Euros 5910 / GDP £4866 (just below The Marshall Islands, Turkmenistan and Belize.)
If you are a member of a Trade Union, civil society or professional organisation, table a motion in support of the work of the Plenums of BiH. Let the Tuzla Kanton Plenum know of your motion, its wording and the result of any vote, or upload it to the TK Plenum FB Webpage. https://www.facebook.com/plenumTK
Watch Front Slobode’s film, ‘Glas Dita’ – ‘Voices of DITA’: This film tells the story of the assest stripping, strike and final closure of the Dita Detergent Factory in Tuzla. The interviewee, Emine ‘Minka’ Busulasždić, is a highly respected leader amongst the workers from the five closed privatised factories. It will show you more of the depth of the crisis, its potency and its meaning for the citizens in Tuzla and elsewhere in Bosnia than any number of journalistic articles.
‘Glas Dita’ with English sub-titles: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_7Qf2eBKnUI
The ‘movers and shakers’ are not involved in the carrying out of a pre-decided political plan. They are like yeast in bread dough…they are the catalyst of a PROCESS OF PROGRESSIVE DIRECT DEMOCRATIC CHANGE…and they don’t know and can’t control exactly what that change will be and how exactly it will happen. What they ARE doing is be transparently part of that process – to pursue the metaphor – the aim for them is to catalyse the ’bread’ of the body politic. This is what will produce edible, nourishing food that will grow the healthy mind, body and psyche of a well-functioning body politic to replace the discredited one. A well-functioning body-politic is essential to counteract the 25 year ‘diet’ of war and post-war corruption and criminality that has reduced the Bosnian citizenry – no matter what ‘ethnicity’ – to penury and ‘living death’. That is the purpose the ongoing daily peaceful protests and Plenums.
To send you just one image: here’s one of the iconic posters of the protests so far, which followed an attempt by nationalists to say that there were three different languages spoken by Bosnians, Croatians and Serbians, whose speakers therefore couldn’t understand each other…”