Tag Archives: protests

Romania’s protests and Hungary: Interview with G. M. Tamás

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Over at the Budapest Beacon, Lili Bayer has a very interesting interview with Gaspar Miklos Tamas that people should check out… As protests continue across Romania for the ninth day, the Hungarian leadership and media from across Hungary’s ideological spectrum are watching the country’s eastern neighbor closely. Demonstrations broke out in Romania last Tuesday, when the government in Bucharest issued a decree that would have protected corrupt politicians. The decree – which the government withdrew under pressure on Sunday – would have exempted abuse-of-power offences involving sums below $48,000 fro ..

What is at stake in the Romanian Protests?

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A decision of the Social Democrat government to pass an urgent decree, which partly decriminalized the abuse of office and other related misconduct, brought more than half a million Romanian people onto the streets since last week. The government was wrong to pass this decree. There is no doubt that one of the main beneficiaries would have been Liviu Dragnea, the leader of the Social Democrats and Chamber President who is indicted for abuse of office. His case is pending. The argument that the government had to pass this decree in order to respect a previous decision of the Constitutional Court holds no water. Ne ..

Belgrade: From necessity to aimlessness, or who for whom and what kind of city

Belgrade, 25. May 2016 - "Ne da(vi)mo Beograd" before the Parliament (Skupstina) in Belgrade. Image: TANJUG / TANJA VALIC / bb

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article originally appeared in the Serbian publication Masina on 10.06.2016. It was composed in the months following a series of nocturnal demolitions in the Belgrade neighbourhood of Savamala. The demolitions, conducted by unidentified workers in balaclavas, are widely perceived to be the vanguard actions of Belgrade on the Water, a controversial ‘urban renewal’ project that has been the focus of continuous protests led by the civic initiative Ne da(vi)mo Beograd (a name that simultaneously means: ‘Let’s not give Belgrade away’ and ‘Let&# ..

A Lesson in Self-Immolation (Film Review)

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Note from the LeftEast editors: a Bulgarian version of this text first appeared on the pages of Kultura weekly newspaper. Christina Grozeva and Peter Valchanov’s The Lesson (2014) is probably the first feature film that explains the Bulgarian winter of discontent in 2013. It tells the story of a “normal” week in the life Nadezhda (Margarita Gosheva), a Bulgarian school teacher from a small town. While she tries to punish one of her students who committed theft in a morally instructive way, life teaches the instructor a much more serious moral lesson. The Lesson is based on a true story from 2010, sensation ..

Social unrest in Moldova: Expropiate the Mafia!

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Note from LeftEast editors: We republish this text by Alexander Moldovan from marxist.com, where it was originally published on the 26th of January 2016.  On the 20th of January, a new government in the Republic of Moldova was sworn in to the tune of mass protests outside of its Parliament buildings. Opposition figures claimed an attendance of 100,000 people in Grand National Assembly Square in the capital, Chisinau. Demonstrators clashed with police officers and ultimately broke into Parliament in an attempt to stop the swearing-in-ceremony of Pavel Filip of the Democratic Party as Prime Minister. The new gover ..

Did it Ever Happen? Social Movements and the Politics of Spontaneous Consensus in Post-Socialist Romania

Candles are lit next to photographs of the victims outside the Colectiv nightclub in Bucharest
Source: Associated Press

Note from the LeftEast editors: This article has first appeared in Romanian on the website Criticatac. It was translated into English by Maria Pozsar and extensively reworked by the author.                    1. The Oblivion Today, only two months after they took place, the protests mentioned in this text are already history. In a double sense: not only that they are over, but their presence within the public sphere seems as distant as possible. Like a bizarre non-event, the street demonstrations have largely disappeared from public focus and the changes brought by them don’t differ that much fro ..

Albania: Tens of thousands march against the government

Photo: Revolution Permanente

Last week almost 50,000 people demonstrated in Tirana, the capital of Albania, against the socialist government of Prime Minister Edi Rama. The protest was organised by the right-wing opposition Democratic Party and demanded the resignation of the government. The strength of the demonstration, together with the current student movement against neoliberal reforms, expresses a growing social discontent against the political caste which has been in power for 25 years. Left Voice interviewed Redi Muçi, reader at the Polytechnic University of Tirana and a militant in the student movement Për Universitetin. The inter ..

Greece: A call for support of the struggle of VIOME workers

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Note from the LeftEast editors: we publish this call, sent around by the general assembly of the workers at VIOME, in solidarity with their plight and struggle.  — Dear friends: As a result of the legal battle waged against the VIOME workers collective, the state-appointed trustee is now organising a series of auctions with the aim of liquidating the plot of land on which the VIOME factory is located. A possible sale of the land would create the legal ground for evicting the workers from the factory. Although the workers and the solidarity assembly are decided to stand their ground and defend the fac ..

An Economy of Taste: the case of Uber in Bulgaria

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Nearly everywhere the operations of Uber have generated controversy. For example, Uber sparked mass protests of taxi drivers in France demanding that the service be discontinued. In contrast, when the Bulgarian Commission for the protection of competition (CPC) fined, and ordered Uber to stop operations in the country, citizens protests erupted in defense of the service. More than 20,000 signatures were collected on Uber’s official web petition in three days. Angry facebook posts abounded. So did articles denouncing the shrinking of the “right to choose”. Meanwhile, the ban on Uber has generated discontent ..

The association that dissociates: on the Kosovo-Serbia Agreement

Hashim Thaci and Ivica Dacic meet to discuss proposals for autonomy for the Serbian community of Kosovo. Photo credit: GazetaExpress.com

Note from the LeftEast editors: this article was originally published by the Balkan web-portal Bilten.org. On August 25th, in Brussels, Kosovo’s Prime Minister, Isa Mustafa and his Serbian counterpart, Aleksandar Vucic, signed the Agreement on the Association of Serb majority municipalities in Kosovo. This was the flash point and most disputable event of the three year negotiation process between Kosovo’s government and Serbia’s government. From the moment that it was made public, there was the conception that we will now have a political entity that is based on the national division of the countr ..