(source: Jasmin Mujanovic)
The situation in BiH is changing rapidly. Numerous cantonal governments have already resigned and we can expect further protests in the coming days. The authorities in BiH have already begun a concerted campaign of disinformation about the causes of these protests and their aims. In an effort to support the struggle of the workers and students in BiH, I am publishing here the English translations of the demands issued by representatives of the people of Tuzla, Sarajevo and Bihac, ably translated by my colleagues Konstantin Kilibarda (Tuzla #1) and Marina Antić (Sarajevo, Bihac). In the case of the second Tuzla list, it is the official translation emailed to me by the Tuzla Plenum organizers. The original texts can be viewed here, here, here and here.
Please share these demands widely, copy, paste and disseminate them as you see fit. Change is coming to BiH and we can help be a part of it.
DECLARATION 7 February 2014. Today in Tuzla a new future is being created! The [local] government has submitted its resignation, which means that the first demand of the protestors has been met and that the conditions for solving existing problems have been attained. Accumulated anger and rage are the causes of aggressive behaviour. The attitude of the authorities has created the conditions for anger and rage to escalate.
Now, in this new situation, we wish to direct the anger and rage into the building of a productive and useful system of government. We call on all citizens to support the realization of the following goals:
(1) Maintaining public order and peace in cooperation with citizens, the police and civil protection, in order to avoid any criminalization, politicization, and any manipulation of the protests.
(2) The establishment of a technical government, composed of expert, non-political, uncompromised members. [They should be people] who have held no position at any level of government and would lead the Canton of Tuzla until the 2014 elections. This government should be required to submit weekly plans and reports about its work and to fulfill its proclaimed goals. The work of the government will be followed by all interested citizens.
(3) Resolving, through an expedited procedure, all questions relating to the privatization of the following firms: Dita, Polihem, Poliolhem, Gumara, and Konjuh. The [government] should:
§ Recognize the seniority and secure health insurance of the workers.
§ Process instances of economic crimes and all those involved in it.
§ Confiscate illegally obtained property.
§ Annul the privatization agreements [for these firms].
§ Prepare a revision of the privatization.
§ Return the factories to the workers and put everything under the control of the public government in order to protect the public interest, and to start production in those factories where it is possible.
(4) Equalizing the pay of government representatives with the pay of workers in the public and private sector.
(5) Eliminating additional payments to government representatives, in addition to their income, as a result of their participation in commissions, committees and other bodies, as well as other irrational and unjustified forms of compensation beyond those that all employees have a right to.
(6) Eliminating salaries for ministers and eventually other state employees following the termination of their mandates.
This declaration is put forward by the workers and citizens of the Tuzla Canton, for the good of all of us.
Manifesto of the Plenum of the Citizens of the Tuzla Canton
February 9th, 2014
Peaceful protests continue in Tuzla. We issue our support to all the protests in the various cities of Bosnia-Herzegovina.
The Assembly of the Tuzla Canton, in keeping with its constitutional responsibilities, has all the necessary legal mechanisms at its disposal to ensure the functioning of the government in the interests of the citizens. It is misinformation, which is attempting to mislead the public, that the resignation of the government of Tuzla Canton has created a legal vacuum.
1. That the authorities of the Tuzla Canton, in keeping with their constitutional responsibilities, ensure the safety of all participants engaged in the protests.
2. That the Assembly of the Tuzla Canton, in keeping with its constitutional responsibilities, immediately ensures functioning governance of the territory of the Tuzla Canton with no members of the previous government appointed to it.
3. That in cooperation with the Citizens’ Plenum, the Assembly of the Tuzla Canton will appoint an expert government, no later than March 1st, 2014, comprising non-partisan, ethically uncompromised experts.
This Manifesto is issued by the Plenum of the Citizens of the Tuzla Canton, and is for the benefit of us all.
With regards to yesterday’s protests across Bosnia and Herzegovina and the media’s attempt to discredit this justified rebellion, this informal group of citizens and protest participants repeats our demands to the government.
IN THE NAME OF CITIZENS ON THE STREETS OF SARAJEVO
We, the people who went out onto the streets of Sarajevo yesterday, also regret the injuries and damage to properties, but our regret also extends to the factories, public spaces, cultural and scientific institutions, and human lives, all of which were destroyed as a direct result of actions by those (ALL THOSE) in power for, now, over 20 years. We ask our fellow citizens and fellow sufferers not to allow these unpleasant scenes to cloud the fact that this kind of government and those in power have costs us immeasurably more.
We, thus, demand:
– Unconditional and immediate resignations of both the Sarajevo Canton and the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina governments; and the formation of non-party governments.
– No measures, of any kind, to be undertaken that would limit peaceful citizen protests.
– The immediate release of demonstrators, no criminal case filings against them, and an end to the witch hunt of people.
When these demands are met, we can then ask for the start of conversations and actions at all levels of government in order to establish a more socially just order for all social strata; and for all those whose human dignity and material basic needs have been endangered or destroyed by the transitional theft, corruption, nepotism, privatization of public resources, an economic model that favors the rich, and financial arrangements that have destroyed any hope for a society based on social justice and welfare.
To establish such a social justice order, before we undertake any social measures are, we demand an immediate end to the larceny of this society cloaked in politics, and criminal prosecution of those responsible. Only when all of that is complete, can we begin to build something new for all of us.
CITIZENS’ DEMANDS, GOVERNMENT’S RESPONSIBILITIES
- Lower salaries and compensation for political functionaries at all levels of government!
- End compensation with the end of the term!
- Sell the new car pool and invest that money into development of factories in bankruptcy!
- Reform and make transparent public expenditures and revenues!
- Pass the law on property origins!
- Process the suspects for abuse of power!
- Invalidate all illegal privatization contracts and establish the responsibilities of authorities.
- Form an independent anti-corruption commission.
- Damage resulting from protests cover with that part of revenue intended for compensation of government representatives.
Protesters have sent their list of 13 demands to the Parliament of the Una-Sana Canton:
- Resignation and replacement of the Una-Sana Canton (USC) government and all directors of public institutions and public enterprises.
- Appointment of the new government of USC and the new directors, without influence of politics in choice of prime ministers and ministers (professional governance – with public release of biographies and the reasons for their appointment).
- Matching salaries in the public sector to the industrial sector, so that the highest public sector salary cannot be higher than three average salaries in the industrial sector.
- Matching salaries in the public sector to the educational/professional level.
- Public release of documents for tenders in the last 10 years and in the future.
- Matching levels of budget appropriations for agricultural production in the budgets at all levels of government to the European Union standards.
- Matching educational standards, at all levels, to the European Union standards.
- Matching the number of employees in the public sector to the European Union standards.
- Finalizing construction of the veterans’ building, at the latest by the elections of 2014.
- Ending all additional privileges for government officials.
- Ending additional financing of representatives and employees in the administrative institutions, on the basis of various commissions.
- Ending the salaries and other privileges of all politicians following the end of their term.
- Immediate end to the use of force by the police toward the protesters and vice versa.