Of course it is not news to say that politicians are media whores, attracted like brainless moths by the red light of any running camera. But what could be seen today on the main square in Skopje was simply disgusting.
The story: as a reaction to the brutality experienced two weeks ago, some 30 NGOs joined the students of architecture and other initial organisers of the protest against a church on the main square in organising a protest scheduled for today in favour of the freedom of expression. A disappointing crowd of a few hundred protesters showed up. At some stage there were more police (openly and covertly) and media around than actual demonstrators. This is a problem in itself, that there seems to be no critical mass in Skopje to stand up against totalitarian reflexes in what we still would like to believe is a democratic society.
To make things worse, a plethora of politicians hijacked the protest for their own purposes. It was the who-is-who of an opposition that just hit rock bottom in three consecutive elections: from the presidential candidate of the main oppositional party to the outgoing mayor of Skopje. In between, a number of characters belonging to this self-styled elite. It was an assembly of redundant figures, of figures who all bear their piece of responsibility for the state Macedonia is in. And for the urbanistic misery that Skopje finds itself in, which the current power structure is looking at correcting through yet another, nationally and religiously tainted, unmitigated disaster.
Of course they had the media attention. Of course they delivered the argument to discreditate the youth movement as politicised and party-driven. Of course they did it with the best of all intentions, as if they were belonging to the group of Christian Taleban rallying two weeks ago: You shall have no other gods before Me!
A political “elite” with not a trace of dignity has just managed to asphyxiate and possibly give a deadly blow to an honest movement, a movement of young people driven by nothing but their will to live in an open city, in a city that respects diversity, that respects the individuals and their life-styles. Well done! It was your own children…
The government had previously issued a statement saying that it supports today’s rally. No official showed up.
Vision? Ah, knock yourself out…