Any day I open up zeri.info or koha.net, I face headlines like these: Food prices have been rising, teachers did not get their promised wages, people who stole votes during the last elections got six months in prison.
After reading all of the reports about the irregularities of the last elections, we can be certain that this is not a democratic government. This is not the government of the people. It is the government of the stolen votes and hopes, of manipulation and intimidation. You can't be a government of the people and hide behind the dark windows of a Mercedes Benz or other super-fancy and super-expensive cars. The million-dollar question is: What can we do, you and I, the honest, hard-working people of Kosovo. Russians, who are used to authoritarian regimes and governments, are apparently fed up and have started protesting. We also witnessed the recent revolutions in the Middle East. The message that was sent all over the world is: People, we can do something about our governments. We can take our fate in our own hands.
However, revolutions leave an empty space, which often is filled by people who are only greedy for power and wealth. Joseph Conrad, the famous Polish-born English writer, is not very optimistic when it comes to revolutions: “The scrupulous and the just, the noble, humane and devoted natures; the unselfish and the intelligent may begin a movement — but it passes away from them. They are not the leaders of a revolution. They are its victims.” In Kosovo we don't need a revolution, we don't need to tear down our institutions. Kosova has been broken, burned, and tortured enough and that's why many people are tired and sceptical of protests. But to return to the million-dollar question, What should we do? I am not an expert, a political advisor or analyst. I am just a simple citizen, but this question burns like a fire inside my head. I feel passive, I feel my future is slipping away from me and every time I think about my niece I don't want her to have the same fate as the pre-war generations did.
I want us all to raise our voices and claim ownership over our lives. Every time we are asked for a bribe, report it. Not only in courts but in newspapers, as well, providing names and surnames. If you own a big company and you apply for bids but someone else gets it and you know you had the best offer, announce it. Every time we see at the universities that some student is favored or gets better grades even though he almost never shows up in class, report it, make it public, make it known. Be less tolerant to these injustices; we have lived through too many of them and we have gone through too much. This might have thickened our skins and made us more used to injustice, but we should not be. Do not get used to it, we might not know what having a good government means (having never had one), but let's not give up on ourselves. Let us try and support one another in pursuing the good and prosecuting the bad. Remember the networks we built during the Serbian regime; remember that we organized education by ourselves. We helped and supported each other in need. It was a terrible period, but it showed that we can work together.
This government does not have super powers. They are not gods, and they do not own us or this land. Therefore it should not be impossible to change it and to make it more responsible for its actions. Let us each fight our own small battles. Let us create networks and help one another in these battles. Start from bottom-up on small cases and issues, and let's work our way up.
The article was originally written in English.
Illustration: Casey Weldon
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