Article about recent protests in Zagreb and across Croatia by a member of MASA (Network of Anarcho-Syndicalists).
What the protesters promised, it came true – today`s protest was the largest so far. According to some estimates, around 10000 people stood in front of the croatian national public television. Of course, it can already be heard how government is trying to lessen the numbers and to discredit the protest and the will of the people.
It is important to be seen
As the protest are becoming larger and more important, the number of politicians trying to score among the people is increasing. Today, serried with Ivan Pernar, a new crew of political opportunists showed up, starting with confused right wingerPero Kovačević, hysterical populist Dinko Burić and unionist Željko Stipić.
It is interesting that Pernar, obviously overcoming his fear of the police, went to a walk together with the protesters, trying to regain the control over the event. On the Cvjetni square, where he is usually giving speeches, is the minimal number of people, while the others are joining after the "speeches" are over. But Pernar this decided to "honour" the people by giving the speech in front of the HDZ headquarters. His appearance and his stupidities are affecting the protest badly because they bring the right wing extremism, which could doom entire protest to fail and provoke public condemnation, as was the case with the protest of the war veterans. Both „left“ and right are trying to represent the protest as their own merit, but the truth is that this is spontaneuos people`s revolt and it is necessary to isolate politicians from the masses as soon as possible.
Stipić, president of Revival Union, called the unions to go out in the streets. This was the only reasonable statement which could be heard from the stage. What is needed is call for a general strike, takeover of working places in order to paralyze the state. Instead, our union leaders are averting their attention on the other side, holding tightly their money with which they are paid for their inactivity. Really, we should ask ourselves, where do we live when the unionists are bigger pussies than president of the state.
While the revolted masses of workers, students and unemployed have been pointing with their banners to the real causes of croatian misery – capitalism, corruption and european imperialism, left and right party leaders, together with wannabe leader Pernar, as the main problem pointed to ruling party and as the ultimate solution put upon themselves and their own parties. Thus it is no miracle that the people refused to participate in their gathering and formed the bloc which put an end to the speeches and started to walk towards St. Marko` Sqaure
The streets are deciding
This time the protesters have hit directly to the bull`s eye. Their targets were Croatian Radiotelevision, EPH (the largest media corporation in Croatia), Croatian Fund for Privatization and standard destinations as the headquarter of HDZ. After HDZ, the protesters continued their walk through the city streets, blocking the traffic. In one of the cars, protesters spotted government`s spokesman. After a brief bustle, the protesters did let him go, but one of the protesters spitted him in the face through the window of the car. Shortly after that, a couple of protesters have been arrested for shoving with the police.
The television enraged the protesters especially. The central news of the day said that there were only aorund 1500 protesters. People decided to pay a visit to the Croatian Radiotelevision and show themselves in real numbers. 1 little, 2 little, 10000 little Indians (the interior minister called the protesters the „Indians“ a couple of days ago) shouted and demanded resignation of the chief editor of the television. As was already mentioned, around 10000 protesters was in front of the television, which makes the protest the largest so far.
By its numbers the protest have sent a clear message to prime minister Jadranka Kosor that the street is deciding and that the times of turning a blind eye have gone. Kosor is clearly trying to convice herself that there are no protests in Croatia or that they are organized by parliamentary opposition. It is possible that she will also soon invent some sort of Gadafi style theory about masses that drink coffee with Osama Bin Laden drugs in it. So far it seems that she is more worried about protesters breaking through to her apartment and the flag of HDZ, than about the issues that are giving the people hard times.
But, after the fifth protest in row, i.e. the third conceived as an „endless walk“ it can be said there are certain defects in organization, which come as normal given the spontaneous character of protest. Older people cannot participate for long time, they fatigue fast and go home before the protest is over. For that reason, the march is loosing people too rapidly. It seems that march route is too exhausting for some people and is taking the protest too far from city`s center. The downtown should provide enough of manoeuvring space and presence among the citizens, while maintaining flexible and spontaneous organization without too much exhaustion.
The demands and ideas from protests are ignored. For example, let`s take the news on Croatian Radiotelevision after the protest. There the homily about necessity of entering into EU is continued, while strong attitude against EU of protesters is ignored. It seems that tactic is to mark the protesters as „non-articulated“ and without any ideas, to concentrate on figure of some kid and his schizophrenic breakdowns and to show the whole thing as a circus of „drunken mob“ that wants chaos. From the streets the ideas and wishes of the people could be heard – rage could be felt, which only fool would ignore.
Divide et impera
We have all got used to media sensationalism, their superficial stories and marginalisation of what the „little people“ have to say. Following that recipe we could notice how media is trying to reduce the numbers of protesters and how protests are barely noticed.
On the contrary, news about the return of Tihomir Purda from bosnian prison could not be avoided. Media bombarded us with his unconditional support for prime minister and with his statement about him loving the prime minister and how he would never protest against her.
In the context of recent anti-government demonstrations, which were joined by many war veterans which have been the last line of defense od HDZ, we can notice how prime minister is trying to calm the war veterans and to, by pacifying Purda as a symbol of their revolt, isolate from the disaffected people from the streets.
Of course, we cannot allow divisions among the people at this moment. For the same reasons the veterans should join the protests, the policemen should join them also because they also have the reason for revolt, for instance because of 30% reducing of their pays.
 Guy who organized the first three protests. Expelled from Green Party for citing Mein Kampf. Lunatic and schizophrenic who thinks Croatia is a socialist state and needs pure capitalism, but also wants nationalize banks (but only the foreign ones).
 Politican from extreme right wing Party of Rights.
 Politican from right wing regional party from Slavonija region. A former HDZ member, the president of his party is serving prison sentence for war crimes.
 HDZ - Croatian Democratic Community, ruling party at this moment.
 A square in historical part of Zagreb, where the seat of govenment is situated.
 War veteran who was arrested in Bosnia because of charges for war crimes. His arrest sparked the protests of war veterans. He was released and freed od charges after 8 weeks in prison.